Holliday: 'I Don't Care Who We Play'

The ratings for ESPNU and the station's late night programming will be up in Oklahoma on Monday night, especially in the households of Oklahoma State Cowboys baseball players, coaches, and fans. The top national seed Oregon State is battling upstart and three seed Cal-Irvine for the right to advance and meet up with the Cowboys in an NCAA Super Regional.

If Cal-Irvine were to win, then Oklahoma State would host the Anteaters in Stillwater for the best-of-three series. However, if Oregon State wins then the Cowboys will be traveling to Corvallis to visit the Beavers for the series to decide who would go to Omaha and the College World Series.

Surely, Cowboys head coach Josh Holliday would like to see his team get to stay home and play at Allie Reynolds Stadium another weekend after the success of the Stillwater Regional this past weekend. We know he would, but he's putting on a pretty good act.

"I don't care who we play. I don't care," Holliday said sounding very convincing. "All I know is that our kids are guaranteed another week together and I'm guaranteed another week with them and that's all I care about.

"Wherever that is and whoever we play, I'm game. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. When the pairings were announced last week you heard some grunting and some groaning. Who cares? We're together and we get to keep playing and wearing this uniform and wherever they send us we are going to embrace it because the alternative is not being together and that is hard to even think about."

Common sense tells us Holliday would just as soon be at home but with former Oregon State top assistant Marty Lees on his staff the Cowboys would have some intimate knowledge of the Oregon State team and a good scouting report.

The weather will be cooler in Oregon, but most important the Cowboys have a team that can beat the top-seeded Beavers. Ask Fullerton coach and college baseball veteran Rick Vanderhook and he'll tell you all of college baseball might want to take notice.

"Attitude, they've got attitude," Vanderhook said of the Cowboys. Vanderhook knows a little something about that having been on staff at Fullerton for 25 of the last 28 years. "They have the Oklahoma State attitude back. There ain't no doubt."

"Oklahoma State attitude," that's as great a compliment as you can send to Holliday and Cowboys pitching coach Rob Walton, who both helped build that attitude as players and now as coaches.

"That is about as nice a thing as someone can say about you and mostly about the kids," Holliday said. "You see it and feel it when you watch kids compete and coming from a program like Fullerton where they are built on attitude and now what that feels and looks like, that is an awful nice thing for Coach (Rick) Vanderhook to say.

"Again, the biggest goal is to establish a culture that kids can identify to and who we are. Once those kids accept that then they step forward and they won't retreat."

No, they won't and they understand that concept whether it is classic Oklahoma State attitude or something new and improved in the Cowboys. It might best be described now as second generation.

"I can tell you one thing about this team, we're resilient," said Donnie Walton, the Regional Tourney Outstanding Player, Cowboys shortstop, and the son of assistant coach Rob Walton. "Even when we're down we can come back and make a run at it.

"I think that's the best part of our team. I think everybody feels like when they get a couple of runs on the board, there's no nervousness or guys heads down. We know we can come back."

Yes, they've done it 28 times this season and not just at home. One of those comebacks came at Baylor, one at West Virginia, one at Texas, four in Oklahoma City, and one in Tulsa. If they need to come back in Corvallis, it can be done.


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