The State of OS Baseball

  • You are viewing Orangepower as a Guest. To start new threads, reply to posts, or participate in polls or contests - you must register. Registration is free and easy. Click Here to register.

Matt_bob123

SBC presents Mattbob
Oct 16, 2003
3,881
538
1,743
#1
After a big series, it's always good to reflect on where you are going and how you got here.

But first: an under-reported story from this weekend: Matthew Zembraski played his final series with OSU baseball weekend. He's a 4-year contributor to OSU baseball that's graduating. In addition to all the rigors that a college athlete has on his schedule. Zembraski was a member of the OSU Air Force ROTC. While serving as our bullpen catcher, he also earned his ROTC commission. Once finals complete, he will be reporting to the Air Force, to begin his life as a pilot. I had the pleasure of meeting this young man at the banquet. We can be proud that OSU baseball is filled with quality young men, like Zembraski, who will now be serving us as a member of the Air Force.

How we got here:
This is by far the best coaching job, Josh, Rob, and James have ever done. To hold this team together at 9-8-1 RPI in the 100s and allow this turn around is absolutely impressive. Josh should be the Big12 Coach of the Year. (Tho the media may reward Texas's newfound success). Prior to last year, we had never finished below second in the Big12 Standings, and we have returned to that echelon in record time. It's because we have gotten better during the year at every facet of the game.

One key factor is the fact that Josh recruited talent to every position, despite draft losses, we are competitive at every spot in the lineup. If you slip up, there's someone that wants your spot, and they can play too. We will lose some guys to transfers, but this might be the deepest roster, we've had going back to TH or Ward teams. Even with all the guys, we lost last year to the draft and graduation, there haven't been very many dropoffs in talent. James Vilade is owed a huge raise for that.

Defensively, we started out very shaky. It didn't matter who played on the infield they seemed to make a few errors. Now, we are dynamite in the field. People have criticized the shifts and adjustments we run, but you can't anymore because those shifts won us the DBU game. Whenever DBU made contact, it was right to an OSU player. In Bedlam, OU couldn't get any offense going, because they were killing the ball, but it was right at someone. Jon Littell had a ton of easy catches. The CWS team played defense like we are playing now.

Offensively, we went from not scoring runs, to tearing the cover off the ball. It started at the bottom of the lineup. There are games when Neustifter and McCusker are our best hitters, and then the order resets and the top of the lineup feeds off of them. It's been amazing to watch. This team is by far the best hitting team, Josh has had. There isn't an easy out in the lineup. Any mistakes a pitcher makes are being capitalized on. OU has a great staff, but we humiliated them by turning a slight miss into a lucky bloop and every big miss into a home run. We do occasionally struggle with a slow, junk pitcher, but guys with elite stuff are being destroyed by this lineup.

Pitching-wise, there are reasons for concern, but they have disappeared as we have progressed through conference play. The Starting pitching has been excellent. Which has allowed the holes in the bullpen to disappear. By getting 2 extra innings out of each of our starters, it has taken the pressure off the pen. Couple that with more run support and guys are coming in feeling better. Add to that, even the bullpen is pitching better, and you have the current streak we are on. Every guy in the pen has had bad outings but seems to be pitching their best stuff right now. That's a testament to Rob Walton. Guys like Ben Leeper have great stuff, but couldn't get it going early, can now be trusted to go get us a good inning.

Where are we going:
Oral Roberts: As much as we have owned OU, ORU has owned Josh. Josh only has like 3 wins against ORU in 13 games and we have only 1 win against them since 2015. There might be a tendency to look at our record against them and their poor RPI and hope for a rainout, but this game is important. We need this midweek game to get the bullpen guys some more work. CJ, Reza, Leep, Noah, Brady, Van Leewen, and Cole, will all be needed down the stretch. Especially if we find ourselves in a loser's bracket at the Big12 or in Regionals. This is their time to get in some big innings against a team that hates us. If you are in Tulsa on Tuesday, feel free to pack their park with Orange.

Iowa: Iowa is a great non-con series. They're a top 40 RPI team that's playing well. They just took the series from Michigan (top team in the Big10, which entered the weekend with a 20 game win streak). If you are in the midwest, I would make plans to be there this weekend. It should be a huge series. To their credit, Iowa is excited for us. Their athletic department is talking about bringing in temporary bleachers to handle the increased crowds. (The OSU Alumni Association is hosting a big thing if you are in the area). This is the kind of series that prepares you for a super regional on the road. Big crowds with a playoff atmosphere. Fans in Oklahoma should be able to watch on the Big10togo app.

