The Oklahoma State baseball team was very business-like during their 50-minute practice session Friday, but laid back and relaxed the rest of the day.
UC Santa Barbara doesn't have a storied history like some of the traditional College World Series powers, but Oklahoma State won't be taking them lightly.
“They certainly earned their way here,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “They, much like we did, had a very challenging journey through the south [and] what a great job by their kids and coaching staff.”
Cowboys starting pitcher Thomas Hatch added, “I don't know much about them, but it obviously says a lot to go into Louisville and Vanderbilt and come out to the College World series. Our coaches do a good job of scouting, and we'll just focus on executing our pitches and winning our at-bats, and that's all we can do.”
Runs could be at a premium Saturday afternoon at TD Ameritrade as the park plays big, and the wind usually blows in.
Oklahoma State's style of play should fit the stadium well.
“We just try to look at each inning and the players that are coming up and decide how we best create offense for our team and how we put each player in a position where he's confident in what he's getting ready to do,” explained Holliday. “Ballpark and elements at times impact style of play. We want to play smart baseball, good baseball, but we also want to ask players to do things they are good at so they're confident because confident players play well.”
OSU’s pitching staff is another reason to expect a low-scoring game on Saturday.
The Cowboys have a team ERA of just one during the NCAA Tournament, and the starters have given up just three earned runs in 34 innings.