Oklahoma State Baseball is returning to Omaha for the first time since 1999 and the team is ready to prove itself. The 41-20 Cowboys had a rollercoaster of a season on its way to the College World Series. Following early sweeps from North Carolina and Texas Tech; Cowboys got series wins vs. Michigan and TCU, which provided a needed sparks. Big 12 pitcher of the year Thomas Hatch and a defense that is 4th in the nation in turning double plays has led this team to the College World Series. Hatch has a 2.04 ERA with 105 strikeouts on the season, while the entire pitching staff ranked second in the Big 12 in ERA and strikeouts per nine innings. Hatch is projected to start game 1 vs. UC Santa Barbara.
This postseason, the Cowboys swept the regional playoffs shutting out Nebraska and limiting Clemson to two runs twice. They also beat South Carolina 5-1 and 3-1 to win the Super Regional. In the regional, the third best run-producing team in the Big 12 put up six or more runs in all three games; they accomplished this with good base running and small ball. The Cowboys stole three bases and laid down a sacrifice bunt in both games, which put runners in position for timely hitting. This aligns with how the Big 12 normally plays; six teams were in the top 100 in the nation for sacrifice bunts and four teams in the top 100 for stolen bases.
OSU will play UC Santa Barbara in its first game of the College World Series on Saturday with a first pitch at 2 p.m. Central Standard Time at TD Ameritrade Park. For all the players, this is their first trip to Omaha considering the last time OSU went to the CWS; the players were about 5 or 6 years old. Head Coach Josh Holliday is familiar with this tournament because he has made three appearances as assistant coach at different schools before returning to Stillwater. The Cowboys are seeking its second national championship in team history, with the only one coming in 1959.
Thomas Hatch will be on the mound Saturday looking to continue his streak of 14 consecutive scoreless innings. The offense, which has seven players with 30 or more RBIs, will try to keep their bats alive against UCSB’s ace Shane Bieber.
Miami and Arizona join OSU in bracket 2; Florida, Coastal Carolina, Texas Tech and TCU play in bracket 1 and wouldn’t see OSU or any bracket 2 team until the final series.
The Cowboys are on a five game win streak and are prepped to go deep in this years College World Series.