Gonzaga (6-2) at #4 Oklahoma State (6-2)
Fri., March 4 • 4 p.m. / Sat., March 5 • 1 p.m. / Sun., March 6 • 1 p.m.
O'Brate Stadium (8,000) • Stillwater, Okla.
Radio: KSPI 93.7 FM (Fri. & Sun.) / KGFY 105.5 FM (Sat.) & stillwaterradio.net (Rex Holt & Matt Davis)
Live Stats: okstate.statbroadcast.com
Twitter In-Game Updates: @OSUBaseball
About Oklahoma State
• Winners of four in a row, the fourth-ranked Cowboys are 6-2 on the season and return home to O'Brate Stadium for a weekend series against Gonzaga.
• The Cowboys are coming off a 36-19-1 season in 2021 in which they earned an eighth consecutive NCAA Regional berth. OSU finished fourth in the Big 12 Conference standings at 12-12.
• OSU returns 13 letterwinners from a year ago, including four position starters and nine pitchers. Highlighting the list are Preseason All-Americans Justin Campbell, Victor Mederos and Nolan McLean, as well as Jake Thompson, a Preseason All-Big 12 pick along with Campbell and McLean.
• The 2022 season is OSU’s 10th under head coach Josh Holliday, who is 326-178-2 at his alma mater.
• Gonzaga, an NCAA Regional team in 2021, is 6-2 on the season. The Bulldogs are hitting .279 while their pitching staff sports a 4.31 ERA.
• Mark Machtolf is in his 19th season as the Bulldogs' head coach and owns an 527-418-2 career record.
• GU's starting pitching rotation vs. the Cowboys is expected to be:
Friday: RHP Gabriel Hughes — 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts, 19 K, 4 BB in 12.0 IP
Saturday: RHP William Kempner — 0-1, 2.79 ERA in two starts, 7 K, 7 BB in 9.2 IP
Sunday: LHP Trystan Vrieling — 0-1, 6.75 ERA in two starts, 16 K, 6 BB in 12.0 IP
Cowboys vs. Bulldogs
OSU is 9-1 all time against Gonzaga, including a 1-0 mark under Josh Holliday. The two teams last met at the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic in 2014 in Surprise, Ariz., with the Cowboys claiming a 2-0 victory.
After being ranked as high as No. 7 in the preseason polls and rising to No. 3 last week to match its highest-ever ranking under Josh Holliday, OSU checks in at No. 4 in this week's Baseball America,
D1Baseball and Perfect Game rankings. The Cowboys are also ranked No. 8 in the USA Today coaches, Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA polls.
From March 4, 2013 to April 3, 2017, OSU was ranked in at least one national poll, a streak of 77 consecutive weeks. During that time, the Cowboys spent 18 weeks in the Top 10 and were ranked as high as No. 3 (by the NCBWA in 2014). They have finished in the top 10 in the final national polls twice under Josh Holliday — 10th in 2014 and fourth in 2016.
Josh Holliday recorded his 300th career win as a head coach when he led his alma mater to a 5-4 win over Bedlam-rival Oklahoma on March 30 in Stillwater.
Holliday is one of four coaches to reach the 300-win milestone at OSU, joining Gary Ward (953), Frank Anderson (329) and Toby Greene (318), and he ranks third on the all-time wins list with 326.
Everybody's Golden All-American
Justin Campbell is a consensus Preseason First-Team All-American as he earned that distinction from D1Baseball, Perfect Game and the NCBWA.
The Cowboy right-hander is also one of 55 players on USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award Watch List.
Joining Justin Campbell on the list of OSU Preseason All-Americans are Victor Mederos and Nolan McLean. Mederos was a Preseason All-America Second Team selection by Baseball America, while McLean earned third-team honors from D1Baseball.
Change Of Scenery
OSU added six Division I transfers to its roster for 2022 - Victor Mederos (Miami), Bayden Root (Ohio State), Jimmy Ramsey (Kentucky), Dillon Marsh (Kentucky), David Mendham (South Carolina) and Griffin Doersching (Northern Kentucky). Additionally, the Cowboys have four new JUCO transfers with D1 experience - Lyle Miller-Green (George Mason), Brett Brown (Texas A&M), Solomon Washington (Tennessee Tech) and Chase Adkison (Boise State).
A Star Is Born
Justin Campbell blossomed into an All-American in 2021, building an impressive resume by dominating on the mound and also being a threat with a bat in his hands.
In 14 appearances (13 starts), the righty posted a 7-2 record and 2.57 ERA, and he recorded 102 strikeouts in 84 innings, marking the 18th time an OSU pitcher has recorded 100 strikeouts in a season. He became the 15th different Cowboy hurler to achieve the feat and the first since Thomas Hatch (112) and Trey Cobb (100) in 2016.
Campbell earned All-American status from Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game/Rawlings and Baseball America, and he was named All-Big 12 First Team as both a pitcher and utility player.
Last season, Campbell also played in 30 games as a DH and pinch hitter and hit .269 with a home run, five doubles and 10 RBIs, and he was one of five finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.
Campbell became the second player in OSU history to earn All-Big 12 honors at two different positions in the same season, joining Jordy Mercer on that list. He is the only Cowboy to earn first-team accolades at two positions as Mercer was named to the first team as a utility player and made the second team as a shortstop in 2008
Jake Thompson has established himself as one of the Big 12's top hitters, sporting a .433 batting average that ranks fifth in the conference. He is second in the league with 13 hits and third with a .564 on-base percentage.
Thompson, who Josh Holliday calls one of the best two-strike hitters he's ever coached, has reached base safely in 25 consecutive games dating back to last season, and he leads the Cowboys with four multi-hit games.
A sixth-year graduate student who has found a home at his fourth college stop, Thompson is OSU's leading returning hitter after posting a .342 batting average last season, and he was the Big 12's top hitter in conference-only games in 2021 with a .393 average.
Small Town, Big Time
What is it about OSU closers and small towns?! We don't know, but Trevor Martin is continuing a trend this season.
Martin hails from Asher, Oklahoma, population 412, and the right-hander is 1-0 with a pair of saves in five stints out of the bullpen this season.
In 2014, Brendan McCurry set OSU's single-season saves record with 19 to earn first-team All-America honors. A native of Tupelo, Oklahoma, population 330, McCurry is also the Cowboys' leader in career saves with 27. His brother, Randy, had 10 saves in 2009 and finished his career with a dozen.
Another small-town Oklahoma kid, Jordy Mercer, from Taloga, Oklahoma, population 300, served as OSU's closer from 2006-08 and ranks second on OSU's all-time list with 17 saves.
The Cowboys have shown a flair for the dramatic to find success late in games and emerge victorious.
• In the series finale and rubber game at Vanderbilt, the Cowboys scored two runs in the ninth inning to break a 5-5 tie and claim the win.
• The Cowboys trailed Wright State 6-2 in the ninth inning of the second game of their Sunday doubleheader but scored four runs to send the game to extra innings before getting a walk-off win in the 10th.
• OSU was down 4-1 after seven innings in its series opener at Arizona State but plated four runs in the eighth inning and two in the ninth to secure a 7-5 victory.
Cowboys In The Clutch
OSU's offense is highlighted by a lineup that has proven reliable in clutch situations. Check out these numbers:
• The Cowboys are hitting .330 (32-of-97) with runners in scoring position.
• OSU is hitting .309 (30-of-97) with two outs, and 31 of its RBIs have come with two outs, which is half of the Cowboys' total of 62.
• Cowboy pinch hitters are 8-for-13 (.615).