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Big 12 baseball: Are Cowboys surging toward NCAA regional host status?

The Cowboys have a history of hosting NCAA regionals. And that, too, is in play, with little more than a week remaining in the regular season, followed by the Big 12 Tournament.
by John Helsley Published: May 8, 2014
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There’s a throwback feel to this Oklahoma State baseball team.

They find a way to win.

They win a lot.

And there’s a toughness and confidence and a will to win that’s reminiscent of the Gary Ward days in Stillwater.

“People are producing,” said Cowboys first baseman Tanner Krietemeier. “The pitching is going real well. Hitters are doing their job. It’s a very confident team right now.”

And a streaking team, riding six straight weekend series wins to the top of the Big 12 standings and as high as No. 7 in the national rankings at 35-13 overall. Among those 35 wins, 21 are come-from-behind verdicts, including four walk-offs.

“That’s not something that every club is able to draw up on a daily basis, but these kids have,” Cowboys coach Josh Holliday said of his team’s rally readiness. “Good bunch. They like each other. And they’ve been very true to our uniform in how they’ve played.

“It plays to the DNA quality this program has in its history.”

Also in the Cowboys’ DNA past: a history of hosting NCAA regionals. And that, too, is in play, with little more than a week remaining in the regular season, followed by the Big 12 Tournament.

Holliday refuses to focus on that. For now, anyway.

His club still faces conference series at Kansas State and against Oklahoma, with a league title on the line as OSU and TCU are tied at 13-5 in Big 12 play.

“I really focus on just staying in the moment,” Holliday said. “That is really, in my experience, the required thought process to be successful from start to finish.

“If you allow yourself to kind of judge where you’re at early in the year, you can get fooled. If you let a struggle in the middle of the year define you, you can get fooled. And if you let success later in the year make you think you’ve done something, you can get fooled.”

Nationally, the perception is that OSU is firmly in play for a regional host role. The Cowboys, winning six straight and 20 of their last 25, have bolstered their RPI, rising to No. 27. Baseball America as OSU hosting in its latest bracketology.

“Sweeping Arizona State was a huge boon for the Cowboys, who climbed 13 spots to No. 27 in the RPI and have a manageable finishing stretch ahead,” wrote Baseball America’s Aaron Fitt. “They’ll need to stay hot to finish inside the Top 25, which would greatly help their cause.”

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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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