On the one-year anniversary of a massive tornado striking Moore, the West Virginia baseball players returned to the city they assisted following their morning practice on Tuesday.
After their appearance in the Big 12 Tournament last year, the team helped Mark and Katrina Ellerd clean up their home, which had been destroyed in the tornado.
The experience has made a lasting bond between the Mountaineers and the family.
“Mark and Katrina Ellerd, they’ve become friends of our program,” said West Virginia coach Randy Mazey. “We wanted to get with them and let them talk to the team and tell us how the last year has been. I think having them come out to their home site, which they don’t live at anymore, brought back a lot of memories for them. It definitely made a lasting impression on our players.”
Mazey’s squad also donated $4,000 in necessities to the victims last year.
“We’ve learned a lot from the people of Moore,” Mazey said. “Our kids won’t remember the scores of the games 20 years from now, but they’ll remember the impact of the people of Moore.”
Baylor coach Steve Smith and Kansas coach Ritch Price also commented on last year’s tornado.
“I have acquired a healthy respect for the citizens of Oklahoma because you’re tough,” Smith said. “It’s amazing the resilience that the people have shown.”
“What happened a year ago touched the hearts of our players,” Price said. “I was so proud of them when they pulled together a few thousand dollars of their own money and bought supplies and gave it to the Red Cross.”
OSU TO START NURDIN AGAINST OU
Oklahoma State will start junior Tyler Nurdin in Wednesday’s Bedlam game against Oklahoma.
The lefty has already seen the Sooners twice this season with mixed results. He got the win while surrendering just one run over five innings on April 1 in Norman, but gave up three runs in 31/3 innings of relief work two weeks later in Stillwater to take the loss.
The decision to go with Nurdin, who has typically been a mid-week starter for OSU, comes as a result of the Cowboys’ philosophy to give starters a full seven days of rest. Ace Jon Perrin started last Thursday against the Sooners and will be available after Wednesday.
BEDLAM TOURNAMENT HISTORY FAVORS OU
At least Wednesday, Oklahoma has history on its side in the Big 12 Tournament.
Since the league's inception, the Bedlam rivals have played eight times in the tournament. The Sooners have won each time.
Prior to that, though, postseason Bedlam contests favored Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were 21-6 against the Sooners in the postseason before Big 12 play began.
The teams last played in the tournament in 2012, when the Sooners won 1-0. Before that, they hadn't played since 2007.
Since Big 12 play began in 1997, the Sooners and Cowboys haven't played twice in the same tournament.
OSU’S FISH HEADLINES AWARD WINNERS
Oklahoma State’s Zach Fish was named Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, and Josh Holliday was named Coach of the Year on Tuesday.
Fish, a junior outfielder, batted .321 during the regular season with 38 RBIs and 10 home runs.
Oklahoma’s Sheldon Neuse received Freshman of the Year honors. TCU’s Preston Morrison was named Pitcher of the Year and Texas Tech’s Adam Kirsch was the Newcomer of the Year.
Catcher Gage Green, infielder Donnie Walton, starting pitcher Jon Perrin, and relievers Brendan McCurry and Vince Wheeland also made the All-Big 12 first team for OSU. For OU, Mac James made the first team along with Neuse.
The conference honors are voted on by the coaches.
Single-session, weekend session, and all-session tickets are currently on sale for the Big 12 baseball tournament at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Tickets can be purchased online through Ticketmaster, at the RedHawks‘ box office, through Big12Sports.com, or by calling the RedHawks at (405) 218-1000.
Single-session tickets range from $13-$37, weekend passes from $67-$87, and all-session tickets from $87-$202.
Baylor coach Steve Smith on scholarships and student-athlete compensation: “In several weeks the College World Series will take place, there will be upwards of 25,000 people there to watch the event, and the average player that they will see on the field that day will be a on a scholarship of 43 percent. The entire NCAA Tournament now generates about nine million dollars in profit for the NCAA. There’s something really, really wrong with that especially in a time we’re talking about we need to give (football and basketball) guys on full scholarships another four or five thousand dollars. And I know I’m not the only (coach) who agrees with that. I really wish, and I speak on behalf of all our coaches in this room, that somebody out there in the media would get ahold of that one and run with it, because it’s wrong.”
By Trent Shadid and Ryan Aber