Holliday Has A Change Up For Sooners

OKLAHOMA CITY - It's not a surprise that Oklahoma State head coach Josh Holliday was named Tuesday as the Big 12 Coach of the Year because most of the time the winner in any given sport is the coach that led his team to the regular season championship. Holliday led OSU to a 41-14 record and an 18-6 mark in the Big 12 to win the conference regular season title in his second season as a head coach.

That prompted Texas legend Augie Garrido, the "dean" of Big 12 baseball coaches, to stand up at the luncheon on Tuesday and make a proclamation that what Holliday did was "truly special and should be honored."

"That was very kind of Coach Garrido, and when you look at him as a man in baseball and as much time as he has spent on a baseball field, he has seen it and done it all," Holliday said of the special designation by Garrido.

"I have tremendous respect for him and that was kind of him to do that. Really, this is a reflection of the hard work of the players and the coaches and I share the award with all of them. We are all the beneficiaries of our hard work as a group."

The Cowboys hard work and their ability to be a well-rounded baseball team has been the key to the success. They bought in from start to now -- and all points in between -- in the preparation and the season itself.

Now they will buy in again as the Cowboys open up the Big 12 Tournament with another edition of Bedlam against 28-27 (8-16) Oklahoma at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

Holliday and his pitching coach and confidant Rob Walton have decided to go with Tyler Hurdin in the Big 12 opener instead of lead-off Friday night starter and All-Big 12 pitcher Jon Perrin, who handled the Sooners in a 4-2 win last Thursday in the Bricktown Ballpark.

"We're going to go with Tyler Nurdin," Holliday said. "We didn't want to use Jon Perrin a second start in a row a day early. We didn't want to do it two times in a row. We also wanted to show them (Oklahoma) something different."

Overall, the Cowboys did not use a lot of pitching in the Bedlam series, at least they did not burn anybody up with the short week. Perrin going against either Texas or Texas Tech in a second game might be a really good matchup. They also will have all hands (or arms) ready.

"We're in good shape and when you go into a tournament like this you know you are going to have to use some pitching and you want them to have been to the mound recently," Holliday added referring to the young arms all used in the Bedlam loss to OU last Saturday. "You want them to be confident and you want them to be eager to go to the mound again."

Oklahoma will counter with Jacob Evans. Evans pitched well in the Bedlam opener at Bricktown last Thursday going 6 1/3 innings and allowing four runs on eight hits. He only walked one Cowboy and remember Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 in base on balls with 282 free passes compared to 299 strikeouts. Evans also struck out five Cowboys in the game.

Oklahoma State has a team batting average of .276 with the Sooners hitting .283. The biggest disparity is with the pitching where the Cowboys sport a team ERA of 3.18 compared to an ERA of 4.17 for Oklahoma.

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