It’s my favorite time of year, the weather is starting to get a little warmer (please get it together and be warm next Tuesday, Oklahoma) and baseball season is approaching. Professional players have started reporting to spring training, but more importantly Oklahoma State is set to start another season with aspirations of Omaha. Here’s a run down of what you need to know about the Cowboys this season.
Last season in Allie P. Reynolds
With the new O’Brate stadium set to open in the spring of 2020, this will be that last season played in the old Allie P.
While it’s past time for a new stadium for Cowboy baseball, it won’t be easy to say goodbye to the place the team has called home for nearly four decades.
The Cowboys are looking to send their old home out with a bang. You can expect there to be numerous nights and games with themes designed to honor the old ballpark. They’ll honor the 1959 team when they play West Virginia the weekend of April 5. Carson McCusker told the Stillwater Newspress at media day...
“I’m so excited. It’ll be a special year, We owe this place a lot. There have been so many great players and teams that’ve played here. We can’t wait to leave our mark here.”
He’s right, this is a special year as we commemorate Allie P.
With Mitchell Stone and Jenson Elliott coming back from injury this year, OSU returns some much need experience in its bullpen. Elliott was out a majority of the 2017 and 2018 seasons, which was a big loss for the Cowboys. Having the freshman All-American starter back in the rotation will be huge.
Stone spent most of last season out with an ankle injury and spent the end of last season recovering from a toe injury. He has some major upside we could finally see this year.
Parker Scott will also hopefully see the mound more this season after battling arm injuries last year. He was the 2016 Dallas Morning News Pitcher of the Year.
OSU head coach Josh Holliday told Orange Power Studios that Ben Leeper is healthy coming into this season and could have his best season yet. Combine all of those guys with Joe Lienhard, C.J. Valera, and junior college transfer Logan Gragg, and OSU could have one of the best bullpens in the Big 12.
Heavy hitter Colin Simpson returns for his senior year. He has been named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team as a designated hitter (DH). After 18 home runs last season, there’s plenty of reasons to believe the guy nicknamed “Tank” will make the Gap Band fire off a lot this season in Stillwater. He also could be a leader for this team as one of the few remaining players that went to Omaha in 2016.
Speaking of Simpson being a leader, this team has quite a few upper classmen. That leadership and maturity could prove beneficial for the Cowboys in the 2019 season. Guys like Simpson, Cade Cabbiness, Christian Funk and Carson McCusker could make for some experienced line-ups next season. There’s also senior Joe Lienhard on the mound that provides OSU with a leader out of the bullpen.
This is something that OSU highlighted in their position preview series that they’ve been doing during the last few weeks. According to Holliday in an interview with Orange Power Studios, this is deepest the Cowboys have been behind the plate in a long time. They’ll be able to give Simpson (get use to seeing his name a lot this season) a break after getting players like fifth-year transfer Bryce Carter to take over catching duties at points. More rest for the players behind plate could mean less mistakes at home plate that lead to runs. Which is always a good thing.
Josh Holliday has made a habit of presenting his teams with a challenge when creating their schedule. This year is no different. They visit the reigning national champions in Oregon State this year up in Beaver Country. It’s late in the season too, which could mean challenges with injuries and other factors that come up in May of a baseball season.