Baylor: Baylor currently has the longest win streak in the country at 10 games (will be 12 when we play them). This series is in Waco and we could be in a position to win the Big12 this weekend. I've already made plans to go because I wanna see us win the title. It could be something special. I will warn you if you are considering this, the Big12 track championships are in Waco on the same weekend, so hotels are extremely hard to come by. So make your plans NOW. Baylor has outstanding pitching and represents a good test of our lineup. They're playing great baseball, maybe hotter than we are, so they shouldn't be overlooked.

Texas Tech: This series could be for all the marbles and on our home field. Allie P hasn't seen this in the history of the Big12. Our last Big12 Championship was won in Tulsa during Bedlam. As great as the crowds were for Bedlam Friday night, we need to duplicate that for Tech, who brings some heavy hitters to the ballpark. We need sellouts. So get your tickets now! You don't want to miss this opportunity to see the OS lift up a trophy.

Big12 Championship: If you missed not having Bedlam in OKC then pack the Brick to celebrate this Cowboy Baseball season. We showed last year, that we can fill that stadium for a Big12 tourney, let's do it again. Our seeding may be at issue.

What do we need to do:
OSU should be in a position to host now, as the big12 Frontrunner. But, we don't want to just a host, we want to be in line for a Super as well. Why? Because we are much better at home, yes, there's added pressure in your own ballpark, but this team is 7-0 in Big12 games played in Allie P. This team lives off that energy. That means, we need to win the Big12 outright, win each of our remaining weekends, and have a good showing at the Big12 tourney. Our RPI is coming around with the wins, but we can't rest on our laurels here. Gotta keep winning.

As fans of this team, we need to be there for the guys, giving them the energy they live off. So get tickets now, for all the series, you can make. You don't want to be watching a game on tv at home, wishing you had been smart enough to get your tickets earlier. Everyone that was at the Big12 Championship game last year knows how good it feels to see your guys pull off an unlikely title. This team deserves your support and you should want to be there.

Cliff notes: OSU at this time last year had to win out bedlam to not finish last in the Big12. This year, we have a chance to win the Big12 title with 2 weeks left in the season. That's a special turnaround.
 

Matt_bob123

SBC presents Mattbob
Oct 16, 2003
3,881
538
1,743
#2
Now that Boydsworld has updated we can also look at the impact of last week.

Our RPI now sits at 22. (down from the 30s). And the ISR (Strength of record) is at 24 (down from the 40s).

The RPI needs report reads like this.
Win 1 game remaining and finish with a top45 RPI.
Win 3 games and finish with a top 32 RPI (so at-large birth, and likely a 2 seed).
Win 7 of the remaining 10 and we finish with a top16 RPI.
Win 9 of 10 and finish with a Top8 RPI and become a lock for a national seed.
 
Aug 7, 2006
1,161
923
1,743
#3
Now that Boydsworld has updated we can also look at the impact of last week.

Our RPI now sits at 22. (down from the 30s). And the ISR (Strength of record) is at 24 (down from the 40s).

The RPI needs report reads like this.
Win 1 game remaining and finish with a top45 RPI.
Win 3 games and finish with a top 32 RPI (so at-large birth, and likely a 2 seed).
Win 7 of the remaining 10 and we finish with a top16 RPI.
Win 9 of 10 and finish with a Top8 RPI and become a lock for a national seed.
Well then I guess there's only one thing left to do...

 
Oct 8, 2008
272
112
593
#4
Moved back from Cedar Rapids a couple of years ago. Iowa's Baseball stadium is smaller than our Softball stadium. But would have loved to watch us play there, cool little city Iowa City is.
 

superpoke

Territorial Marshal
Jun 28, 2005
5,244
2,516
1,743
Orange Country USA
#5
After a quick glance, I think Iowa is exaggerating the capacity of their park just a bit. And they have an all-turf field, which sucks.

I'm hoping Tech takes their series with UT this weekend by a 2-1 count, which would put both teams five games back in the loss column with us having six to play. As nice as it would be to win the title at home, I'd rather win it as soon as possible so there's less chance of a "must win" scenario in the final series and the pitching rotation is protected for the conference tournament.
 
