#21 Oklahoma State Baseball 2019 Preview

Oklahoma State Cowboys
Overall Rank: #21
Conference Rank: #4 Big 12
 Oklahoma State Logo
It was a roller coaster at times for Oklahoma State in 2018 but they picked up the pace in Big 12 play and found their way into the NCAA Tournament. The Cowboys went to the Deland Regional and went 2-2 as they beat South Florida twice and ran into a red-hot Stetson team that beat them twice. Head coach Josh Holiday and his staff will be looking for a less stressful road to the NCAA Tournament by getting off to a faster start in 2019.
2018: 31-26-1, 16-8
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Josh Holliday
Key Departed Players:
Matt Kroon, INF, .300 BA, 11 HR, 39 RBI, 18 SB
Michael Neustifter, INF, .299 BA, 4 HR, 35 RBI
John Littell, OF, .266 BA, 7 HR, 42 RBI
Carson Teel, P, 4.34 ERA, 8-4 W/L, 87.0 IP, 38 BB, 91 SO
Key Returning Players:
Colin Simpson, C/OF, .280 BA, 18 HR, 51 RBI, 8 SB
Trevor Boone, OF, .270 BA, 10 HR, 33 RBI
Christian Funk, INF, .245 BA, 7 HR, 33 RBI
Carson McCusker, OF, .271 BA, 8 HR, 18 RBI
Joe Lienhard, P, 5.30 ERA, 5-3 W/L, 69.2 IP, 40 BB, 62 SO
C.J. Varela, P, 3.40 ERA, 4-0 W/L, 42.1 IP, 28 BB, 29 SO, 3 SV
Noah Sirfit, P, 4.32 ERA, 2-0 W/L, 25.0 IP, 25 BB, 18 SO
Oklahoma State was a boom or bust offense in 2018 as they resembled what you see in Major League Baseball with a lot of homeruns and a lot of strikeouts. Colin Simpson leads this prolific power attack as he hit .280 with 18 homeruns, 51 runs batted in along with eight stolen bases. Trevor Boone hit .270 with 10 homeruns, 33 runs batted in and did strikeout 59 times while only drawing eight walks. Carson McCusker and Christian Funk will provide plenty of power as well. They are strong candidates to hit at least ten homeruns apiece in 2019. John Lienhard will be back in the starting rotation and will look to build upon his five wins from the 2018 season. C.J. Varela will be in the mix to be the closer after collecting three saves, but will need to improve his command this season. Varela walked 28 batters in 42.1 innings of work and struck out 29. Those numbers need to see increased strikeouts and a significant drop in walks. The month of February should set the Cowboys up for a good start to the season. A trip to Los Angeles in early March for the Dodgertown Classic to play USC, UCLA, and Michigan will be a good test along with the game right after that with Missouri State. The conference schedule will bring Texas to Stillwater and entails trips to TCU and Texas Tech. In Early May, Oklahoma State will head out to Corvallis to battle Oregon State in a fun series to prepare for the postseason. Expect about 35-38-win season for the Cowboys and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament