#15 Oklahoma State Baseball 2014 Preview

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank: #2 Big 12
#15 Oklahoma State Baseball 2014 Preview
Oklahoma State Team Page


How bout them Cowboys? Just like it has done in other sports, Oklahoma State has proven it can compete with the big boys down in Norman in programs like football and basketball. Add baseball to that mix. Oklahoma State posted a 40-win season last year and made it all the way to the NCAA regional finals before it lost to Louisville. How will the Cowboys fare this season? Also, will second-year coach Josh Holliday have another year similar to his rookie campaign?

2013: 41-19, 13-10
2013 Postseason: NCAA Regional (lost to Louisville in finals)
Coach: Josh Holliday

Field Players:
Holliday has a team that does not hit a lot of home runs, but it spreads the power among several hitters. Junior Zach Fish and his seven homers (out of 31 total from last year) return, so the Cowboys will have a proven home-run hitter to help the lineup get some pop. As for batting-average hitters, two of the four guys who hit above .300 are back for more, including Tanner Krietemeier (.314-4-45) and Saulyer Saxon (.301). The Oklahoma State offense was built for speed a year ago as the Cowboys stole 80 bases. Jarrett Higgins is gone, but Fish (10 steals), Gage Green (13 SB) and Aaron Cornell (12 SB) are all back. Oklahoma State has enough pop in its bats and speed on the base paths to make an impact in the Big 12 and overall.

Four pitchers saw plenty of starting duty a year ago and two of those pitchers are back. Vince Wheeland (8-2, 1.97 earned run average, 13 walks and 64 strikeouts) and Mark Robinette (6-1, 3.58) are back for the 2014 campaign, and that means Oklahoma State will have to fill in some holes. Brendan McCurry (6-3, 2.72) and Jon Perrin (4-0, 3.23) are the most likely pitchers to fill those slots since they already have the experience. Oklahoma State has a few other pitchers with no real record or a few strikeouts here and there, so the best bet is to have established pitchers step into the fray.

Who to Watch:
Even though Fish has a .283 batting average, he may be the most well-rounded player on the team. With 10 stolen bases and seven homers, the odds are any road to a Big 12 championship will have to go through Fish’s bat and a tough Cowboy schedule. Fish is a player who has gotten some pre-season accolades, and the Cowboys need for him to be the center of the offense. He doesn’t need to be the entire offense, because Oklahoma State certainly has enough speed, power and pitching to go around, but if Fish’s bat sinks it could take the Cowboys right along.

Final Projection:
Oklahoma State should be an NCAA candidate thanks to all of the players returning. The Cowboys should get 40 victories once again, and their 24-7 record in games played at Stillwater certainly played a factor. If Oklahoma State can be this intimidating again at home the Big 12 title will not be out of reach. Arizona State, San Diego and Texas-Pan American are three teams on the Cowboys’ non-conference schedule, which runs for a month between Valentine’s Day and March 21.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Zach Fish, OF/C, 237
Hits: Tanner Krietemeier, 1B/OF, 72
Home Runs: Zach Fish, OF/C, 7
RBIs: Tanner Krietemeier, 1B/OF, 45
Runs: Tanner Krietemeier, 1B/OF, 42
Stolen Bases: Gage Green, OF/C, 13

Wins: Vince Wheeland, P, 8
Innings Pitched: Vince Wheeland, P, 73
Strikeouts: Vince Wheeland, P, 64
Saves: Brendan McCurry, P, 8


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