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Here’s How the OSU Cowboys Suddenly Cruised to The Super Regionals Over Clemson



With Sunday’s convincing victory over Clemson the Cowboys will advance to the super regionals. OSU easily took care of the Tigers for the second consecutive night winning in blowout fashion, 9-2.

The Cowboys will make their first super regional appearance since a 2014 loss to UC Irvine in Stillwater. OSU will await the winner of the Columbia regional final between South Carolina and UNC Wilmington on Monday night. OSU set the tone in the bottom of the first with an RBI double from Conor Costello who continued to be the offensive leader for the Cowboys.

Corey Hassel, who was later named Regional MVP, would add on with a towering fly ball that barely cleared the left center field fence to put the Cowboys up 5-0 in the fifth. This was that point at which a super regional berth began to look like a reality.

Right-hander Jensen Elliott earned his ninth victory of his freshman campaign with an absolutely dominant performance. Facing an offense that just got done clobbering Western Carolina, Elliott gave up just one hit in the first five frames.

Elliott pitched with more confidence than anyone on the entire staff has all season on Sunday. His fastball command was impeccable and his secondary pitches (Curveball, changeup) looked untouchable, which led to eight strikeouts in the game.

While Thomas Hatch and Tyler Buffett pitched very well, I think Elliott had the gutsiest performance of the trio. Regardless of who pitched best, OSU limited Clemson to just four runs in 18 innings of play at its home field, something that won’t go unnoticed.

Clemson showed signs of life after tallying runs in the sixth and seventh, but the Cowboys would re-assert their dominance after a no-doubt home run from Costello. This moonshot was put a stamp on the Cowboys impressive regional and solidified Costello as the MVP of this three-game stretch.

Trey Cobb would pitch the final three innings of the game in a non-nail-biting fashion to the Cowboys super regional ticket. After their role-reversal both Cobb and Buffett are both in situations that better suit them and I assume Josh Holliday will stick with this in the Supers.

The challenge in the regional round is teams are usually forced to use the deepest depths of their pitching staffs in three or four high-tension games. However, OSU made it out of the first weekend having used just five relievers to cover eight innings. The Cowboys will head in to next weekend feeling rested both physically and mentally after cruising through the regionals.

The super regionals will play like a typical three-game series, but with (much) higher stakes. This format will play into the Cowboys favor as they don’t have an overly-deep bullpen, but do have three capable starters that can win in pressure situations.

There are two key components in any teams that make a run to Omaha: pitching and momentum. Right now the Cowboys have both and they’re just two wins away. Coach Josh Holliday spoke like a man who knows the Pokes are rolling on Sunday evening.

“We’re thrilled with the way our kids played,” Holliday said. “We were very courageous and unified the entire tournament, and we came into an awesome venue against very, very quality competition and our kids played excellent baseball. Compliment to Clemson as a host and certainly as a team – we have great respect for the talent on the field. They came into this tournament very hot and an accomplished team, and we knew we would have to play well to navigate this tournament.

“It’s been a great experience for us, and I’m very proud of the kids… I’m excited about the future, and we look forward to continuing to play baseball together wherever and against whomever.”

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