#15 Texas (19-7, 3-0) at #13 Oklahoma State (20-6, 4-2)
Fri., March 31 • 6 p.m. / Sat., April 1 • 6 p.m. / Sun., April 2 • 1 p.m.
O'Brate Stadium (8,000) • Stillwater, Okla.
Video/TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+
(Dave Hunziker & Tom Holliday)
Radio: 93.7 KSPI FM (Rex Holt & Matt Davis)
The Varsity Network - okla.st/GetVarsity
Live Stats: okstate.statbroadcast.com
Twitter In-Game Updates: @OSUBaseball
About Oklahoma State
• OSU is 20-6 overall and in a three-way tie for second in the Big 12 standings with a 4-2 conference mark. The Cowboys host league-leading Texas this weekend at O'Brate Stadium.
• The Cowboys are coming off a 42-22 season in 2022 in which they made their ninth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. OSU finished tied for second in the Big 12 standings with a 15-9 conference mark, one game out of first place.
• OSU was the No. 7 national seed in last year's NCAA Championship, the program's highest ever tourney seeding, and was an NCAA Regional host for the fourth time under Josh Holliday; the Pokes advanced to the NCAA Regional finals for the sixth time under Holliday.
• Led by Nolan McLean and Roc Riggio, OSU returns six position starters and 13 letterwinners from '22.
• The 2023 season is OSU’s 11th under head coach Josh Holliday, who is 382-204-2 at his alma mater. The Cowboys have earned an NCAA Region berth each year under his watch.
• Ranked as high as No. 15 nationally, Texas is 19-7 on the season and brings a 15-game winning streak to Stillwater. The Longhorns sit atop the Big 12 standings at 3-0 after sweeping Texas Tech last weekend.
• David Pierce is in his seventh season as UT's head coach and owns a 238-123 career record with the Longhorns. He also has stints at Sam Houston State and Tulane and is 435-232 overall as a head coach.
• OSU is 52-66 all time against Texas, including a 24-13 mark under Josh Holliday. Last season, the Cowboys swept the series in Austin before going 1-2 against the Horns at the Big 12 Championship.
• UT's starting pitching rotation vs. the Cowboys is expected to be:
Friday: LHP Lucas Gordon — 2-0, 1.65 ERA in seven appearances (6 starts); 41 K, 15 BB in 32.2 IP
Saturday: RHP Travis Sthele — 2-2, 4.55 ERA in six starts; 29 K, 8 BB in 27.2 IP
OSU was ranked as high as No. 8 in the preseason national polls, receiving that ranking from USA TODAY Sports. This week, the Cowboys are ranked No. 13 by USA TODAY Sports and the NCBWA, 14th by Collegiate Baseball, 16th by Perfect Game and 17th by D1Baseball and Baseball America.
OSU has been nationally ranked for 44 consecutive weeks dating back to the 2021 preseason polls. The Cowboys reached No. 2 twice in 2022, marking their highest-ever ranking under Josh Holliday.
From March 4, 2013 to April 3, 2017, a streak of 77 consecutive weeks, OSU was ranked in at least one national poll. During that time, the Cowboys spent 18 weeks in the Top 10, climbing as high as No. 3. They have finished in the top 10 in the final polls twice under Josh Holliday — 10th in 2014 and fourth in 2016.
Oklahoma State enters the weekend No. 24 in the official NCAA RPI; Texas is 16th.
We Went Streaking
OSU's recent 12-game winning streak (Feb. 26-March 14) is the second longest by a Big 12 team this season and is tied for the second longest of the Josh Holliday head coaching era.
The Pokes' longest win streak under Holliday is 14, which came in 2020-21 (last five games of COVID shortened '20 season and first nine of '21), and OSU also turned in a 12-game winning streak in 2014.
The program record for longest winning streak is 30 games, set by the 1986 Cowboys.
The 2022 OSU pitching staff shattered the program record for strikeouts in a season with 679, besting the previous mark by 91.
The Cowboys' 679 strikeouts ranked fifth nationally, and they ranked seventh in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings at 10.7.
With an influx of new arms, this year's staff has continued to pile up Ks. The Cowboys lead the Big 12 and rank ninth in the NCAA with 273 strikeouts, and they have three pitchers — Juaron Watts-Brown, Ben Abram and Isaac Stebens — in the top 10 in the conference in punchouts.
OSU's 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings this season is tops in the Big 12 and ranks 10th nationally.
Cowboys Who Rake
OSU's offense is putting up some impressive numbers at the plate.
• The Cowboys rank second in the Big 12 with a .314 team batting average, which is 20th nationally.
• Six regulars in the OSU starting lineup are hitting at least .300. Nolan Schubart leads the way with a .402 average that ranks fourth in the Big 12.
• OSU's 66 doubles rank third nationally, five behind NCAA leader Virginia.
• The Cowboys have smashed a Big 12-best 50 home runs, which ranks 11th nationally. Thirteen different players have homered, and three of those — Nolan Schubart, Roc Riggio and David Mendham — lead the team with eight round trippers apiece.
• OSU's .571 slugging percentage leads the Big 12 and is eighth nationally.
• The Cowboys have posted five run-rule wins this season.
Roc Rolled — And He's Doing It Again
Roc Riggio enjoyed a Freshman All-American season in 2022, starting 53 games for the Cowboys and hitting .295 with 11 home runs, 14 doubles and 47 RBIs.
The second baseman caught fire at the plate in the postseason and was named to the all-tournament team at both the Big 12 Baseball Championship and the NCAA Stillwater Regional. In 10 games, he hit .458 (22-for-48) with six doubles, five homers and 19 RBIs.
Riggio is swinging a hot bat once again — over OSU's last seven games, he has smacked four homers, collected 14 RBIs and raised his batting average to .330.
Random Fact: As an eighth grader, Riggio committed to play baseball at UCLA.
Freshman Swinging A Hot Bat
Just over a month into his first collegiate season, Nolan Schubart has proven to be a powerful addition to the OSU lineup.
The left-handed hitting outfielder owns a team-high .402 batting average, which ranks fourth in the Big 12, and he leads the league with a .793 slugging percentage. The Michigan native is also second in the league in home runs (8), third in on-base percentage (.528), fifth in RBIs (31) and sixth in total bases (65).
Schubart has reached base safely in 16-straight games, the longest streak by a Cowboy this season.
Random Fact: Schubart was originally committed to play at Michigan before a coaching change there led to him signing with the Cowboys.
Ben Abram spent his first four collegiate seasons at Oklahoma, where he made 53 career appearances, but he has thrived after making his way to Stillwater for his final go around.
Abram's first three outings for the Cowboys came out of the bullpen, and he allowed seven runs in 5 2/3 innings while striking out just five.
But the Canadian right-hander was given a midweek start against Arizona State on March 8 and has done a 180, winning four consecutive starts beginning with that game against the Sun Devils in which he struck out eight in six innings.
After picking up a midweek victory over Dallas Baptist, Abram allowed just one run in six innings to lead OSU to a win at Texas Tech before improving to 4-0 with a career-high 10-strikeout performance against Baylor.
Abram ranks sixth in the Big 12 with 35 strikeouts and is averaging 11.67 strikeouts per nine innings.
Random Fact: Abram won a bronze medal with Canada at the 2018 U-18 Pan American Championships.