STILLWATER — Dusty Harvard glanced across the Oklahoma State dugout at Davis Duren and jokingly conceded that his teammate probably deserved the tag of leadoff man.
Well, through the first inning anyway. "Me and Davis, we’re pretty much two leadoff guys,” said Harvard, who’s been starting things from the No. 9 slot in the batting order. "Once we get through the order once and get to me, it can be pretty dangerous, especially with our speed on the bases. "If we can get on in front of each other and behind each other, we can do some damage.” OSU’s lineup isn’t so much built top to bottom, as it is top and bottom. Duren, the Cowboys’ second baseman, occupies the traditional leadoff spot at No. 1 in the lineup. And he’s among the Big 12’s best, leading the league with 25 stolen bases and carrying a .419 on-base percentage. But Harvard is excelling as a second fire starter. Despite a recent slump, he’s reaching base at a .379 clip and is a perfect 12-for-12 on steal attempts. He’s the one who ignited OSU’s 10th-inning rally against Oklahoma, using his speed and hustle down the line to force a bad throw at first base with two outs. Moments later, he scored the winning run on a wild pitch. "Harvard is going to put it in play most of the time,” said Cowboy coach Frank Anderson. "And run and get on and scrap. "That’s why Duren is No. 2 on our team in RBIs.” Duren, despite being assured of one at-bat per game with no one on base, has driven in 38 runs in 34 games from the top spot in the lineup and currently has a 16-game hitting streak. Many thanks, of course, to Harvard and the guys in the bottom third of the order, who have given OSU a balance of scoring.