Cowboys Baseball Attracting Top Talent

The Josh Holliday era has started off with a bang. Less than four weeks after being named Oklahoma State's head coach, Holliday is putting the college baseball world on notice. The new Cowboys coaching staff has picked up verbal commitments in the last week from two of the nation's top 50 players in the class of 2013, including standout pitcher Thomas Hatch of Jenks, Okla., on Monday night.

Hatch, a 6-2, 200-pound right-handed pitcher who is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the state of Oklahoma and the nation's 30th-best prospect by ESPN, gave the Cowboys his commitment Monday night after spending the day in Stillwater visiting with Holliday and assistant coaches Rob Walton and Marty Lees.

Hatch's commitment comes just five days after his good friend Trey Cobb, a 6-3, 200-pound pitcher/infielder from Broken Arrow, Okla., switched his commitment from LSU to OSU. Cobb is ranked as the third-best prospect in the state by ESPN and No. 50 in the nation.

Both Hatch and Cobb are entering their senior seasons at Jenks and Broken Arrow high schools, respectively, and are expected to sign with the Cowboys during the November signing period (Nov. 14-21).

"Trey and I are really good friends and we've always talked about if OSU's program was really good, we'd really like to go to the same college and be roommates," said Hatch, who was 7-2 with a 1.60 earned-run average this past spring as a junior.

"I was never too excited about LSU (after Trey committed to the Tigers) but when he decided last week to switch that really got me thinking. I've been an OSU fan all my life and I would not rather be a part of any other program. It's a great opportunity to play in my own backyard."

Hatch had scholarship offers from LSU, Stanford, North Carolina, Arkansas, TCU, Texas and Oklahoma. He had also started looking at Vanderbilt, and had called Holliday the day before he was named OSU's head coach to inquire about possibly making a visit to the school in Nashville, Tenn.

That trip never materialized but Monday's to Stillwater did. Hatch couldn't hide his excitement after returning home from meeting with Holliday, Walton and Lees.

"They told me that today was the first day they had all been in Stillwater together as a staff," said Hatch. "There's a bunch of talent in Oklahoma and if you get those talented players, you'll have success."

Holliday is committed to recruiting the top talent, even though some of those players may eventually get drafted and sign professional contracts without ever wearing the OSU uniform. That's a possibility with Hatch.

"If it happens, it happens. But I'm pretty set on going to college right now," he said. "The opportunity to go to OSU and play under such great coaches is exciting to me. Coach Holliday has been saying that he wants to get a bunch of guys that have the same thoughts and have the same goals, and if you do that it can be scary what type of team you can put together.

"They definitely have the program heading in the right direction."

Cobb, who was 10-2 with 88 strikeouts this past spring in helping lead Broken Arrow back to the Class 6A state championship game for the second year in a row, had originally committed to LSU last October. But the son of two OSU alums had his heart set on being a Cowboy, and committed after receiving an offer from Holliday.

"Coach Walton is the best pitching coach in the nation in my mind," said Cobb. "Hopefully, (our commitments) are getting people really excited around here, and gets people nervous everywhere else. I think this is just a sign of what is going to come because it's just not us two but a lot more guys.

"It's going to be a completely different feel around (OSU baseball). The plan is to get us back to the good old days when we were making trips to the College World Series on a regular basis. It will be exciting," Cobb added.

Hatch offers one last message for Cowboys baseball fans. "I'd say get really excited about OSU baseball. It's going to be a lot of fun," he said.

GoPokes Top Stories