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Big 12 baseball: Everyone contributing to Matt Oberste's big season

The OU first baseman says: “I'm having a lot of fun. So is my team; they're supporting me with all of it.”
by John Helsley Published: March 28, 2013

Oklahoma's Matt Oberste dropped a soft liner in front of Southern Cal third baseman Kevin Swick, then took off down the line.

With the bases loaded, teammate Jack Mayfield was hustling, too, digging from first base.

Swick hesitated, wanting to throw to second, but recognizing Mayfield would make it close, fired instead to first — late.

Base hit.

And Oberste's streak, while just halfway to the school-record-tying 27 games entering Thursday night's game against Kansas, was alive.

The anatomy of any long hitting streak — and this one ranks at the top in the Sooners' strong history, alongside Marty Neff — reveals a bloop or a break or two. Still, this streak isn't built on soft stuff. Far from it.

Oberste's .476 batting average led the nation this week. And his hitting stats dominate the Big 12, where he ranked first in hits (50), runs (27), home runs (7), runs batted in (34), total bases (82), on-base percentage (.544) and slugging percentage (.819), and ranked second in triples (3) and tied for second in doubles (9) before Thursday.

Former Oklahoma State star Robin Ventura holds the NCAA Division I record for consecutive games with a hit at 58, set in 1987. Florida International's Garrett Wittels gave it a run two years ago, finishing at 56.

“I'm having a lot of fun,” said Oberste, a junior first baseman from Sallisaw. “So is my team; they're supporting me with all of it.

“Honestly, I couldn't do it without them, because they're behind me all the way and they're doing little things no one else sees for me to get me where I am right now.”

Little things like Mayfield hustling or guys extending at-bats or games to get Oberste back to the plate. Or doing damage, preventing teams from pitching around him.

“The whole lineup in front of me and behind me is doing a great job of protecting me,” Oberste said. “I couldn't ask for anything more.”

The Sooners couldn't ask for more, either.

Cowboys Exceeding Expectations

Josh Holliday wasn't sure what to expect in his first season as coach at Oklahoma State.

Wasn't sure what he had, exactly.

So far, so good.

The Cowboys entered Thursday night's series opener against Texas with 19 wins and ranked as high as No. 18, after being picked for fifth place in the Big 12 preseason poll of coaches.

Continue reading this story on the...

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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