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Oklahoma State Baseball

Oklahoma State Bats and Holiday on the Hill Take Second Straight Over Central Michigan

March 2, 2024

STILLWATER – Oklahoma State used an exceptional early season pitching performance from new transfer pitcher Brian Holliday where limited Central Michigan to three hits and one run in going eight innings and getting his first decision as a Cowboy, a win, as Oklahoma State won 8-1 on a bright sunny, blue skies day at O’Brate Stadium. The OSU hitters countered with 12 hits to get those eight runs. 

The Cowboys love the home cooking and sleeping in their own beds as they are now 6-4 on the season. Central Michigan, who has yet to play at home in Mount Pleasant is 3-8 for the season. The two teams finish off the three game series on Sunday, March 3 at 1 p.m. 

Oklahoma State Athletics
Brian Holiday on Saturday.

Holiday has had three starts and is still sporting an ERA under one at 0.90 and has only allowed seven hits and two runs in 20 innings pitched. He has walked only five and struck out 19. He struck out nine Chippewa hitters today. He only walked one and hit one batter. He struck out hitters on three different pitches, his fast ball (92-95 mph), his slider, and a curve ball he had great command of in the game. 

“He is an elite competitor and he went out today and got his pitch count (107 pitches) built up a little bit, which is good,” head coach Josh Holliday. “Once again, he really put them on their heels and didn’t allow them to score many runs. An outing like that allows us to be rested going into tomorrow, which is especially important when you have five games in six days.”

Wichita State transfer Robert Cranz came in and pitched the ninth allowing one hit, struck out one and allowed no runs. 

On the offensive side the Cowboys saw good pitching as CMU starter Keegan Batka, who was the loser, and Ben Vitus and Jonah Milichuck all pitched well and had good stuff. The OSU batters were sharp as they started the scoring in the bottom of the first when rightfielder Carson Benge hit a one-out triple down the rightfield line. When the Chippewas had a throwing error to third Benge scored and the Pokes led 2-0.

In the second freshman Kollin Ritchie of Atoka and a draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles tripled to deep centerfield, shortstop Lane Forsythe walked, and then Jaxson Crull, who homered in the game on Friday hit one out in left-center field for a three-run home run and a 5-0 lead. Ritchie got his first RBI in the third inning when he singled to right-center for a 6-0 lead. 

The Cowboys offense featured some of the younger guys as Ritchie finished 3-for-4 with a triple and two singles and one run and one RBI. Avery Ortiz played second base and the freshman from Tulsa Union doubled in the first inning. Charlie Carter caught the entire game but is still struggling at the plate. Max Knight pinch hit in the eighth and walked on five pitches. 

The freshmen are looking like they are getting comfortable. After last weekend in Globe Life Field against the likes of No. 2 Arkansas and No. 4 Oregon State, the game is slowing down for the freshmen. 

“Spot on, it is looking like it is slowing down for them,” added Holliday. “You are looking like the talent, poise, and the skill that those kids have, I thought in particular today was really good. You can see why there was a lot of optimism and belief in those kids’ abilities to play well. Getting them here and helping them find that relaxation to play and play well and show they can play here is important.”    

Third baseman Tyler Wulfert was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Forsythe was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Benge finished 3-for-5.

Those young players will still need to advance as injured players Nolan Schubart, Beau Sylvester, and fellow freshman Donovan LaSalle aren’t expected back soon. Second baseman Aidan Meola could be back relatively soon.

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Oklahoma State Bats and Holiday on the Hill Take Second Straight Over Central Michigan

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