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Oklahoma State Baseball

Cowboys Ready to Welcome Texas Tech for Defining Big 12 Series

May 11, 2022

STILLWATER – Tough finish for the Cowboys at Dallas Baptist, the battle between two top six RPI teams went the way of the Patriots as Blayne Jones cranked a two-run walk-off home run swinging at Cowboys closer Nolan McLean’s first offering, a slider too close to the middle.

“Nolan was throwing some real good pitches and give that kid credit he did something that is hard to do and hit a walk-off home run against a high quality closer, Oklahoma State head coach Josh Holliday said. “We shift our focus quickly to Friday night because that is the next thing ahead of us. Up and down the line we did some good things and we have somethings that we need to improve on. You learn from this game and talk to the kids about some of the corrections that need to be made and shift our focus.”

The 8-7 loss that propelled Dallas Baptist to No. 3 in the RPI and dropped the Cowboys from that spot down to No. 4, ended a seven-game win streak for the Big 12 leading Cowboys (13-5 in conference). Now, here comes Texas Tech and the Red Raiders have been studying and practicing for the past 10 days. Tech is 11-7 and still in contention with TCU in second at 13-8.

Pokes Report
Texas Tech hasn’t played Big 12 play since the Baylor series April 29-May 1.

“I tell you this time of year is always the same for us because we have to take that time off for finals,” Red Raiders head coach Tim Tadlock said of the almost week and a half off. “We’ve been practicing, and it seems like it has been good for us. There are three of us (schools) us, Texas, and Baylor that have finals Wednesday to Wednesday over a weekend. We have to go a weekend without playing. It’s not anything new for our staff. Sometimes it’s good if you are trying to get guys healthy. It depends on where you are.”

This weekend the second to last in conference play could make the final week somewhat boring. If Oklahoma State can sweep it will almost certainly secure then as the regular season champion and top seed in Arlington at the Big 12 Tournament.

Texas Tech is hitting .300 on the season and has 71 home runs to the Cowboys 64. The Cowboys sluggers have been on a roll lately, but Jace Jung, Tech’s second baseman is hitting .364 with 12 home runs, 17 doubles, and 50 RBI. He has been a Cowboy killer.

Pokes Report
Jung celebrates a walk-off home run vs. Kansas State.

“I tell you that you could kind of see it coming. Jace is a very diligent young man and he plays with a passion that most kids don’t play with,” Tadlock said of the young Jung. “He has a passion for Texas Tech baseball because he has been at our games since his older brother started making recruiting visits. He is a guy that can hit big league pitching, no question.”

Tech has not lost a series to Oklahoma State since 2017. They are 3-2 against OSU in postseason play including winning an NCAA Super Regional in Lubbock in 2019.

New season and Tadlock is nothing but complimentary of these first-place Cowboys and the Red Raiders first visit to the baseball palace on the plains, O’Brate Stadium.

Oklahoma State Athletics
Campbell beat Texas Tech 2-0 last season in the series opener in Lubback.

“Obviously, the Campbell kid on Friday night is as good as there is in the league,” Tadlock said. “Rob Walton does as good a job as anybody with his pitching. Josh (Holliday), (Justin) Seeley, (Robin) Ventura, and Josh’s brother (Matt) coach those guys up day-to-day. You can see they’ve gotten better during the season. This will be a big challenge for us. We haven’t played them up there since, I feel like it’s 2019. We’re excited about seeing their new stadium and seeing how that looks. The baseball itself always presents a challenge for both teams.”

Friday night, even with the conditions could be a pitcher’s dual as Justin Campbell is 7-1 with a 2.91 ERA and a league leading 112 strike outs. Tech’s ace Andrew Morris is 6-0 with a 3.44 ERA and 70 strike outs. Then the rest of the weekend watch the bats heat up and the balls fly out of O’Brate. It should be fun.

something that might further lead to some late game craziness and big rallies for the Cowboys is that Tadlock revealed Wednesday that Tech closer Trennan Parish will miss the rest of the regular season. Parish has made 20 appearances and has a team leading six saves. He has 33 strike outs and just eight walks.

Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics
O’Brate needs to be full this weekend.

“If you’re in Stillwater this weekend then I don’t know what else there is to do,” Holliday said. “College is our, graduation is over, but if you get a chance bring your whole family out and enjoy some meaningful baseball. Come out and support us and give these guys a sea of orange to come home to.”

Friday night at 6 p.m., Saturday night at 6 p.m., and Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

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