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Oklahoma State baseball: 4 thoughts after series loss to Grand Canyon

The Cowboys went 1-2 to open their season.

The UConn Huskies take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Oklahoma City NCAA Baseball Regional Finals at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, OK on June 4, 2019.
an Bethune/The UConn Blog

The Oklahoma State baseball team bookended its season opening weekend with losses to Grand Canyon in Phoenix, Arizona. Even though the Cowboys (1-2) only played three games, we learned a lot about this team. Here are four thoughts on the Cowboys’ 1-2 weekend.

Kaden Polcovich is as advertised

Despite a rough game Sunday, Polocovich had a solid weekend. On Saturday, he was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. He looked good in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. Hueston Morrill is a good leadoff hitter and the Cowboys can benefit from having a trusted player like him in clutch situations. On Friday, he was 2-for-5 and had a run.

Playing young pitchers will pay off

The young bucks didn’t have a great weekend, but did show flashes of great stuff. Bryce Osmond got out of the bottom of the first inning with back to back strikeouts, but couldn’t keep it together surrendering five runs in the 10-3 loss Friday. Justin Campbell bounced back in the second inning Sunday, striking out three straight after giving up a two-run home run in a 9-3 loss.

OSU coach Josh Holliday was pleased about his team’s young pitching after Friday’s game:

“It’s good to get those guys out there and get them in the flow,” Holliday said. “Between Bryce and Kale Davis and Roman Phansalkar and Ryan Bogusz those were all debuts. Those were good prospects and were excited about the upside on all those guys.”

Cowboys need some power

OSU might not be the power hitting team they were last year with the graduation of sluggers Trevor Boone and Collin Simpson. That’s not to say the Cowboys don’t have guys that can hit one out of the park, though, as Alix Garcia did just that in Saturday’s 6-4 win. The Cowboys didn’t have a lot of hard-hit balls as they drove in the majority of their runs with the small ball. Once they start playing more games they’ll find a groove and hopefully get hot to ignite their offense. Carson McCusker, who only had one hit the entire weekend, needs to get his bat going like last year to get the offense going. He lead the team with a .311 batting average in 2019. Small ball is effective, but being able to hit one into duck street with guys on base can be more effective.

Solid lineup potential

Holiday will play around with the lineup order during the first month of the season, but I think there’s opportunity in the order after this weekend. As I mentioned earlier, Polcovich came in clutch multiple times in that third spot. Garcia fits into the cleanup spot nicely and can bring people in as well. Then Jake Thompson rounding out the middle of the order showed flashes of being able to generate some offense. If McCusker and Cade Cabbiness can get their bats going they can have some heavy hitters to round out the lineup as well.

What’s next

The Cowboys visit Arizona State on Tuesday in Phoenix. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. Central time.