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Rounding Third: Pokes move to 8-1

Everything you need to know about the week that was in OSU baseball.

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The Road To Omaha looks bright as a busy but successful week pushes OSU to 8-1. Here’s what you missed with Cowboy Baseball last week:

Offense Can Win Championships, Too

Last week I told you how this team loved to play smallball and grind out close victories. This week was a different story, as the Cowboys took on two overmatched opponents.

OSU outscored Alcorn State 33-5 in two midweek games, and 31-17 while taking three of four from Oakland. The team is hitting .294 and averaging 9.0 runs per game this season, up from .283 and 5.65 last season.

Rookies Get Experience

Josh Holliday has done a great job this season of getting playing time for the newcomers. In all, 16 new Cowboys have made their OSU debuts, with many of them having success.

Second baseman Tim Arakawa leads the team with five stolen bases, while DH Garrett Williams leads the team with an .833 slugging percentage. The new guys have made their mark on the mound too, with seven Cowboys combining for five wins and 42.1 IP. Getting these guys some early PT will be crucial when the Pokes enter Big 12 play.

Chasing The Record Book

When I say Zach Fish is having a season for the ages so far, don’t take it lightly. He’s hitting .424 with six doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs while slugging .788. Only two OSU players have hit .400 or better since 2000, the most recent being Ty Wright in 2007.

There have been only two OSU players who have slugged .700 or better since 2000 as well, with Corey Brown in 2007 the most recent. But the last Cowboy to put both of those numbers together in the same season? That would be Jeff Guiel in 1997, when he hit .418 with an .845 slugging percentage.

Fish would be just the eighth Cowboy to accomplish the feat.[1. Glenn Edwards, Pete Incaviglia, Robin Ventura (twice), Jimmy Barragan, Jeromy Burnitz, Danny DiPace and Guiel are the seven guys to do it. Quite a list.]

Last Week’s Results

Tuesday: OSU 17, Alcorn State 4

Winning Pitcher: Tyler Buffett (1-0)
Buffett: 4 IP, 1 R, 5 K
Krietemeier: HR (2), 5 RBI
Nine different Cowboys with an RBI

Wednesday: OSU 16, Alcorn State 1

Winning Pitcher: Garrett Williams (1-0)
Williams: 4.1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 5K
Case: 2-2, 3B, 3 R, 3 RBI
Walton: 2-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI

Friday: OSU 3, Oakland 2

Winning Pitcher: Jon Perrin (2-0)
Save: Brendan McCurry (3)
Perrin: 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 5 K
Krietemeier: HR (4)
Walton: GW sacrifice fly in the 7th

Saturday DH: OSU 10, Oakland 4

Winning Pitcher: Thomas Hatch (2-0)
Fish: 2-3, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI
Walton: 4-5, 3 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI

Saturday DH: Oakland 10, OSU 7

Losing Pitcher: Tyler Nurdin (0-1)
Nurdin: 3.1 IP, 7 R, 7 H
Walton: 2-5, HR (1), 3 RBI
Scored 4 runs in the 9th

Sunday: OSU 11, Oakland 1

Winning Pitcher: Michael Freeman (1-0)
Freeman: 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 7 K
Fish: 3-3, 2B, 3 RBI
G. Williams: 1-3, 4 RBI

In The Polls (As of Feb. 17)

NCBWA: 18th (19th last week)
Collegiate Baseball: 18th (18th last week)
Baseball America: Unranked[1. I have no idea why the Cowboys aren’t getting any love in the Baseball America poll. Texas and TCU are both above OSU in this poll, unlike the other three.]
USA Today: 18th [1. This poll hasn’t been updated since January 31.]

Offensive Player of the Week

Donnie Walton, So. SS

The sophomore from Tulsa had a monster week, hitting .500 (12-24) along with five doubles and his first homer of the season. He also added nine runs and 11 RBIs in helping the team to a 5-1 record this week.

Honorable mention goes to Tanner Krietemeier, who had three home runs and nine RBIs.

Pitcher of the Week

Tyler Buffett, Fr. RHP

This week’s honor goes to the freshman from Albuquerque, who made three relief appearances. He picked up a win while allowing just two runs and six hits in nine innings, striking out nine.

Team Stats Leaders

Batting Average: Walton, .429
Runs: Walton, 12
RBIs: Krietemeier, 12
HR: Krietemeier, 4
SB: Arakawa, 5
Wins: Jon Perrin & Thomas Hatch, 2
Innings: Hatch, 12.0
ERA: Michael Freeman, 0.00 (5.1 IP)
Strikeouts: Perrin, 12

Tweet of the Week

Upcoming Games

The Cowboys travel to Surprise, Arizona, this weekend for the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic. OSU will play four games in four days, starting with Gonzaga (2-6) on Thursday. Friday’s opponent is Manhattan College (1-3), followed by Santa Clara (5-4) on Saturday.

The team wraps things up Sunday against No. 19 Arizona State, who is off to a surprising 3-4 start.

What to Watch For

Watch to see how the Cowboys handle better opponents this weekend. Taking on Arizona State, despite the rough start, will be a good measure of where this team stands this early in the season.

Everything has looked easy so far for OSU, but there is room for improvement, especially among the newcomers. However, 8-1 is a great start and OSU should continue to rise in the polls. A successful weekend could see a push into the Top 10.

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