Nebraska coach Darin Erstad is plenty familiar with Stillwater, having played at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium when the Cornhuskers and Oklahoma State were Big Eight Conference rivals.
“I remember standing on the warning track getting ready for pitches and watching them fly over my head and giving up 37 runs a game,” Erstad said. “We had tapes back then. They couldn’t rewind the tape fast enough for the next guy to hit the homer.”
Erstad, who played 14 seasons in the majors and won the 2002 World Series with the Angels, is one of 14 Division I coaches to have played in the majors. He’s one of just three former all-stars coaching. Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn coaches San Diego State, his alma mater, while Ed Sprague coaches Pacific.
Nebraska has steadily improved in Erstad’s time with the Cornhuskers and is in a regional for the first time since 2008.
Probably the most successful college coach to have played in the big leagues is Rice coach Wayne Graham. Graham has more than 1,000 wins and was recently inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. He played 30 games for the Mets and Phillies in 1963-64.
BUFFETT GOES ON K STREAK
Oklahoma State starting pitcher Tyler Buffett recorded six consecutive outs via strikeout early in OSU’s matchup against Binghamton on Friday in Stillwater.
After Bearcats designated hitter Brendan Skidmore struck out swinging to end the second, Buffett struck out three batters in the third and two more in the fourth before John Howell broke the streak with a fly out to right field. Buffett allowed two hits and a walk in between strikeouts.
He finished the night with six punch outs in 4 2/3 innings, tying his career high in K’s from when he went seven innings in a 2-1 win against Oklahoma on May 16.
WEB GEMS ALL AROUND
Don’t be surprised to see multiple plays from Oklahoma State’s game against Binghamton on highlight reels in the future.
The Bearcats escaped a first-inning jam when Oklahoma State left fielder Gage Green hit a dart that was headed for right field.
Binghamton second baseman Daniel Nevares leaped high and twisted to snatch the ball from the air and tossed it to second for a double play.
In the next inning, OSU’s Craig McConaughy hit a ball to deep left, and it might have been a home run had Bearcats left fielder Jake Thomas not scaled the wall to make a catch and draw a collective groan from the OSU crowd.
In the fifth, McConaughy got revenge in the form of a bare-hand snag-and-throw on a slow-roller to third. McConaughy made a strong throw to first to record a bang-bang out, end the inning and strand the bases loaded.
WILD PITCHES PLAGUE BINGHAMTON STARTER
Binghamton right-hander Jake Cryts didn’t just struggle finding the plate early in his start against OSU, there were a few instances where he couldn’t hit the catcher’s mitt.
Cryts threw three wild pitches in the game’s first three innings, and one of them cost his team a run.