STILLWATER — Randy McCurry offers a smirky little grin while shaking his head, revealing just enough about his relationship with brother and teammate Brendan McCurry.
“Sometimes he's too much,” Randy said of his little brother. “Sometimes you've got to take him with a grain of salt and go on.
“I'm with him every day. I live with him. He tends to be too much sometimes.”
“A little turd,” Randy said, “not really listening to anything anybody says.”
Still, the McCurry boys are living their dream, playing together probably for the last time as Oklahoma State braces for the stretch run of this baseball season. And not just playing together, but playmaking together, each filling vital roles in a so-far solid season for the Cowboys entering this weekend's Bedlam series against Oklahoma.
Randy is the club's starting shortstop, doubling as a reliable swing man on the pitching staff. Brendan carries OSU's closer tag and offers middle infield depth.
“Randy and Brendan have been big pieces of our team,” said Cowboys coach Josh Holliday. “They've held down some of the most important, key roles that a ballclub has. A closer is critical to your success. And the shortstop is the glue to your defense.
“They're fun kids. They enjoy the game. They enjoy each other. They've got good personalities. They've done awfully well for us. We certainly wouldn't be where we are without them.”
What an unlikely family reunion for the boys from the tiny town of Tupelo in southern Oklahoma, considering it took Randy's bad luck as a sophomore, an arm injury at USC in the season opener — resulting in a redshirt year extending his career — to create this good fortune of sharing one more season.
A fifth-year senior, the rarest of players in college baseball, Randy's career sidetracked somewhat that night in Los Angeles, when he blew out his pitching elbow throwing warm-up tosses as he prepared to close against USC. Tommy John surgery was required, ending his season before it started.
It was a brutal blow at the time for Randy, who had tied the school record with 10 saves as a freshman. Yet his sticking around and sticking it out allowed Brendan the opportunity to reunite with big brother.