Though Clemson has played Western Carolina several times this season, the Tigers have no experience against Nebraska and Oklahoma State. Frankly some fans may not even realize they have decent baseball teams. As part of our Regional coverage we wanted to reach out to some fans to learn a little bit more about Oklahoma State baseball. Cade from Cowboys Ride For Free was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about Oklahoma State. His answers about the Cowboys and what we can expect from them in Clemson this weekend are below. A big thanks to Cade for taking some time to answer the questions. We'll have some answers of our own about Clemson up over there later this week.
Clemson 2016 NCAA Baseball Regional: Oklahoma State Q&A
CRF: Oklahoma State was a favorite to win the conference heading into the season. I think the team, for the most part, did not live up to the lofty expectations. Many people, myself included, had OSU as a potential CWS team. They can still achieve that, but not winning the conference and being bounced in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament was a disappointment.
CRF: The majority of reactions I've seen have been excited to be heading to Clemson. It's a solid regional in a cool area of the country. People would be crazy not to try to make it out there Clemson is a tough ball club, and OSU will certainly have their hands full.
CRF: The strength of this team is on the mound, without question. Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Thomas Hatch has had an excellent season, posting a 2.31 ERA over the season. Tyler Buffett was the Big 12 Closer of the Year, posting a 3.58 ERA. The team has excellent speed on the basepath, as well.
CRF: The best way to beat this team is simple: get to the pitcher. Oklahoma State doesn't possess a ton of offensive firepower, and that was their biggest downfall in the season. It all depends on what Oklahoma State does at the plate. If they're hitting the ball well, they are very tough to beat. If they're sluggish at the plate, then it tends to bog the whole team down.
CRF: Keep an eye on Thomas Hatch, obviously. The Big 12 Pitcher of the Year will be pitching, we just aren't sure against who yet. Colin Theroux, the catcher has been hot lately. Conor Costello had a grand slam in the Big 12 Tournament, and is probably OSU's best option on offense. J.R. Davis, the second baseman, doesn't swing a great bat, but he flies on the bases when given the opportunity.
CRF: I don't expect Oklahoma State to advance out of this regional. Clemson seems to possess a ton of offensive firepower, as evidenced by the win over Florida State in the ACC Championship. I think they can win a couple games, but a lot will have to fall perfectly in to place for OSU to advance.