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Midweek Update: Freeman Continues To Carry OSU



This team gets better each week, but has a challenging week coming up.

Here’s a look at where they stand in the national polls, some info on the upcoming game against in-state rival Oral Roberts and three things to watch this week.

In The Polls (As of March 30)

ESPN Power Rankings: 7th (Unranked last week)
Collegiate Baseball: 11th (12th last week)
USA Today: 16th (23rd last week)
NCBWA: 17th (21st last week)
Baseball America: 17th (23rd last week) 20th (Unranked last week)

Midweek Opponent

Oral Roberts (17-9, 8-1 Summit League)
6:30 p.m., J.L. Johnson Stadium, Tulsa
All-Time Series: OSU leads 34-29
Most recent: OSU 8-3, May 13, 2014
Live: Stillwater Radio 93.7 FM, Twitter: @OSUBaseball 

As grueling as the Big 12 will be this year, Josh Holliday has built a schedule made to challenge the Cowboys during the middle of the week as well. This time, OSU will take a road trip to Tulsa to play the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.

It will be just the second game back for pitching coach Rob Walton, who spent nine seasons as the head coach for ORU. Third-year coach Ryan Folmer, a former Walton assistant and teammates with Holliday at OSU, has put together an offensive-minded team that leads the Summit League. As a team, ORU hits .308 (12th best in NCAA) with a .396 on-base percentage (23rd).

The Golden Eagles have won seven in a row, and also have wins against OU and Texas Tech this season, so this midweek contest will be no cakewalk. At least six relievers have 10+ innings of work, so expect to see ORU go to the bullpen if their pitchers get in trouble. These rivalry games always have a bit more energy, and with a visit from Texas looming, the Cowboys must make sure not to overlook this game.

Players To Watch:

1B Anthony Sequiera (.351/.466/.532, 3 HR, 25 RBI)
C Matt Whatley (.333, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 8 SB)
SP Bryce Howe (1-1, 3.65 ERA, 12 K in 12.1 innings)

Three Things To Watch 

  1. Tyler Nurdin didn’t pitch at all last week, and hasn’t played since the loss to TCU. I haven’t heard anything, but he did struggle with injuries most of last season and possibly at the start of this year too. If he is hurt, it would be a shame: he was finally starting to regain his 2012 form that saw him become a breakout star for the pitching staff. Hopefully we’ll hear more info soon.
  2. I’ll look at this a bit more on Friday, but OSU owns a 34-56 record against the Longhorns, the only conference team with a winning edge over the Pokes. However, under Holliday the Cowboys are 6-3 against UT.

    Regardless, this is an extremely talented squad with a legendary coach and this will be one of the best conference series we’ll see all year. If OSU can win a 10th straight conference series, it will own tiebreakers against UT and TCU and will have firm control of the Big 12 title race.
  3. Your weekly Michael Freeman update: This is turning into one of those seasons that he’ll put his name into the record books a handful of times. He’s been named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for the third time in a row, a feat no other Cowboy has achieved. Only two conference pitchers (Harrison Musgrave, WVU 2013 & Ryan Rupe, A&M 1998) have won the award four times in a season.

    There might be a slight concern with the workload: his last three starts he’s thrown at least 100 pitches, and he’s already thrown three times the amount of innings as last season. We should start to see how durable he is over the next few weeks.


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