Baylor (9-12, 2-1) at #15 Oklahoma State (17-5, 1-2)
Fri., March 24 • 6 p.m. / Sat., March 25 • 6 p.m. / Sun., March 26 • 1 p.m.
O'Brate Stadium (8,000) • Stillwater, Okla.
Video/TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+ (Fri.)
(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 17-5 overall and 1-2 in Big 12 Conference play. The Cowboys host Baylor this weekend at O'Brate Stadium in their first home conference series of the season.
• 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 379-204-2 at his alma mater. The Cowboys have earned an NCAA Region berth each year under his watch.
• Baylor is 9-12 and 2-1 in the Big 12 after opening league play with a series win over Kansas State.
• Mitch Thompson is in his first season as BU's head coach. He was also an assistant coach with the Bears from 1995-2012.
• OSU is 51-45 all time against BU, including a 16-11 mark under Josh Holliday. Last season, the Pokes went 3-1 against the Bears, winning twice in Waco and getting a win in the Big 12 Championship.
• BU's starting pitching rotation vs. the Cowboys is expected to be:
Friday: RHP Blake Helton — 0-3, 7.77 ERA in five starts; 29 K, 10 BB in 24.1 IP
Saturday: RHP Mason Marriott — 1-2, 4.94 ERA in five starts; 26 K, 11 BB in 23.2 IP
OSU was ranked as high as No. 8 in the preseason national polls, getting that ranking from USA TODAY Sports. This week, the Cowboys are ranked No. 15 by USA TODAY Sports, 16th by the NCBWA, 18th by Perfect Game, 19th by Collegiate Baseball and 20th by D1Baseball and Baseball America.
OSU has been nationally ranked for 43 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. 10 in the official NCAA RPI; Baylor is 216th.
Big 12 Love For The Pokes
The Cowboys placed four players on the 2023 Preseason All-Big 12 Team as Marcus Brown, Nolan McLean, Roc Riggio and Juaron Watts-Brown earned that distinction. Additionally, Watts-Brown was named the Big 12 Preseason Pitcher of the Year and Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
OSU was picked to finish second in the Big 12 standings, getting four first-place votes from the league's coaches. Two-time defending champion TCU collected five first-place votes to edge OSU as the favorite.
We Went Streaking
OSU's recent 12-game winning streak (Feb. 26-March 14) is the 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.
OSU achieved one of the rarest of baseball feats when it tossed no-hitters in consecutive games in week two, first in a midweek contest against California Baptist followed by the opening game of a doubleheader with LMU.
At this point, it's only the third confirmed time in NCAA Division I history that a team has thrown a no-hitter in back-to-back games and the first time it's been accomplished in two nine-inning games. On March 27, 1968, Florida State tossed consecutive no-hitters against Springfield College (7 innings) and Wake Forest (9 innings); in 1971, Vanderbilt had back-to-back, seven-inning no-hitters in a doubleheader against Louisville.
OSU also became the first team in Big 12 history to record two no-hitters in the same season.
The no-hitter against CBU was the 12th in Cowboy Baseball history as five OSU pitchers combined for the feat. Janzen Keisel worked the first 5 1/3 innings, striking out 11 along the way, before Isaac Stebens tossed two innings in relief. Drew Blake and Evan O’Toole both recorded outs in the eighth, and Nolan McLean earned the save with a perfect ninth.
It was the program's first no-hitter since Justin Campbell achieved the feat against Kansas on May 8, 2021. It was also the third combined no-hitter by OSU and the first since Jason Bell, Brent Nichols, Rob Gaiko and Marcus Cuper no-hit Missouri Southern on March 16, 1993.
Just four days later, OSU's Juaron Watts-Brown teamed with O'Toole and McLean to no-hit LMU. Watts-Brown worked six innings and struck out eight before O’Toole spelled him to begin the seventh. After two innings, O'Toole yielded to McLean, who came on in the ninth to secure the no-no.
OSU now counts six no-hitters in games that went nine innings as last week's efforts joined the 1993 combined no-no, Campbell’s in 2021 and no-hitters by Bob Richardson in 1968 and Jim Wixson in the 1960 College World Series.
Counting the final out against Arkansas on Feb. 19 and the first two outs of the doubleheader nightcap against LMU, the Cowboys went a combined 19 innings over a four-game stretch without allowing a hit.
• Nolan McLean is tied for second in the NCAA with six saves, one behind Memphis' Dalton Kendrick.
• McLean, along with Roc Riggio, also ranks 23rd nationally by having drawn 20 walks.
• OSU sports a .310 team batting average, which ranks second in the Big 12. Nolan Schubart is hitting a team-high .400, ranking fifth in the league, and is one of seven Cowboys with a batting average over .300.
• Cowboy reliever Isaac Stebens is fifth in the Big 12 with a 2.28 ERA.
• Juaron Watts-Brown leads the Big 12 with 42 strikeouts; OSU's pitching staff ranks second in the league with 224 strikeouts.
• OSU's 55 doubles ranks sixth in the NCAA, seven behind the leaders, and David Mendham ranks 26th nationally with nine doubles, four behind the leaders.