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OSU Baseball: Cowboys Earn 11 Seed in NCAA Tournament

Nebraska, Florida and Niagara are coming to Stillwater.

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[Devin Wilber, PFB]

STILLWATER — A pair of Power Five foes will join the Cowboys in O’Brate Stadium this upcoming weekend in the Stillwater Regional.

Oklahoma State earned the 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the selection show revealed Monday morning. Nebraska, Florida and Niagara will join the Cowboys for the Regional. OSU will open the Regional with a game against Niagara at 6 p.m. Friday in O’Brate Stadium.

“I didn’t really know what to think [about where OSU would be seeded], quite honestly,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “When you’re in the conference tournament, if you look at what the kids did over that last two-day span, they won three baseball games in the span of, what, 30 hours. I would imagine those three games had a lot to do with how things finished, right? So if you’re immersed in playing games and competing pitch to pitch as long as we were, you don’t necessarily have time to thing about those other things.

“I’ve said to you guys all along: nothing helps create your path better than taking care of your own business. The way the kids played there down the stretch, they essentially did everything we could to put ourselves in the best position possible. Once we did that, I felt good about whatever it was going to be because we did all we could as far as what we controlled. I figured we were probably somewhere in that range, but I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought, quite honestly. I was very much at peace with our focus and our effort, and outside of that, you just gotta kinda let things happen.”

The Cowboys enter the Stillwater Regional rather hot. Oklahoma State won the Big 12 Tournament, knocking off Oklahoma in the title game. That game might’ve kept the Sooners out of the highly coveted top-eight seeds, as they drew the 9 seed.

The Cowboys have won nine of their past 10 games with the only loss coming to UCF in the Big 12 Tournament before OSU turned around and avenged that loss the next day.

Nebraska, the 2 seed in the Stillwater Regional, also won its conference tournament. The Cornhuskers bested Penn State 2-1 in Sunday’s Big Ten title game. Like OSU, Nebraska entered its conference tournament as the 2 seed.

The last time the Cornhuskers and Cowboys met in a Regional provided one of the most electric moments in recent OSU baseball lore. Trevor Boone slammed a three-run home run through some signage at the Bricktown Ballpark to give OSU a ninth-inning lead.

Florida, the Stillwater Regional’s 3 seed, enters just a game over .500 on the season at 28-27, but the Gators do play in the vaunted SEC. Florida bowed out of the SEC Tournament just a game in. But Florida has series wins against Texas A&M and Georgia — two regional hosts — this season, and the Gators came oh, so close to winning their series against Kentucky, the 2 seed nationally. In mid-May, Florida beat Kentucky 10-1 in the middle game of its series but fell in extra innings in the other two.

Then there is Niagara. The Purple Eagles play in the MAAC and bring a 38-15 record into the Stillwater Regional. Niagara was the 2 seed in its conference tournament before winning it.

For those keeping track, the Stillwater Regional has three conference tournament champs and an SEC team that has hung around with some of the best teams in the country.

“We’re excited that it’s here in Stillwater, that’s for sure,” Holliday said. “As I told the kids last night in a message, it’s a double-elimination tournament. There’s gonna be four great teams. Teams that travel in here have obviously done something to get here. Who they end up being, and all the different things that go into it, really can’t be the mood-setter. The mood-setter is our team and the confidence we have in one another, the way we’re playing and just the joy of continuing to play. So, that’s been our thought process all along.

“When you actually find out who is coming, Niagara, who I don’t know a ton about yet — we’ll learn about soon. And then Nebraska, obviously a great run in the Big Ten. And Florida, a team that has tremendous talent over the years. Big-name programs, good coaches, good players — all the things you would expect in a Regional.”

Oklahoma State

Record: 40-17
Conference Record: 19-9 (Big 12)
Past 10 Games:
9-1
Batting Average:
.284
ERA:
4.06

Nebraska

Record: 39-20
Conference Record: 16-8 (Big Ten)
Past 10 Games:
8-2
Batting Average:
.291
ERA:
4.46

Florida

Record: 28-27
Conference Record: 13-17 (SEC)
Past 10 Games:
5-5
Batting Average:
.272
ERA:
6.27

Niagara

Record: 38-15
Conference Record: 20-4 (MAAC)
Past 10 Games:
8-2
Batting Average:
.306
ERA:
5.40

Josh Holliday’s Selection Show News Conference

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