Fresh off last week’s NCAA Stillwater Regional championship, Oklahoma State is back in action at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium to host its first-ever Super Regional beginning Friday against UC Irvine. OSU brings a 48-16 record into the best-of-three series — the program’s most wins in two decades — and is ranked as high as No. 3 nationally. The Cowboys, who are making their third Super Regional appearance (2007 at Louisville, 1999 at Baylor), are looking to secure their 20th College World Series berth and first since 1999.
The Cowboys finished atop the 2014 Big 12 standings with an 18-6 mark to claim the 31st conference championship in program history. After dropping its league opening series at Baylor, OSU won seven-straight Big 12 series for the first-time ever in a season to claim the crown.
OSU is coming off a 41-19 season in which the Pokes finished second in the Big 12 Conference standings and advanced to the finals of the NCAA Louisville Regional. Six position starters and seven pitchers returned from that ball club, including eight players who earned all-conference recognition.
OSU is hitting .278 on the season, while its pitching staff sports a 3.27 ERA.
Cowboys At The NCAA Baseball Championship
Oklahoma State is making its 40th appearance in the NCAA Baseball Championship, which ranks fourth all time, and owns a 139-85 (.621) record in the tourney. The 139 wins is seventh all time. The Cowboys have also made 19 College World Series appearances, which is tied for sixth all time.
About UC Irvine
UC Irvine advanced to the Super Regionals by upsetting No. 1 national seed Oregon State on the Beavers’ home field in the NCAA Corvallis Regional. The Anteaters, who were the No. 3 seed in the Corvallis tourney, are 38-23 on the season. They own a .271 team batting average, while the pitching staff has recorded a 2.82 ERA.
Expected to start on the mound for UC Irvine are:
Friday - LHP Elliott Surrey (7-4, 2.13)
Saturday - RHP Andrew Morales (10-2, 1.64)
Sunday - TBA
OSU has only faced UC Irvine once before, that meeting coming in 1979 at the Texas-Pan American Tournament in Edinburg, Texas. The Cowboys won that game, 4-3.
Watch, Listen, Follow
Every game of the NCAA Stillwater Super Regional will air live on ESPNU. Clay Matvick and Eduardo Perez will call the action.
Live stats for all games can be found at www.ncaa.com.
In The Polls
OSU is nationally ranked in five polls this week, coming in as high as No. 3 in the NCBWA poll. The Cowboys are No. 4 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, No. 7 in the USA Today coaches poll, No. 8 in the Perfect Game poll and 10th in the Baseball America poll. The No. 3 ranking by the NCBWA marks OSU’s highest-ever national ranking as a member of the Big 12 Conference (since 1997).
This week marks the Cowboys’ seventh-straight appearance in the top 10, and they have now been ranked in at least one national poll for 31 consecutive weeks dating back to 2013, when OSU was in the polls for the final 14 weeks of the season. In 2013, the Cowboys peaked at No. 12 in the NCBWA poll on May 20.
It’s Not Where You Start...
After winning its final seven conference series to finish 18-6, Oklahoma State was crowned the Big 12 regular season champion for the first time in program history. The Cowboys’ 18 Big 12 wins were their most since they had 18 in 2008 with a 27-game league schedule. The conference title marks the 31st in program history.
OSU was picked to finish second in the conference standings in a preseason vote of the league’s head coaches. Defending champion Kansas State was picked to retain its crown, while OSU and TCU tied for the second spot in the poll.
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