MattBob's Baseball Report-Missouri

The Cowboys entered the weekend with thoughts of hosting a regional and an outside chance at the Big 12 title, but after the weekend they may be ready to get out of Stillwater as fast as possible. In two straight series at home, the Pokes were swept by teams playing superior baseball. OSU was beat at every aspect of the game - from defense to pitching to offense - by a scrappy Missouri team.

The problems started with the Cowboy defense. Entering the series, the Cowboys were rated as one of the nation's top 15 best fielding teams but they had trouble making the most routine of plays all weekend. Missouri came into the series with a batting average that tied for the worst in the Big 12, but the Tigers had no trouble hitting this weekend.

Missouri would collect 36 hits on the Cowboys, but their damage was made worse by mistakes of the defense. Poke fielders would commit nine errors, and many more mental ones. There were several times when easy double plays were bobbled on the exchange and the extended inning led to a mountain of Missouri runs.

The Tigers won each of the three games by three runs, leaving little doubt in each contest. The margin of victory could very easily have been much worse, as the Tigers stranded 29 runners on the weekend.

The Cowboy pitchers hurt themselves as much as the defense behind them did. On the weekend they would issue 15 base on balls, uncharacteristic of a Frank Anderson coached team. They would also bean an additional seven Tiger batters, and surrender free bases on two wild pitches and a balk.

The Missouri series - like the Nebraska and Texas series - saw the Cowboy bats disappear. While the Tigers were hitting bloop singles and fist shots, the home team was popping out to the deep outfield.

The home crowd said goodbye to fan favorite Ty Wright on Sunday with a loud ovation before his first at bat. Ty in recognition of his last home game changed his intro song to "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys." Ty, along with Keanon Simon, leave the Cowboys after being apart of all four years of the Frank Anderson tenure. Ty was one of the first two players Anderson recruited to Oklahoma State. He has etched his name in the halls of the Cowboy legends with an active 31-game hitting streak. Wright, along with senior Tyler Mach, have a chance to be the first Cowboy hitters to hit better than .400 since 2000.

Simon, the other part of the four-year duo that occupied left and center field for the last four years, is this week's Player of the Week. Simon leaves Stillwater as the last player Tom Holliday recruited into the program. Simon was one of the few Cowboys to not have an error this weekend and that is to be expected from the extremely sure-handed glove in center. However, Simon earns recognition this weekend for his bat. On the weekend Simon collected 7 hits in 13 at-bats to lead the attack. As Wright has struggled recently to keep his streak alive, Keanon has stepped up his play and continues to get on base allowing the middle of the lineup to drive him in.

The Cowboys will be the three seed in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament which begins Wednesday in Bricktown. The Cowboys begin the chase for their second Big 12 Tournament title with Baylor at 8 p.m. Wednesday. They will face OU in a Bedlam rematch Friday night at 7 p.m., before finishing pool play at 5 p.m. Saturday against second seed Missouri.

GoPokes.com will breakdown the upcoming opponents on Tuesday in a Big 12 preview. Fans wishing to attend games can order tickets over the phone by calling the Redhawks ticket office at 405-218-1000. All session and weekend passes still remain and fans can order single session tickets beginning Monday morning.

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