The scouts come in droves, flocking toward the ballpark, radar gun in hand.
Packed into seats behind the plate, they casually chat between innings but intently observe during them, scribbling notes about Oklahoma State's hard-throwing lefty.
He throws on Fridays. They come on Fridays.
“It's the Andrew Heaney Fan Club,” outfielder Gabe Weidenaar joked. “They love to watch his every move.”
And with each dominant outing, that club rapidly expands.
Through five starts, Heaney has a 4-1 record, leading the Big 12 in ERA (0.92) and innings pitched (39). His 52 strikeouts are tied for most in the nation.
Two weeks ago, he had his best collegiate performance.
In a 2-0 win over Alabama A&M, Heaney threw a complete-game shutout, needing only 98 pitches for 13 strikeouts.
One week later, he nearly equaled that.
In a 14-0 win over Houston, Heaney threw another complete game, needing only 91 pitches for eight strikeouts, becoming the first Cowboy pitcher to throw back-to-back shutouts since Matt Smith in 1998.
“I just feel like his delivery is so smooth,” Weidenaar said. “Everybody knows he throws gas, but his delivery is so smooth that it comes out of his hand way harder than it seems like it would.”
But none of this should come as a complete surprise. He always had the stuff.
Lettering four years at Putnam City High School, Heaney was highly recruited. Before choosing Oklahoma State, Heaney was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 24th round of the 2009 MLB Draft.
Attention comes when you're a slender lefty who sits around 93-95 miles per hour. Scouts drool when you add controlled breaking pitches to that.
Currently, mock drafts are projecting Heaney as a mid-second round pick. As of late, he's only helping that stock.
“He's got big league stuff,” OSU coach Frank Anderson said. “Similar to Andy (Oliver) or Tyler (Lyons) or any of those guys that have been here that are in the big leagues.”
But the first half of his OSU career wasn't without its bumps.
After a productive freshman year, Heaney started last season as the Cowboys' ace. Early on, he performed like one.
After four starts in 2011, the Oklahoma City native was 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA.
Then Big 12 play came. Then Heaney imploded.
“It started with that first bad start against Kansas,” Heaney said. “Had a bad outing and I started pressing, trying to do too much. I think I let it affect me.”
Mentally, he was out of it. Physically, well, he just stopped getting outs.
By the end of the year, Heaney was exiled to the bullpen, struggling to get innings as a long reliever.
As OSU's once-promising season crumbled at the Nashville Regional, its sophomore ace turned mop-up specialist was left to wonder.
“It was frustrating,” Heaney said. “At that time we were going through a slump, and if I had been pitching my best, things might have gone different. If I'm pitching well, maybe I win a big game and get us going. Instead, I'm stuck in the bullpen not helping the team.”
So, as Heaney and the Cowboys prepare for Missouri and the start of Big 12 play on Friday, the obvious question is lingering: Could a similar implosion be waiting for Heaney in conference play?
Anderson brushes it off, ensuring everyone that Heaney's refined slider and polished mental game will be the difference. Teammates squash the thought, forgetting 2011 and pointing to his unhittable 2012 numbers.
Heaney mirrors that confidence, but he also shows a wary side.
“Everybody is saying ‘great job this year, look at all those strikeouts,' but I started off pretty hot last year, too,” Heaney said. “I know what it's like to just fall off the map pretty quick, so I'm just trying to avoid doing that. It's in the back of my mind, but it's in the back of my mind as fuel to try and motivate me not to let that happen again.”