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Rounding Third: OSU baseball has best start in three years

3-0 for the Pokes with some impressive pitching showings in Arlington.

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A nod to Bill Platt with the title of our weekly OSU baseball roundup by Aaron Schnautz. Hope you enjoy.

The Road To Omaha is officially being paved as Josh Holliday & Co. start the second year of his reign undefeated.

Here’s that, and everything else you missed with Cowboy Baseball last week:

Cowboys Start The Season Perfect: A Novel

Cowboys Start Perfect, Ch. 1

Eleven new Cowboys made their first appearance as OSU took on Incarnate Word. Zach Fish and Tanner Krietemeier combined to go 5/10 with two homers and six RBIs, OSU stole five bases and the pitching did enough to secure a 10-5 win. It wasn’t pretty, but 1-0 looks better than 0-1.

Cowboys Start Perfect, Ch. 2

Freshman Thomas Hatch got his first start on the mound as the Cowboys faced Stephen F. Austin. He and two relievers combined to give up two hits and strike out 14, and Donnie Walton scores two runs as OSU wins, 3-1. The Pokes move to 2-0 and keep the dream of an undefeated season alive one more day.

Cowboys Start Perfect, Ch. 3

OSU looked to sweep the UTA/Hilton Invitational as they played UT-Arlington. Playing perfect smallball led to the second come-from-behind win of the weekend as the Cowboys beat UTA, 4-3. They return to Stillwater with an unblemished record, getting the program’s best start since 2011.

(Career) Records Are Made To Be Broken

Brendan McCurry’s two saves gives him 10 for his career, moving him into a tie for sixth on OSU’s career save list. The single-season record is 10, most recently tied by Brendan’s older brother, Randy. Jordy Mercer holds the career record at OSU, recording 17 saves from 2006-2008. McCurry needs two more saves to tie his brother for fourth on the list.

Tanner Krietemeier had six hits in 13 at-bats this weekend, giving him a team-leading .462 average. For reference, in the season Robin Ventura set the OSU single-season record for hits, he was 116/271 for a .428 average. TK led the team at .314 last season, but hitting .462 over the course of some 60 games would be incredibly difficult in today’s game. It will be fun to see how long he can keep this up, though.

Zach Fish is on pace for about 40 doubles this season, which would smash the OSU season record of 32, held by Jeff Guiel. Fish hit 17 last year, so 30 wouldn’t be a huge stretch for him. If he gets hot and maintains his discipline on breaking balls, he could make a run at that record.

Most Recent Results

Friday: OSU 10, Incarnate Word 5

Winning Pitcher: Alex Hackerott (1-0)
Hackerott: 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 K
Fish/Krietemeier: 5/10, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI

Saturday: OSU 3, Stephen F. Austin 1

Winning Pitcher: Thomas Hatch (1-0)
Save: Brendan McCurry (1)
Hatch: 6 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 8 K
Perrin/McCurry: 3 IP, 0 H, 6 K

Sunday: OSU 4, UT-Arlington 3

Winning Pitcher: Jon Perrin (1-0)
Save: Brendan McCurry (2)
Perrin: 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 K
McCurry: 2 IP, 0 H, K
Fish: 1/3, BB, SB, 2 R

Offensive Player Of The Week

Zach Fish, Jr. RF

Fish put on a power clinic this weekend, going 4/12 with a home run, two doubles and four RBIs. He leads the team with a .750 slugging percentage.

Pitcher Of The Week

Brendan McCurry, Sr. RP

In two appearances, the closer pitched a perfect three innings, allowing no hits, striking out four and getting two saves in the process. He has 10 career saves, tying him for sixth on the OSU career list.

Upcoming Games

The Cowboys return to Stillwater this week, but there is no rest for the weary. Six games are on tap, and with favorable weather all week, there shouldn’t be any cancelled to a freak blizzard. Alcorn State (0-3) visits Tuesday and Wednesday for a pair of games, and Oakland U (0-0) comes in for a four-game series this weekend. It’s a 1-2-1 series, meaning OSU will play a doubleheader on Saturday.

First pitch is 4 p.m. for both Alcorn State games, along with Friday’s Oakland game. Saturday’s first game is at 1 p.m., with game two tentatively scheduled for 4:30. A noon start time will close out the series on Sunday.

What to watch for

With six games this week, including a doubleheader on Saturday, how does Josh Holliday rotate everyone in and get playing time for his new players? He did a good job this weekend, getting 12 guys their OSU debuts. This team has a lot of depth, both on the bench and in the bullpen. Keep an eye on how the new guys handle their first innings in Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.

OSU’s 3-0 start is the best since the 2011 team also started 3-0. Since the turn of the century, the 2008 team has the best start at 6-0. You have to go back to 1995 to find a longer streak, when legendary coach Gary Ward rattled off 11 straight wins to open the season (that team started 19-2). If the Cowboys can win all six games this week, they will be 9-0 and threatening yet another record.

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