As one of the many quirks in baseball, players often form a sort of love affair with their gloves. It has to sit a certain way on the bench. It has to stay clean. No one else can put their hand in it.
Bats are a different story. Sure, there are some low-key superstitions — Oklahoma State outfielder Gage Green has a religious tape job featuring a Gatorade cap on the end to make for a wider knob, and Oklahoma freshman Austin O’Brien is constantly wearing batting gloves and holding his bat in the dugout. In general, though, bats are less personal.
A glove is like a companion, a literal extension of yourself. A bat is a weapon with the sole purpose of wreaking havoc on the opposition.
“It doesn’t matter if you were to throw your bat down, it’s not going to change shape,” said Sheldon Neuse, an OU infielder and the Big 12 Freshman of the Year. “If you throw your glove around or you don’t really take good care of it, then you have to go get another one or it’s not going to perform the way you need it to.
“As for a bat, its job is to go hit things.”
That doesn’t mean players aren’t selective about their bats.
OU has a contract with Louisville Slugger/TPX that provides the school with its pick of the brand’s bats. Some OU players swing the latest TPX models, but Neuse is sticking with a green-and-white TPX Omaha. He said it feels more balanced in his hand.
Most OSU players use the latest version of the DeMarini Voodoo, a two-piece bat with a slick dark barrel.
The Cowboys have an exclusive contract with DeMarini, which coach Josh Holliday said he handpicked.
Zach Fish, an OSU outfielder and the Big 12 Player of the Year, finished second in the conference with 10 home runs in the regular season. He is one of a few Cowboys using last year’s version of the Voodoo, opting for familiarity over newness.
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