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Cowboy Baseball: McCain, Benge Lead OSU All-Big 12 Selections

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma State's Garrett McCain and Garrett Benge were both named to the 2017 All-Big 12 Conference First Team, leading a group of five Cowboys to earn recognition from the league today.
 
Joining McCain and Benge on the list of OSU honorees are Colin Simpson and Tyler Buffett, who were named honorable mention All-Big 12, as well as Cade Cabbiness, who earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.
 
An outfielder from Wylie, Texas, McCain had a breakout junior season for the Cowboys. He finished the regular season as the league's top hitter, with his .395 batting average 42 points higher than the next closest competitor, and he also tops the conference in hits (79) and on-base percentage (.496) while ranking second in runs (50) and stolen bases (19).
 
A starter in all 51 games this season, McCain leads OSU in 11 offensive categories and also tops the Cowboys with 25 multi-hit games while ranking second with 11 multi-RBI efforts. He owns the longest hitting streak on the team this season (13 games), and his current reached base streak of 30 is the highest by an OSU player in 2017.
 
McCain's versatility has seen him start 31 games in left field and 18 in center field (two as DH), while he's batted cleanup 19 times, hit second in the order 18 times and also hit leadoff 12 times (twice at the No. 3 spot).
 
The All-Big 12 honor is the first of McCain's career.
 
Benge earned all-conference accolades for the second-straight year as his spot on the first team comes on the heels of his All-Big 12 Second Team recognition in 2016.
 
A native of Yukon, Okla., Benge mans third base for the Cowboys and along with McCain, is the only OSU player to start all 51 games this season.
 
One of the Big 12's most consistent hitters, Benge owns a .319 batting average and ranks atop the conference with 45 walks. He's also among the league leaders in home runs (9), triples (3), RBIs (51), total bases (103), slugging percentage (.548) and on-base percentage (.454).
 
Simpson emerged as one of OSU's top offensive threats as a sophomore, doing the majority of his damage in conference play. Tied with Benge for the team lead with nine home runs, Simpson smacked seven of those against league foes and also led the Cowboys with 23 RBIs in Big 12 games.
 
Hailing from Edmond, Okla., Simpson owns a .270 batting average and ranks second on the Cowboys with 35 RBIs. The honorable mention nod marks the first All-Big 12 recognition of his career.
 
In his final collegiate season, Buffett anchored OSU's weekend rotation. The right-hander sports a 5-5 record and 4.71 ERA in 14 starts, and he ranks second in the league in innings pitch (84.0) and third in strikeouts (75).
 
Buffett, an Albuquerque, N.M. native who earned All-Big 12 First Team honors as a junior, will leave OSU ranking in the top 10 in program history in both career appearances and innings pitched.
 
Rounding out OSU's list of honorees is Cabbiness, who emerged as one of the league's best freshmen in 2017.
 
An outfielder/DH from Bixby, Okla., Cabbiness is hitting .286 with two doubles, two homers, seven doubles and 14 RBIs in 37 games this season. He also sports a .438 slugging percentage and has recorded a pair of outfield assists.
 
The 2017 All-Big 12 teams and awards are voted on by the conference's head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.

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