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Report Card: OSU Baseball Loses Ugly Opener to Grand Canyon 6-1

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It wasn’t supposed to go the way it did, but to quote former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, “That’s the way baseball go.”

The Oklahoma State baseball lost its season opener 6-1 against Grand Canyon University in Phoenix on Friday night. Preseason All-American Tyler Buffett got the start, and Grand Canyon got to him early. Jake Wong started on the other side, and he had a career-high seven strikeouts in six innings. GCU averaged six a game last year, per the broadcast last night.

It wasn’t good, so what happened? Let’s hand out some grades.

Tyler Buffett: D-

He just couldn’t hit his spots. Buffett made only three starts this past season, coming in mostly as the set-up guy for a rotation that proved to be stellar. Buffett will be fine. He was a preseason All-American.

For some reason on Friday, though, no matter how many trips pitching coach Rob Walton made to the mound, Buffett had catcher Travis Wacker moving all night.

Line: 4 IP, 8 hits, 5 runs, 5 Ks, 1 walk

Bats: D

The only reason this wasn’t an F was because of the relative expectations. The lineup lost the first four hitters (when healthy): J.R. Davis, Corey Hassel, Donnie Walton and Conor Costello. Even still, it was poor for a College World Series team. Things will improve, I’m sure, but phew, that was rough.

Line: 1 run, 4 hits, 5 left on base, 10 Ks, 3 walks

Baserunning: C-

I probably expected too much, but one stolen base wasn’t aggressive enough. OSU was 1-1 in steal attempts. Garrett McCain, Ryan Sluder, Jon Littell, Andrew Rosa and Jacob Chappell can run.

I was confused why they didn’t. Rosa provided good running in the top of the fifth with a single that he stretched into a three-bagger because of an error. He was left on base, though.

Line: 1 stolen base, 1 steal attempt

Gloves: B

It was solid but not flashy as it was last year. There is potential for it to be, though, which is encouraging. I don’t think OSU will ever find a second baseman as fluid as Davis was last year, but Rosa looked good.

He has been around for a while, so I thought he and Chappell at shortstop made a good pair. But again, you have to replace a First Team All-Big 12 middle infield (still sad).

Line: 1 error

OSU will play Grand Canyon again on Saturday at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

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