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Midweek Update: Will The Nonconference Struggle Continue?



The Cowboys keep winning conference series, but have struggled in recent midweek games.

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

In The Polls (As of April 20)

Collegiate Baseball: 9th (10th last week) 15th (15th last week)
USA Today: 15th (14th last week)
NCBWA: 15th (14th last week)
Baseball America: 17th (17th last week)
RPI: 26th (15th last week) 

Midweek Opponent

No. 15 Dallas Baptist (29-8, 10-5 Missouri Valley)
All-Time Series: OSU leads 7-4
Most recent: DBU 7-4, May 15, 2012
6:00 p.m., Allie P. Reynolds Stadium
Live: Stillwater Radio 93.7 FM, Twitter: @OSUBaseball

Continuing with the grueling midweek schedule, the Cowboys host No. 15 Dallas Baptist tonight. This should be one of the best matchups of the week; the Patriots have the best RPI ranking in the country. They also had a 12-game win streak earlier this season, which included a 17-3 win over Baylor and a four-game sweep of Oral Roberts in Tulsa.

Dallas Baptist jumped to the NCAA in 2004, and has had quite a bit of success in that time. Just in the past four years, the Patriots have made three Regional appearances, including a win in 2011.

OSU’s pitchers will have their work cut out for them: DBU is ninth in the country in scoring, at 7.5 runs per game. They hit .298 as a team, and their 35 home runs ranks them 26th. Head coach Dan Heefner is another successful young coach, similar to Holliday, so expect a great game in Stillwater tonight.

Players To Watch:

2B Drew Turbin (.356, 4 3B, 3 HR, 40 R)
RF Tagg Duce (.351, 5 HR, 30 RBI)
RHP Brandon Koch (0.81 ERA, 8 SV, 36 K in 15 app)

Three Things To Watch 

  1. Michael Freeman has picked up a loss in each of his previous two starts, but it’s not him I’m worried about. The offense has provided just three runs in those two games, which means Freeman’s one or two mistakes were more costly for the team. I wonder if Holliday will take a different offensive approach for Freeman’s next start.
  2. Let’s talk about Corey Hassel for a second. Used mostly as a late-game defensive substitute last season, the senior from Stillwater leads the team in batting average and slugging percentage, while committing just one error this season. He isn’t often recognized, but he’s an important reason the offense didn’t drop off when Donnie Walton was injured.
  3. I think Tyler Nurdin won a permanent spot in the rotation after his performance yesterday. That looked like the Nurdin from 2013, the one with pinpoint accuracy and an ability to make hitters look foolish. If he keeps pitching at this level, I’d argue that the Cowboys have one of the best starting rotations in the country. That’s a great thing to have in Omaha.


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