Former OSU pitcher Tyler Lyons reflects on 2008 season

Lyons, now with Triple-A Memphis, says “You can always lose, but if that wasn't a team that could get to Omaha, I don't really know what is exactly.”
BY ANTHONY SLATER Staff Writer aslater@opubco.com Published: June 30, 2012
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Ranked fifth in the country, Oklahoma State's 2008 baseball team entered its postseason regional as a national seed.

Hosting a trio of mid-majors viewed as minor speed bumps, Frank Anderson's talented club was supposed to return the prominent program back to Omaha.

But it didn't go as planned.

In a mysterious early morning decision, staff ace Andrew Oliver was ruled ineligible hours before he was supposed to take the mound.

Over the next two days, OSU lost a pair of heartbreakers to Wichita State, one on a game-winning grand slam off the foul pole. And in cruel fashion, the dream season abruptly ended.

That painful weekend still sticks with many involved, including Tyler Lyons, OSU's No. 2 starter that year.

Lyons, now in Triple-A with the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals affiliate), starts against the Oklahoma City RedHawks Sunday at 6 p.m.

And back in the state where that infamous weekend took place, Lyons talked about the disappointment, reflected on his OSU career and looked forward.

Do you still think about that 2008 season?

Yeah, that's a tough one to think about. Because for me, that was probably my favorite year, as far as being a contributor to an incredible team. We were ranked something like fifth or sixth toward the end of that year. We really had it rolling at the end of that year. And it would have been one thing to have lost and not had it turn out how it wanted to, but the way it played out makes you say, ‘What if?' So it's a tough one to swallow, but what can you do?

Everyone pegged that as a College World Series-type team.

Oh yeah. You can always lose, but if that wasn't a team that could get to Omaha, I don't really know what is exactly. That team had it all. We were in the top of the conference in pitching, top in hitting and we just did everything. Great group of guys and just tough to take what happened. Our coaches and other people said that was the type of team that could have won at Omaha because of the balance.

How much do you follow the current OSU sports scene?

Oh, I follow football and baseball a lot. I follow a lot of the writers on Twitter and you guys make it really easy to follow. Whether it's keeping up inning by inning for a baseball game or reading some of those inside stories on football. It's fun to have that inside scoop and know what's going on. Because it's fun to follow and I like those behind the scenes stories.

Your college coach, Frank Anderson, was recently fired. Since then, there has been some popular hires. What did you think about how this has played out?

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