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A Look At Just How Dominant OSU’s Pitchers Have Been This Postseason



Oklahoma State is headed to Omaha after a two-game sweep of South Carolina in the super regionals. The Cowboys are a perfect 5-0 in the NCAA tournament and will be making their first College World Series appearance since 1999.

The Cowboys continued to ride their hot pitching staff to a fifth consecutive victory in the tournament having allowed just four runs along the way.

After being switched from the Closer spot, Tyler Buffett dominated the Gamecocks just as Thomas Hatch did in game one. Buffett was near flawless in the victory, giving up just one in seven innings of work. Like Hatch, Buffett pitched to contact instead of trying to overpower the South Carolina lineup.

“I never lost confidence in the guys behind me, my catcher and my pitching coach,” Buffett told Go Pokes. “I knew the right pitches were going to be going down, and the couple hits that they got, it seemed like I made a good pitch and they just found a hole. It was really just a matter of telling myself to keep making pitches and trust that the guys behind me are going to make plays.”

Buffett took advantage of an umpire that was calling strikes off the plate and forced South Carolina to reach for pitches, leading to weak contact. The seventh round selection by the Astros would pitch primarily down in the zone, inducing 11 groundball outs.

The move Josh Holliday made to switch the roles of Buffett and Trey Cobb is the most important change Holliday made all season long. Buffett surrendered a single run in 14 innings and Cobb has finished four of the Cowboys’ five tournament wins.

In the fifth inning, OSU had runners on the corners and Corey Hassel down a perfect safety-squeeze bunt to score Jon Littell and put the Cowboys on the board. Donnie Walton would then drive home J.R. Davis to add another run and Hassel would score as the catcher would overthrow second on steal attempted by Walton. These three would be all OSU needed in the ball game.

The OSU offense didn’t need to be stellar in this game with the way Buffett was pitching and Holliday knew that. South Carolina ace Clarke Schmidt also used the large zone to his advantage forcing the Cowboys to play “small ball”.

This strategy paid off as OSU put the pressure on and the Gamecocks crumbled, making two critical errors that led to three runs scoring. The Cowboys showed the grit and mental toughness it couldn’t find in the regular season to advance to Omaha as arguably the hottest team in the country.

The first stage of the CWS is similar to format of the regional with four teams participating in a double-elimination tournament for a spot in the championship series. OSU will be paired with another team fresh off a super regional in UC-Santa Barbara who knocked national seed Louisville in two games. The other two teams in the pool will be Arizona and No. 3 Miami, which is the only one-seed from this side of the bracket.

As one of two remaining undefeated teams the Cowboys are as dangerous as a team can be right now. After postgame euphoria OSU will realize that its recipe of dominant pitching and timely hitting makes it legitimate threat to win a national championship.

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