Black Wins Cowboy World Series

STILLWATER – The Cowboy baseball team completed its fall World Series in Allie Reynolds Stadium on Wednesday afternoon just ahead of the real thing. In game three of the series the Orange squad gained a little satisfaction by beating the Black squad 7-1. Game three was not a deciding game, just a conclusion to the fall baseball season, as the Black had already clinched the series winning the first two games.

Black won game one impressively behind the hitting of standout returning outfielder Corey Brown and a solid start on the mound for left-hander Brea Wright. On Tuesday the Black edged the Orange 6-5 to clinch the O-State series. The competition was fun, but for head coach Frank Anderson gearing up for his third season at the helm it was the improvement that was important.

"I thought we did some good things," Anderson said. "You always split them up, so you end up with some rough spots with guys playing out of position and we had some injuries. We swung the bat pretty good with the guys we thought could swing the bat, and some of the guys we weren't sure of didn't swing the bat well, which is kind of what you want to see happen. We need to smooth out some pitching situations, but for the most part I was pretty pleased with it."

Anderson will have a few decisions to make as 43 players, including 22 pitchers, appeared on the rosters for the three-game series. Over the three days and the entire several weeks of practice the NCAA allows for fall baseball there were a number of standouts - some returning players and some new names and faces.

"There are some guys we expected to play well early and they did," said Anderson. "Then we had some injuries and Corey had to go to a funeral. Some of the guys that are going to be big parts of it really didn't play in this thing which is fine. We get other people some at bats and make some decisions on what we like and what we don't like."

Anderson, obviously, likes Corey Brown. The catalyst offensively on last year's team, Brown was one of the hitting stars in the first game on Monday. The 6-2, 210-pound outfielder out of Tampa, Fla. will just be a sophomore and that is fine with Anderson, who likes the way he is maturing.

"He's 15 pounds heavier, and faster than he was and has more strength," said Anderson of Brown, who missed games two and three attending a family funeral. "He has a chance to be a special player before he leaves here and is now."

The outfield as a whole is a source of strength for the Cowboys with Brown, Ty Wright, Keanon Simon and Steve Ptak back after making contributions last season. Deik Schram from Cowley County (Kan.) C.C., Stillwater product Donnie Webb, and Norman freshman Tyler Wondrosek also played in the series. Anderson says the outfield is banged up, but is an area that can be trusted for next season.

"We need to continue to get better defensively, but offensively we have a chance to be really good," added the Cowboys coach. "We have some depth out there, but we've had some injuries. We've got three outfielders that are going to have surgeries. Ty (Wright) is going to have surgery Thursday and so three of the five or six that we feel can play are going to have surgery this fall. I like what we've got with the most depth of veterans of any place that we've got."

In the infield junior Tyler Mach helped the Black squad, while senior Justin Colbert was on the Orange team. There are a lot of new faces in the dirt with two of the most noticeable being transfers Rebel Ridling and former TCU standout Shelby Ford. Ridling, a native of Sentinel, Okla., is a 6-3, 220-pound first baseman who is really strong and can really hit as evidenced by his .400-plus average through fall ball. Not only that, but Rebel is a name that catches your attention.

"I'm not sure whether that's his real name or not. I couldn't tell you for sure," Anderson joked. "He's come in here and played pretty well. He just likes to play and to be out here and it shows in his performances. He's small school from Oklahoma and he's played a lot of baseball and a lot of summer ball. He played one year at junior college and put up big time numbers. We're excited about him. He's got some power and is physical. He can hit and do some things."

Ford was a standout at TCU that came to OSU to play shortstop. He is good at either spot up the middle of the infield. He's 6-3, 190 pounds and was one of the best hitters for the Orange team. He has some really good pop in his bat for a middle infielder.

"He's an outstanding hitter and hit 16 home runs as a freshman and last year hit for a higher average," Anderson said of Ford's days as a Horned Frog. "He tried to put the ball in play a little more and had about nine or ten home runs. He's a good player and when you put all the pieces together it plays out pretty good offensively."

Catcher was really interesting as a bunch of players saw time there in the fall and during Cowboy series, including returning offensive producer Adam Carr. Stillwater product and freshman Ryan Pittman looked good there on Wednesday, but there is a lot of competition including one candidate all the way from Australia. Good day mate.

"The two older kids, Clarkson has come back and played very well, and Flavell, the Australian kid, can really throw and you know what, Carr has played pretty well back there," explained Anderson. "If he can do that it makes us real offensive because we get another bat in the line up. That's a work in progress and I'm a pitching and defense guy. We need to work on our pitching and catching. We've got two guys that are pretty good defensively and Carr can make him self-adequate then we can be really offensive."

The mound is very crowded right now with Brent Weaver joining Wright as a known commodity. Brett McDonald looked good in relief on Monday for the Orange, and there are a bunch of newcomers. One other returner that had a really nice fall was El Paso, Texas, senior Rick Rivas.

"He's pitched pretty well. He ought to," Anderson said of Rivas, who was great at times last season and struggled on other appearances. "He's a senior and has been around. He needs to give us some consistency each time he goes to the mound. You don't have to be perfect, but you need to give us a chance to win. That's something that you need out of older guys."

Overall, the components seem to be there for Oklahoma State to be much improved this spring. There will, no doubt, be some changes before the team begins the season by traveling to South Alabama on Feb. 10 for an opening three-game event with the host, Arkansas and George Mason. The home opener is the next Friday, Feb. 17, with a three-game weekend series with Youngstown State. Prime home events include a three-game series starting March 3 with Cal-State Northridge, a two-game midweek series with San Diego State on March 14-15, and a home game with Wichita State on April 19. In the Big 12, Texas A&M, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas Tech come to Stillwater with the OU series in Tulsa on May 12 and in Oklahoma City on May 13-14. The Big 12 season opens with a trip to defending national champion Texas on March 24 for a three-game series.

GoPokes Top Stories