Oct 6, 2012
481
544
643
48
#6
I agree that this is the best season we've had from our coaching staff. Last year they also had a great year by winning the Big 12 tourney to get to the post-season, but this year has exceeded that effort. Remember that this team was picked in the pre-season to finish in a tie for sixth and is now in the cat-bird's seat to win the league. I think that if it had not been for the injuries to the pitching staff this would be another CWS team. It is hard to predict that now though because the pitching staff is so thin, but you never know with Josh and Rob at the wheel.
 

Takeout Slide

Hardcore Troubadour
Nov 10, 2009
2,744
4,359
743
Rounding third and heading for Omaha
#7
What do we need to do:
OSU should be in a position to host now, as the big12 Frontrunner. But, we don't want to just a host, we want to be in line for a Super as well. Why? Because we are much better at home, yes, there's added pressure in your own ballpark, but this team is 7-0 in Big12 games played in Allie P. This team lives off that energy. That means, we need to win the Big12 outright, win each of our remaining weekends, and have a good showing at the Big12 tourney. Our RPI is coming around with the wins, but we can't rest on our laurels here. Gotta keep winning.
Fantastic post. Agree 100% that this has been a masterful coaching job that should garner a Big 12 COY award. Texas was picked top 3 and looks to finish there. We were picked anywhere from 6-8.

We've been pretty good on the road as well - at last check, 13 road wins is the most of any P5 team. I'd love to see us host if for no other reason than to reward an improbably successful season, but I also wouldn't count this group out on the road - especially if Heasley can continue to settle in and the bullpen continues to take shape.

Moved back from Cedar Rapids a couple of years ago. Iowa's Baseball stadium is smaller than our Softball stadium. But would have loved to watch us play there, cool little city Iowa City is.
Same here - from about 45 mins north of CR. Wish they'd have played this series 3-4 years ago.
 

Lab Rat

Hold on while I make a chart
A/V Subscriber
Jan 5, 2012
7,083
9,999
743
#8
Now that Boydsworld has updated we can also look at the impact of last week.

Our RPI now sits at 22. (down from the 30s). And the ISR (Strength of record) is at 24 (down from the 40s).

The RPI needs report reads like this.
Win 1 game remaining and finish with a top45 RPI.
Win 3 games and finish with a top 32 RPI (so at-large birth, and likely a 2 seed).
Win 7 of the remaining 10 and we finish with a top16 RPI.
Win 9 of 10 and finish with a Top8 RPI and become a lock for a national seed.
According to Boydsworld.com, our remaining opponent winning percentage (0.652) is the 2nd highest among the top 75 RPI teams (South Carolina’s is 0.668). While some might look at that as a disadvantage, this team will likely consider it an opportunity.
 

ksupoke

We don't need no, thot kuntrol
A/V Subscriber
Feb 16, 2011
11,861
16,285
743
dark sarcasm in the classroom
#9
According to Boydsworld.com, our remaining opponent winning percentage (0.652) is the 2nd highest among the top 75 RPI teams (South Carolina’s is 0.668). While some might look at that as a disadvantage, this team will likely consider it an opportunity.
The problem with all these sites (btw wn is a more accurate rpi site because he tracks neutral & ties) is that rpi shift isn’t limited to who you are playing or even who they have played. aae ORU still has multiple +200 rpi teams to play and only WSU and the Pokes as quality games as a result the Pokes need to win that game and hope they win the WSU tilt and hope they don’t drop any of the others. That’s why the rpi needs report can and does fluctuate not just over the course of the year but from week to week. An example of that - up until this week the Pokes couldn’t get to t8 with any losses now they can. It’s fun and it gives you an idea but I wouldn’t take it to Vegas and if you have a weak heart it might send you to an early grave, if following the game threads on here didn’t already.
 
Last edited:
Jun 29, 2004
1,736
240
1,693
44
La Jolla, California
#10
In the Bedlam Series, since Josh Holiday became the head coach, OSU is 22-8 against the sooners, with a total runs scored at 176-106. He has one regular season Big 12 Title and once Conference Tournament Title, a CWS appearance and is currently 3 games in first in the Big 12. You add in the new baseball stadium, and our future looks bright.
 

Takeout Slide

Hardcore Troubadour
Nov 10, 2009
2,744
4,359
743
Rounding third and heading for Omaha
#11
It's easy to forget where this program was 10-15 years ago. And aside from all of that stuff you mentioned above, you can add the love he and Rob and Vilade have for their players and how much they expect those guys to perform in the classroom and the community. We are dang lucky to have all three of them.
 
