The ideal scenario for OSU: finish high in the Big 12 standings, with a strong overall record, and push the RPI at least toward No. 50.
The key could be Hursh, who started so strong, yet has been battered in his last two series-opening outings, losses to Texas and Kansas. The best recipe for series wins involves Friday night success, putting the pressure and the rally caps on the opposing dugout.
“Jason hasn't pitched his best the last two times out, no question,” Holliday said. “He hasn't been as sharp. But I think that's a growth process. Remember, it's a redshirt sophomore who didn't pitch last year. He's a guy who's still honing his craft.”
Hursh is the closest thing the Cowboys have to an ace, a power pitcher capable of dominating. Even with his two subpar outings, his earned run average remains stout at 2.63. So there's clearly plenty to work with.
“You come out aggressive and you establish yourself early in the year and people try to make adjustments back to handling you,” Holliday said. “It's his opportunity to make adjustments back to the competition — which is to make sure that he's getting in the locations that he was using early in the year and not relying on power alone to beat the bat, but rather to beat the bat with location and movement.”
It's adjustment time for Hursh.
And for the Cowboys.
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Big 12 baseball: Up next for OSU and OU
Friday: at TCU, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: at TCU, 4 p.m.
Sunday: at TCU, 1 p.m.
Tuesday: at Missouri State, 6:30 p.m.
April 19: Kansas State, 7 p.m.
April 20: Kansas State, 3 p.m.
April 21: Kansas State, 1 p.m.
Friday: at Baylor, 6:35 p.m.
Saturday: at Baylor, 3:05 p.m.
Sunday: at Baylor, 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday: Arkansas-Little Rock, 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
April 19: New Orleans, 6:30 p.m.
April 20: New Orleans, 2 p.m.
April 21: New Orleans, 1 p.m.