By John Helsley, Staff Writer
For the first time this year, the start of the college baseball season has been legislated to keep all teams on a uniform schedule. So the regular season begins Friday. That’s when the Cowboys open at home against Gonzaga in the first game of a four-game weekend series.
OSU, after its run to a Super Regional in 2007, is being seen as a fringe Top 25 club entering the season. An NCAA Tournament team, yet a team with something to prove, primarily on the mound.
In their preseason package, Rivals.com ranks the Cowboys fifth in the Big 12 behind Texas, Missouri, Baylor and Texas A&M.
Rivals college baseball expert Kendall Rogers’ quick take on the Cowboys, within what he terms a very competitive conference:
“Oklahoma State hopes to receive great production from talented transfers Matt Hague and Luis Flores…”
The Pokes have proven producers in SS Jordy Mercer and 1B Rebel Ridling, yet Hague and Flores are indeed two players to watch.
Hague, a third baseman is a transfer from Washington, just like the Cowboys star he replaced, Tyler Mach. OSU can only hope he’s as good. And he might be. Hague was an 11th round draft pick by Cleveland last summer, after popping 13 home runs and hitting .353 for the Huskies.
Flores, a catcher, spent last season at Houston, where he hit .263 and showed some pop with nine home runs. In 2006, he was a Freshman All-American according to Baseball America and Louisville Slugger.
While the two transfers could figure prominently in OSU’s season, the most pressing development figures to come on the mound, where Andy Oliver and Joe Kent are the holdovers among many newcomers.
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