The Cowboys are back on the diamond and set to kick off the 2017 baseball season with a three-game road series against Grand Canyon in Phoenix. They'll play Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. CT.
Oklahoma State enters the season ranked as high as No. 11 by Perfect Game in the preseason polls. Josh Holliday’s club is ranked No. 18 by Baseball America and No. 22 in the USA Today coaches poll and NCBWA poll.
The Cowboys are coming off a 43-22 season that saw the team advance to the College World Series for the 20th time in program history. They return seven starters from last year’s squad including Preseason All-American pitcher Tyler Buffett (9-3 with a 2.81 ERA and nine saves in 2016), who is expected to start against GCU’s Jake Wong on Friday.
Saturday will feature OSU’s Jensen Elliott (9-3 with a 3.50 ERA) vs. Degan Harte and Sunday’s contest will be Carson Teel (17 strikeouts in 16.2 innings pitched, 2.70 ERA) vs. Jake Repavich. Junior Blake Battenfield (3.68 ERA with two saves) is expected to close for the Pokes.
The Cowboys are 11-0 all-time against Grand Canyon. The Lopes finished 25-28-1 in 2016 and return five starting position players and three starting pitchers. They are led by junior outfielder Garrison Schwartz. The preseason WAC Player of the Year hit .307 with six homers and 37 RBIs last year.