After winning the Oklahoma City Regional, No. 9-seeded Oklahoma State will head to the Lubbock Super Regional to face Big 12 conference foe Texas Tech. The last time these two met the Cowboys were swept in the regular season series. OSU looks to win when it counts and return to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, for the second time in four years. For some insider information on the Red Raiders we turned to Michael Macon of Viva the Matadors.
MA: Take us through a quick snapshot of Texas Tech’s season.
MM: The season started fast, with big series wins over Oregon and Kentucky (a sweep). However, the team hit a major rough patch dropping winnable games and taking 2 series losses in their first four Big 12 series. The loss to Texas in hindsight is especially hard to grasp. After a 11-10 extra innings loss to Baylor the light switched on as the team would find some freaking consistency and win 10 of the 11 final Big 12 conferences to steal the conference title. That was an amazing run, and during that stretch I don’t think anyone was playing better baseball.
MA: What is this Tech team’s greatest strength?
MM:HITTING by far is the strength. 17th overall in the nation for team batting average (.301), there is potentially not a more dangerous 1-5 hitters left in post season play.
MA: Greatest weakness?
MM: I would say consistency. As dangerous as our hitters are, there have been games where they left the bats on the bus. And I think the pitching has found its stride, but they’ve been roughed up at points this season. This team is very talented they just need to play their game and be consistent.
MA: Who are some Tech players that Oklahoma State fans need to watching for?
MM:Everyone knows Josh Jung, but Cam Warren is a better hitter especially right now. Since May he’s batting .484 with 7 home runs and 22 RBIs. That’s just insane. On the defensive side, Micah Dallas is a bit under sold. Caleb Killian is a stone cold killer on the mound, but the freshman pitcher is a true firebrand that mows down batters if he hits his stride early. Micah will likely pitch game one, and that first game is a critical win.
MA: What player on this Oklahoma State team worries you the most?
MM: No one.
Nah, for real pitching is the thing I fear most. I love our hitting, but pitching beats even the best hitting most of the time. And since Game One I feel will decide the series, whoever pitches game one is the guy I’m the most worried about. I know you guys have some other stars, but if we run your starter of the mound we can really blow the doors off this series.
MA: How excited are you to play another big 12 team for such high stakes?
MM: Honestly, I hate it. I want more Big 12 teams in the CWS for one but also it’s hard to beat the same team 5 times in 6 games. I think we are the better team, the sweep proved that, but that is a tall order because OSU is a damn good ball club. Both teams know what to expect and it’ll be a real challenge coaching wise to see who has the best gameplan.
MA: What kind of role do you think the familiarity with each other these teams have will play in the game?
MM: Like I said, it’s hard to beat someone in baseball this many times. OSU is due for a win against Tech in baseball since it’s been such a long time, I’m just hoping that win comes in like 10 years. On a more serious note, both teams know what the other is bringing to the table. So it’ll just be a true contest to see who’s best no tricks or surprises. Also like I mentioned, I think Tech just is the better team but OSU is hot right now and I hate this feeling that they are itching for revenge after the sweep.
MA: Do you guys throw tortillas at baseball games?
MM:I know you guys were looking for more ideas to copy from Tech, but I’m sorry to disappoint you we don’t throw tortillas at baseball games.
Oh and I know you didn’t ask for one but here’s my prediction for Game One: 6-3 good guys. Wreck em!
*Editor’s note I totally meant to ask for a prediction and forgot...my bad.