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Oklahoma State baseball: Unselfish duo of Aaron Cornell, Saulyer Saxon leaving strong imprint on Cowboys

As seniors dealing with part-time roles, these co-op Cowboys have influenced the nation’s No. 6-ranked club most with their unselfishness. And not only in relation to each other, but in sharing time with youngsters within a roster bursting with evolving talent.
by John Helsley Published: May 12, 2014
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                 Oklahoma State senior Aaron Cornell has played a key role in the Cowboys’ success this season. 
                   Photo by KT King, For The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State senior Aaron Cornell has played a key role in the Cowboys’ success this season. Photo by KT King, For The Oklahoman

— Aaron Cornell looks at Saulyer Saxon and sees someone strikingly familiar.

Someone a lot like … him, only in reverse.

“I look at Saulyer as my left-handed twin,” said Cornell, the right-handed version of a modest Oklahoma State outfield platoon. “Saulyer does a lot of the same things I do, but from the left side.

“We kind of work in unison. We’re not on the field at the same time, but we take each other’s part. We’re one player, a switch-hitting player that can play outfield, hit at the top of the lineup, can bunt and do the same things.”

While true, those are but the details in assessing the overriding Saxon-Cornell impact on the team.

As seniors dealing with part-time roles, these co-op Cowboys have influenced the nation’s No. 6-ranked club most with their unselfishness. And not only in relation to each other, but in sharing time with youngsters within a roster bursting with evolving talent.

“They’ve given countless moments,” said OSU coach Josh Holliday. “Whether I pinch-hit for one of them in a tough situation – and I know they’d rather hit – they give way to the other player and they immediately turn and root for the other player

“Just the fact that they get it, and the overall performance of our team means more than their individual moments, I’m lucky. We’re lucky – there’s no I – we’re lucky. Personally, I appreciate them for that.”

Saxon has started 32 of OSU’s 51 games and played in 47. Cornell has 12 starts, with appearances in 30 games. Their stats are solid, not spectacular, even when combined.

And yet, each is considered a vital piece of a Cowboys club that stands 38-13 overall and 16-5 in the conference, in position to claim the program’s first Big 12 regular-season championship heading into this week’s Bedlam series.

Vital as contributors on the field, yes.

Vital, too, in the locker room and dugout and elsewhere.

“Saulyer Saxon asked me if he could room with (freshman) Ryan Sluder and help him grow up and teach him about college baseball and get him ready for his roles,” Holliday said. “Little things like that may seem trivial, but man, in the big picture they’re everything.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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