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Oklahoma State Baseball

Watch: Oklahoma State Prepares for Opening Game Against ORU in Stillwater Regional

June 1, 2023

STILLWATER – No. 11 national seed Oklahoma State (41-18 overall) is set to host the NCAA Stillwater Regional this weekend, with the Pokes playing the fourth seed in the regional, ORU, on Friday evening, June 2, at 6. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+.

On the mound for the Pokes to start the opening game against ORU will be Nolan McLean. The junior right hander out of North Carolina has a 2.08 ERA on the season in 26 innings pitched. He’s given up just six earned runs on the season with 31 strikeouts and 13 walks with six saves.

While the Cowboys were being projected as a host team the last few weeks of the season, winning four out of six games in the Big 12 tournament this past weekend catapulted the Pokes into the top 16 seeds in the tournament.

“We’re excited to be here and it’s a great tournament, a lot of great baseball teams here for sure,” Josh Holliday said of the NCAA Stillwater Regional. “Watching film getting ready for the tournament, [there’s] lots of talented players, good arms, good athletes. So, it’s a great tournament. We’re certainly excited to be at home hosting but for us, it’s a one-game tournament starting [Friday] with Oral Roberts and then obviously the tournament takes off from there. So, that’s how we’re approaching it.”

Opposite the Pokes and ORU is Dallas Baptist and Washington. The Cowboys split the two games against DBU this season, a 20-4 7 inning run-rule win in Stillwater and an 8-0 loss in Dallas and lost both games to ORU, 9-7 and 8-5. Coach Holliday was asked his opinion on playing teams they’re familiar with, or if he’d rather host/play teams they haven’t faced this season.

“Obviously, it is what it is because the [regional] assignments are made, and it looks like when checking out all of the field of 64 that there are some definite regionalized tournaments where teams maybe have seen one another because geographically they’re in a two to three state radius. So, I think there’s a regional component to the NCAA tournament, but also the outside component where they make it, like with this tournament, Washington flies in, who I don’t believe anyone in this tournament has seen, but then you have the familiarity that Oral Robert’s has of us and Dallas Baptist, Dallas Baptist could say the same, as could we.”

With those two losses to ORU, the Cowboys will have their work cut out for them as both games were incredibly close at the end. However, as it is this time of the season, it’s not going to take just great hitting or great pitching, it’s going to take a combination of the two.

“Both; it’s a complete game,” Holliday said of what component of the game the Pokes need against ORU. “I don’t think anyone wins at this level if you just play one side of the ball. You’ve got to pitch good, part of pitching it is catching it and then obviously you’ve got to swing the bat to create offense when it’s presented. So, I don’t think you can win any games this time of year unless it’s a really well played baseball game in all phases.”

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Watch: Oklahoma State Prepares for Opening Game Against ORU in Stillwater Regional

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