MattBob's Baseball Report

There are little positives to talk about after the Pokes (6-3) lost this weekend's series on the road to Cal-State Northridge. Oklahoma State had trouble in every phase of the game, from pitching to defense to manufacturing runs. Adding to the Cowboys' concerns is the fact they leave California much more banged up then the already beleaguered team was coming into the series.

The Cowboys fell behind early in the series opener Friday, giving up five runs in the first inning and struggled at the plate. They managed just two hits through five innings, before an offensive explosion found the Cowboys up 8-6 at the seventh inning stretch. The Matadors would get one run back in the bottom of the seventh.

The Cowboys failed to put any insurance runs on the board, nursing a 8-7 lead and going into the bottom of the ninth the Cowboys needed just three outs to get a victory. CSUN got a lead-off home run off Cowboy reliever Jeff Breedlove to tie the game, then would get a single and a double with two outs to win the game. OSU left nine men on the base paths and starter Matt Gardner would be called for two balks, a theme that would continue throughout the series. Ty Wright would injure his hamstring taking second in his fourth at-bat.

Frank's boys looked to rebound on Saturday with Oliver Odle on the mound. Odle would go the distance, but would not get run support for his performance. The Cowboys would again strand nine base runners, including seven in scoring position. Odle would allow just three runs in the 3-2 loss, all coming in the sixth inning, aided by a controversial balk call, which saw OSU assistant coach Greg Evans get ejected for arguing.

This season's big time two-out threat has been Cowboy first baseman Rebel Ridling. However Rebel would be the out that stranded four of the nine runs. Ty Wright pinch hit for the Cowboys, however, with his injured hamstring, he was unable to run down to first after making contact on the hit, and was punched out.

Looking to avoid being swept the Cowboys fell behind early on Sunday, with starter Andy Oliver giving up three runs in the first inning. The Cowboys played hard and fought back to go up 10-4 going into the bottom of the ninth before a defensive implosion would make the game more exciting than OSU fans would like.

Reliever Justin Friend would strike out eight in four innings to preserve the win, including the last two batters in a ninth inning that saw the Matadors score three runs and put the tying run on deck.

Catcher Ryan Flavell would be injured taking second on a hit-and-run play. The injury is made more concerning in the wake of backup catcher Ryan Pittman's injury last weekend which prevented him from traveling to California. In their stead, freshman infielder Kevin David was clutch, getting a double, and blocking the plate efficiently. The story of the game however, would be the Cowboys five errors and 13 stranded runners which just about cost OSU the win, and on a normal day would have.

In what promises to be a rarity, the most valuable player of the series for the Cowboys goes to losing pitcher Oliver Odle. Odle was one of the few bright spots for OSU on a tough weekend. He added three strikeouts to his team leading 16 in just 17.1 innings. Odle established himself as a bona fide starter last year when he went the distance against OU, to complete a sweep of the Sooners in Bricktown. He would further cement himself in the eyes of Poke fans, picking up the win against 17th-ranked Arkansas in the Cowboys regional bid.

n a complete game outing against the Cal-State Northridge Matadors on Saturday Odle tried to will the Cowboys to victory generating ground balls right and left, but he was ultimately done in by the hard luck that struck the Pokes every game this weekend. The balk call led to a temporary lapse in the Cowboy defense which saw the Matadors score three runs, as the Pokes continue to struggle after controversial calls. If the Pokes are to be successful they will need to learn how to play through bad calls and bad breaks.

The Cowboys will try to rebound with their opening home game on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Dallas Baptist (5-5) provides a tough early mid-week test for a OSU team struggling defensively. The Patriots began the season tabbed as the best Independent team in America. In Frank Anderson's tenure, Oklahoma State is just 3-2 against the Patriots, who traditionally bring a very potent offense to the ballpark.

The Patriots are led by veteran left-handed outfielder Austin Krum. Krum was invited to try out for the American National team over the summer. In midweek games this year, Dallas Baptist is 0-2 with losses to top-10 Rice and an extra inning loss to TCU, in which the Horned Frogs won by stealing home in the 12th.

GoPokes Top Stories