Oklahoma State baseball: Breaking down the Cowboys' 2013 team
The Cowboys have a new coach, Josh Holliday, and a lineup loaded with unknowns.
A look at the 2013 OSU baseball team
Coach: Josh Holliday, first season
Last year: 32-25 overall, 13-11 Big 12 (5th place)
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Glad he's back: OSU's lineup is loaded with unknowns, but third baseman Robbie Rea provides a stabilizing force in the middle. Rea, who played second last season, led the Cowboys in batting average (.324), on base percentage (.390) and RBIs (38), while also tying for the team lead with five homers.
Most missed: The steady left arm of Andrew Heaney is irreplaceable. Before the Oklahoma City native went ninth overall in the MLB Draft, he was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. Heaney went 8-2 with a 1.64 ERA in his junior season at OSU. He also had six complete games and led the nation with 140 strikeouts.
On the spot: Power-hitting outfielder Zach Fish arrived in Stillwater with high expectations, which only grew after the freshman smacked a grand slam in his first career home at-bat. But he struggled to hit the curve, striking out in waves, and eventually got benched. In Year 2, the coaches say he's improved. OSU better hope he has, with its roster void of big-time run producers.
X-factor: Fifteen months removed from Tommy John surgery, Jason Hursh will likely assume OSU's Friday role. Reportedly, he looked fantastic in summer ball and has continued to grow under pitching guru Rob Walton. To compete at the top of the Big 12, you need a dominant pitcher. Can Hursh be that?
Touch 'em all: The Cowboys were picked fifth in the preseason conference poll, the same spot they ended last year. Can OSU's new coaching staff, with a similar roster, exceed expectations?
2013 OSU baseball schedule
Feb. 15 — at New Mexico, 6 p.m.
Feb. 16 — at New Mexico, 3 p.m.
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