I remember two years ago when Josh Holliday's first team with him as head coach steamed into Austin, Texas and promptly got shutout 3-0 in the Friday lid lifter, but the Cowboys then scrapped on Saturday for a hard-earned 2-1 win and then kind of cruised on Sunday to an 8-3 win. After that series, the Cowboys kind of took off, eventually landing at home for the NCAA Regionals and a Super Regional before bowing out.
I think Holliday and the Cowboys may have used Austin for a similar purpose this weekend. After Mother Nature postponed the opener to Saturday, the Cowboys seemingly played the first game in a nano second as Thomas Hatch surely earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors for the second weekend in a row with his five-hit shutout. The second game bogged down a little with freshman Jensen Elliott giving up three runs, all in different innings, and keeping the Longhorns from any sustained confidence in a 6-3 Cowboys win.
Sunday started out like it was going to be quick work for Trey Cobb as he threw just 77 pitches in the first five innings, but then Cobb and a mixture of Cowboy relievers threw 65 the next two innings. Eventually, Texas had the game tied going into the eighth inning but Texas pitchers lost location of home plate, even lost location of the Cowboy hitters with two key hit batsmen, one J.R. Davis plated a run and then Corey Hassel came up with a huge single to right field to knock in two more runs.
Texas had no answer and the Cowboys won the game, not 8-3 as they did two years ago, but 8-4. Now, OSU with a 28-14 record overall and a 12-6 record in conference play steams by Texas in the standings (20-24/9-9) and they pass TCU for second as the Horned Frogs dipped at home and lost two out of three to conference leader Texas Tech. The Frogs are now 11-7 in league play and 30-12 overall. Texas Tech is 14-4 in the Big 12 and 34-13 overall.
Oklahoma State has spent the past two weekends going 5-1 against the combination of TCU and Texas. Considering that it is likely that two of the teams at the top of the Big 12 will host regionals then the Cowboys did indeed shine up their résumé for tournament play.
The scary thing is the Cowboys have shown signs of pitching well, defending well, and hitting well, just not always at the same time. While it can improve, this weekend the timing was the best by far. That is what postseason is for, to get it all going at once and keep it going all the way to Omaha. I know I've said several times this season I didn't think OSU had all they need for Omaha, but I'm starting to re-think that opinion a little.