Anxious in Arlington: OSU fans vary on organization’s views of regional Big 12 tournament prospects | Sports


ARLINGTON, Texas — Three weeks ago, OSU baseball had a No. 3 ranking and was aiming to host an NCAA regional super.

Are you just organizing a regional in Stillwater? It seemed locked up. No questions asked.

But the tides have changed. Five losses in the final seven games of the season suddenly made the Cowboys’ playoff future murkier than the waters of Lake Carl Blackwell. Then came a loss in the first found on the Big 12 tournament to complicate it further.

Even after recovering with wins over Baylor on Thursday and top-seeded TCU on Friday, not everyone is convinced that it will be enough for OSU to play one more game at O’Brate this season.

“We gotta get back to it (a regional), we’re out of it,” Holdenville OSU fan Bill Anderson said after Friday’s win over TCU. “Beat Texas tomorrow, and I think we can do it.”

Easier said than done. After shutting out the Cowboys, the Longhorns sent TCU to the losing streak by allowing just four hits. OSU must beat Texas twice on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s championship.

And despite the series sweep a month ago, not everyone is comfortable heading into Saturday’s game with a hot team from Texas.

“I’m still scared of Texas,” Anderson said.

The Bats woke up for OSU on Days 2 and 3, but the Texas pitch will present a bigger test. Throwing is what separated the two last outing, and that should be a major factor on Saturday.

“They’re going to see a lot better throwing, I think, overall,” said Caleb, who traveled to Arlington from Elk City. “So we’re going to have to put the ball in play and do the little things right. I think the pitch is going to be the big part of it, it’s been (like this) all year. I mean, how good our bullpen is is kind of how good we do it.

But some take comfort in OSU’s resurgence in its last two wins. And the recent loss to the Big 12 team wearing a different shade of orange doesn’t cause panic.

“I feel pretty good about it, we’ve yelled at Texas a few times, might as well do it again,” Caleb said.

D1Baseball’s midweek NCAA bracket update listed OSU as a projected No. 2 seed — not hosting a regional — but that’s a prediction. The Cowboys’ survival in the conference tournament offers potential for that to change.

But for some, there is optimism despite everything.

“I think even if we don’t win, I think we’ll host a regional,” Blake, an OSU graduate from Wichita Falls, Texas, said Friday.

It will take a strong showing for OSU to beat a surging Texas team in back-to-back games to advance, but Blake thinks his team is fully capable.

“I think if we get on the right track, we’ll beat Texas,” Blake said. “Now we have to beat Texas twice. But I’m good enough; I trust the team and everything.

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