Oklahoma State baseball: Josh Holliday coaching era begins Friday

The Cowboys open the regular season at No. 21-ranked New Mexico.
BY ANTHONY SLATER, Staff Writer Modified: February 14, 2013 at 8:13 pm •  Published: February 14, 2013

STILLWATER — Jarrett Higgins led Oklahoma State in stolen bases last season.

He's got blazing speed, gap-to-gap defensive ability and a quick bat. And more likely than not, when OSU opens its baseball season Friday at No. 21 New Mexico, he'll be the first player to dig into the box.

But Higgins can't tell you that for sure. Because the coaching staff hasn't told him.

“Nobody really knows (the lineup),” Higgins said. “And I think that's what's making us better. Because if somebody knows, that person may slack off. So it's been good not to know. They really don't tell us at all.”

Welcome to the new era of Cowboy baseball. The Josh Holliday era, complete with a no-nonsense approach, traditional tactics and newfound excitement for a once-proud program.

“They make us more of a team,” Higgins continued. “They make us understand the definition of the team, which make us understand what a team is supposed to be. They give us a reason to be a team, so I like that about them. Everything's really organized.”

But the question, at least in year one, is whether OSU will field a better team.

The Cowboys, under former coach Frank Anderson, finished fifth in the Big 12 last season, missing out on the NCAA Tournament. This season, still largely filled with Anderson-recruited players, OSU was picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll.

Holliday and his stacked coaching staff (including pitching guru Rob Walton) seem to have an effective recruiting plan (with a star-studded class coming in next year).

But 2013 isn't about how he can recruit. It's about pure coaching.

And up to this point, Holliday seems pleased with the initial results.

“I'm starting to get a good vibe from the team, as far as their energy for each other,” Holliday said. “They're anxious to play. I think there's a good mix of some speed in the lineup, some hand strength there where we'll be able to drive some runs in the middle of the order.”

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