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OSU Baseball: Holiday Throws Complete Game as Cowboys Advance to Regional Final

Holiday bested a projected top-10 pick.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

PHOTOS

STILLWATER — As Brian Holiday bolted out of the dugout in the ninth inning and did his signature hop over the third-base line, O’Brate Stadium rose to its feet, just as it did when Holiday went into the dugout at the end of the eighth.

Holiday threw a complete game in Oklahoma State’s 7-1 win against Florida, as the Cowboys advanced to the Regional final. Holiday was part of a premier pitching matchup that saw last season’s NJCAA JUCO World Series Most Outstanding Pitcher go up against Florida’s Jac Caglianone, a projected top-10 pick. The score is evident, Holiday got the better of his fellow Tampa, Florida native, as he gave up just two hits in his nine innings of work while walking one and striking out 10.

When he recorded his game-ending strikeout, Holiday with his hand underlined the “State” across his jersey.

“At the end of the day, I had to go out there and get the job done for the last inning,” Holiday said. “I really wanted that. Seeing the crowd kind of get into that, too, that was pretty cool.”

Holiday took a shutout into the ninth. After forcing a groundout to end the eighth, he coolly headed to the OSU dugout as an outstanding crowd of 5,593 gave him a standing ovation. He finished having thrown a season-high 131 pitches. With the nine innings of work, Holiday’s season ERA is down to 2.80 on the season.

“I felt like it wasn’t necessarily something like he was just completely overpowering anybody,” Florida left fielder Tyler Shelnut said. “He was able to locate his fastball in and out, slider up and down. When he wanted to make you chase a pitch, he could throw it for a ball. When he wanted to land it for a strike, he’d land it for a strike. Wherever his intent was, he was doing. He didn’t miss over the middle of the plate very often. I know he didn’t to me at all, all night. So I think he just made a lot of really good pitches and especially when it mattered.”

Caglianone, as a hitter, did get the better of Holiday in the ninth when he torched a leadoff home run to center field.

As a pitcher, Caglianone threw five innings, giving up four runs off seven hits while walking two and striking out eight. He gave up four home runs to the Cowboys after having given up just four home runs during the entire season to that point.

Home Runs in Pairs

You’ve probably heard of Noah’s Ark, but have you heard of Nolan’s Ark? Like Noah’s, Nolan’s works in pairs.

The Cowboys’ first four runs came off solo home runs, as the Pokes went back-to-back in the first and back-to-back against in the third. Nolan Schubart was responsible for two of those round-trippers, starting with a nuke in the first that might still be in the air somewhere over Arkansas. It allegedly landed 475 feet from home plate.

“Didn’t really feel it too much,” Schubart said. “Kind of blacked out after I hit it with the the adrenaline rush. It was pretty cool in that moment with the crowd atmosphere and everything and what this means this late in the season.”

Zach Ehrhard followed it with a 400-footer to left. And Aidan Meola almost made it back-to-back-to-back with a shot to left-center that was initially ruled a home run before a review deemed it fan interference, putting Meola on second.

Carson Benge then drilled one to left-center in the third. It was a 420-foot no doubter. Sometimes players take a hard first few steps before realizing the ball is gone and settling into their home-run trot, but Benge must’ve known instantly, as he went straight into the trot setting.

Then Schubart came back to the dish and walloped another one out of the park to right. His second, like Benge’s, went only 420 feet.

The Cowboys didn’t go back-to-back in the seventh, but Meola hit a home run that scored a pair of runs. No fan interference necessary this time, as Meola hit a ball 431 feet to left.

So, it was 6-0 with all of the Cowboys’ runs coming from the long ball. The Pokes have now hit 118 home runs this season. That’s the most OSU has hit in a season since clobbering 132 in 1999. After hitting 108 last season, this is the first time OSU has hit the century mark in back-to-back seasons since 1996 and 1997 (Michael Jordan-like stuff).

Later in the seventh, freshman second baseman Avery Ortiz proved the Pokes were capable of scoring without the ball leaving the yard when he singled to left, scoring Ian Daugherty from second base.

The Final Awaits

OSU will next play at 6 p.m. Sunday against the winner of a game between Florida and Nebraska that will start at 1 p.m. The Gators beat the Cornhuskers 5-2 on Friday.

Should the Cowboys win Sunday night, they’d make their first Super Regional since 2019. If the Pokes lose Sunday, they’d play whoever beat them again on Monday.

OSU hasn’t been the College World Series since 2016.

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