Aug 16, 2012
621
554
643
55
#12
Have to travel through Waco at least a couple times a month. Not a fan of the town as a whole, but if you head down for the games and are looking for a great, simple "Route 66-style" burger, the kind you remember burgers being before mass production and fast food, find your way to Health Camp. Stupid name, great food. Take LaSalle (just east of the ballpark) about 2 miles south to the big traffic circle, right on the circle.
 
Oct 30, 2007
2,579
2,379
1,743
#13
I heard today that Jensen Elliott is back throwing and chomping at the bit to get back on the mound. I know the coaches want to be cautious, but it sounds like we'll get another quality arm back before the end of the season. :thumbup:
 
Last edited:

pokefan05

Knickas on Backward
A/V Subscriber
Dec 6, 2006
1,375
1,292
1,743
Tulsa
#14
In the Bedlam Series, since Josh Holiday became the head coach, OSU is 22-8 against the sooners, with a total runs scored at 176-106. He has one regular season Big 12 Title and once Conference Tournament Title, a CWS appearance and is currently 3 games in first in the Big 12. You add in the new baseball stadium, and our future looks bright.
It really is impressive what Josh has done with the current stadium situation. Allie P provided great memories, but it's a total dump, other than the playing surface. Can't wait to see what Josh can do with a top facility to sell recruits.
 

Matt_bob123

SBC presents Mattbob
Oct 16, 2003
3,881
538
1,743
#15
I heard today that Jensen Elliott is back throwing and chomping at the bit to get back on the mound. I know the coaches want to be cautious, but it sounds like we'll get another quality arm back before the end of the season. :thumbup:
He warmed up throwing Friday in Stillwater and then threw a full bullpen on Saturday in Tulsa (that was watched very closely by the coaching staff). The expectation date earlier in the season was the Tech series, but I'm sure it will come down to when he's officially cleared by the medical staff to return to game action. We can't risk the young man's long-term health for the prospect of quick inning help, just because we are eager to have him back.
 

Ptak'sNewspaper

Territorial Marshal
Sep 30, 2004
5,879
3,966
1,743
On Tour with the Gap Band
strikeupthegapband.com
#16
He warmed up throwing Friday in Stillwater and then threw a full bullpen on Saturday in Tulsa (that was watched very closely by the coaching staff). The expectation date earlier in the season was the Tech series, but I'm sure it will come down to when he's officially cleared by the medical staff to return to game action. We can't risk the young man's long-term health for the prospect of quick inning help, just because we are eager to have him back.

Not to mention, Aleaziz and Leeper are beginning to look like shut down guys out of the pen. If there's anything to feel good about from last night, that's it. We now appear to have some real consistent weapons to use out of the bullpen. Battenfield has been terrific for over a month now. Our current bullpen arms seem more than able to carry the load from here. No need to rush Elliott at all.
 
Aug 31, 2004
2,044
898
1,743
Austin, TX
#17
He warmed up throwing Friday in Stillwater and then threw a full bullpen on Saturday in Tulsa (that was watched very closely by the coaching staff). The expectation date earlier in the season was the Tech series, but I'm sure it will come down to when he's officially cleared by the medical staff to return to game action. We can't risk the young man's long-term health for the prospect of quick inning help, just because we are eager to have him back.
Has he had a redshirt year? If not, I'd save him for next year.
 

RutherfordFan

Federal Marshal
Feb 5, 2008
15,002
3,550
1,743
Oklahoma City
#19
I agree that this is the best season we've had from our coaching staff. Last year they also had a great year by winning the Big 12 tourney to get to the post-season, but this year has exceeded that effort. Remember that this team was picked in the pre-season to finish in a tie for sixth and is now in the cat-bird's seat to win the league. I think that if it had not been for the injuries to the pitching staff this would be another CWS team. It is hard to predict that now though because the pitching staff is so thin, but you never know with Josh and Rob at the wheel.
This team picked to finish 6th was a joke! Do people not pay attention to the talent we have on our roster? Dumb
 
Feb 27, 2018
508
380
63
118
Tulsa
www.tulsaworld.com
#20
Oklahoma State

Record: 27-15-1, 15-3 Big 12

Looking ahead: The Cowboys, the Big 12’s first-place team, will slip out of conference to play three games at Iowa on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Looking back: OSU swept Oklahoma in the annual Bedlam series, winning 8-0, 10-1 and 9-2 last weekend before dropping a Tuesday game at Oral Roberts.
Link