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OSU Baseball: Cowboys’ Pitching Staff No-Hits Cal Baptist

The Cowboys’ pitching staff bounces back from a tough weekend.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — After a rough weekend in Arlington, the Cowboys’ pitching staff came back home and didn’t allow a hit.

Oklahoma State beat Cal Baptist 2-0 on Tuesday night in O’Brate Stadium, where five OSU pitchers combined for the no-hit effort. The group struck out 15, walked one and hit another with a pitch. This comes after a weekend in which the Cowboys gave up 32 runs across three games.

“It was a pretty fantastic job,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “The growth that happens from game to game inside of each player and inside of the team is part of the season. Some games allow you to grow through the joy of victory. Some games allow you to grow through the tough frustration of defeat and all those areas in between.

“A game like tonight can do tremendous things for your confidence. The games in Arlington served a purpose as well. We’ve come out of the chute playing some tough, good baseball teams. We have some guys getting their feet wet in all phases of the game, whether its position players getting their first tastes of this level or pitchers, and we’re doing it against elite competition. There is no built-in forgiveness to the schedule. It’ll continue to be that way. Tonight’s game helped our team grow. There’s no doubt about it.”

BYU transfer Janzen Keisel was phenomenal in his Oklahoma State debut. The 6-foot-4, 208-pound right-hander threw 5 1/3 hitless innings in which he struck out 11, walked one and hit one with a pitch. The in-stadium gun had Keisel’s fastball as high as 95 in the first inning, and he touched 94 through the fifth.

Although it was his first game in an OSU uniform, he played against the Cowboys as a freshman at BYU last season. At Globe Life Field in Arlington, Keisel started the Saturday game for the Cougars, throwing five scoreless innings while striking out six Cowboys.

“We knew the name, having faced him,” Holliday said. “Prepared for him last year, knew the name. Knew he was a good arm and knew it was the kind of arm that could be developed and had a real good ceiling, room to grow.

“Tonight was a good debut for him. He gave our pitching staff what they needed, which was a solid start. And then he took solid to another level — he was very good.”

The difference in the game was an eighth-inning home run from David Mendham. It was a two-run shot that also scored Roc Riggio, who walked to start the frame. Mendham belted the 2-2 pitch to left and gave a nice bat toss back toward his dugout to boot. It’s his first home run of the season. It went 382 feet and had an exit velocity of 100 mph.

Isaac Stebens was the first player out of Rob Walton’s bullpen, making his second appearance of the season. After throwing four scoreless innings against Vanderbilt on Saturday, Stebens threw another two against Cal Baptist, allowing no runs off no hits while striking out four of the seven batters he faced.

From there, Drew Blake, Evan O’Toole and Nolan McLean combined for the final 1 2/3 innings. McLean picked up his second save of the year, and his fastball clocked in at 99 mph on the in-stadium gun.

Aidan Meola also deserves some credit for the no-hit effort. OSU’s third baseman, Meola mad a pair of stellar plays in the field. The first came in the third when Josh Paino hit a ball hard to Meola’s right. Meola took to the dirt, snatched the ball and sent a one-hopper to Mendham at first for the out.

Then the no-hitter almost disappeared in the ninth when Jake Skipworth sent a chopper down the third-base line. Meola met the ball halfway down the line with a bare hand and threw Skipworth out.

“Aidan made some fantastic plays at third,” Holliday said. “… That’s how no-hitters are made.”

OSU is back in O’Brate this weekend for a three-game series against Loyola Marymount. First pitch for Friday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Josh Holliday’s Postgame News Conference

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