Oklahoma State baseball head coach Josh Holliday said his team need the three scrimmages that are planned this weekend and then he will know a little better who will be in the starting rotation for his pitchers. I think you can plan on Tyler Buffett to be one of those guys as the right-hander was 9-3 last season and became one of the hottest pitchers in the nation at the end of last season.
There's also sophomore Jensen Elliott, who was also 9-3 last season with a 3.50 ERA. Add in right-hander Joe Lienhard and his sick curveball, Blake Battenfield, and lefty Carson Teel.
On the corners are third baseman Garrett Benge (.292, 40 RBI, and 16 doubles), first baseman Dustin Williams (14 home runs and 42 RBI), outfielder Jon Littell (.258 and 23 RBI) and centerfielder Ryan Sluder (4 home runs and 19 RBI).
Holliday will need some younger players to fill in. The most important hole is at shortstop where three-time All-Big 12 performer Donovan Walton is gone and playing pro ball with the Seattle Mariners organization. Second base is a hole too with J.R. Davis finishing last summer after the College World Series hitting the cover off the ball for the St. Louis Cardinals rookie league team.
Hold off a little on all the College World Series questions and how the trip to Omaha will propel the Pokes back to Nebraska this June. Holliday is more into this is a new year, a new team and different journey philosophy.
“Throwing it on T-shirts and making slogans, I think that’s garbage,” Holliday said or using Omaha last season for inspiration in 2017. “I think that’s a pretender’s mentality. You get there by working every single day and playing like it’s your last.”
Fans heading to the Cowboys basketball game with Texas might be able to peek in on some scrimmage action around noon at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium on Saturday. The Cowboys will head to Arizona next weekend for three games with Grand Canyon State starting on Friday and a Tuesday date with Arizona State before coming home. The home opener is Friday, Feb. 24, with Texas State.
By the way, keep on eye on Guthrie native and junior Jacob Chappell to fill that hole at shortstop.