Big 12 Tourney: Who Pitches Sunday?

TULSA - It's Oklahoma State and Texas at noon Sunday in the Big 12 Tournament Championship Game at ONEOK Field. That is, if Mother Nature is in a giving mood. If Mother Nature wants to hog the show with the predicted heavy dose of showers and sometimes thunderstorms, even severe storms, then OSU will leave Tulsa as the Big 12 champion by virtue of being the highest remaining seed in the tourney.

Oklahoma State and Texas each went through their bracket cleanly at 3-0. The Cowboys beat all three teams in the Division II bracket once (West Virginia, Kansas State, and Oklahoma). Texas beat Texas Tech in their opener on Wednesday and they Baylor twice. The Longhorns have only used three pitchers, all three got complete game victories and the rumor is Texas will bring back Wednesday's starter Parker French (126 pitches) to start on Sunday.

"He's a good pitcher. We've seen him numerous times," Oklahoma State head coach Josh Holliday said Saturday after his team's 5-1 win over Oklahoma. "He's a very experienced kid. He's got a good sinker, slider and change-up. He's good, and exactly what you'd expect to see in a ballgame like that tomorrow.

"It'll be another opportunity for two teams that have competed hard against one another to lineup and have some fun. This is what you play for. You want these moments so you could rise to the occasion and not shy away from them. We're going to look forward to it get out there and get after it."

As for who the Cowboys will start after getting three good starts from Conor Costello (four innings), Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Michael Freeman (complete game), and Jon Perrin on Saturday (six innings), it won't be any of those three. But just about every other pitcher on the Cowboys staff, including the relievers that have pitched in the tournament, could see the mound.

Holliday said he wasn't trying to be cute when he was asked if he had decided on a starter.

"Nope. I like to sit down with Rob (Walton), and get over this game and get something to eat. We had planned going into this game how we would pitch it if we were ahead late and how we would pitch if we weren't ahead late," Holliday explained. "Knowing that there was potential for another game today, we would see where we were at the end of that.

"Now that we won this one, the opponent changes and we need to rethink things. We have a number of fresh arms. One of the strengths of this year's team is how many different guys have started games for us. We have good options and we have some relief pitching that can bounce back and be used effectively tomorrow. We'll sit down, watch some videos and catch up on Texas."

Then again, if it keeps raining like it is right now outside my window there will be more of a need for skis or a boat than any pitching on Sunday.


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