There's no hotter team in college baseball right now than the Oklahoma State Cowboys, as the Pokes are undefeated since the start of the NCAA Tournament and are coming off two straight 1-0 wins in the College World Series.
When a team wins two games by such a narrow margin, it comes down to the little things that helped get the job done. One example of that for the Cowboys came in the bottom of the first inning when Arizona's Cody Ramer stepped up to bat. Ramer smoked a deep ball to center field, where OSU's Ryan Sluder's made one of the best catches of the college baseball season.
Sluder ran full steam towards the outfield wall at TD Ameritrade Park before sprawling out for a beautiful diving catch. You can see the play below:
If Sluder wouldn't have made the incredible grab, the Wildcats would've started the game with an extra base hit with no outs, and who knows what could've happened at that point.
Despite making the play of the game, Sluder was humble when talking with reporters after the game.
"Honestly just trying to get a good read and just sometimes that happens," Sluder said. "You've got to extend to get a ball. And fell in my glove. That's all I've got to say. Just happens, man. It's instinct."
Arizona head coach Jay Johnson was far less subtle about the greatness of the play.
"That play on Cody's ball in the first inning center fielder that's as good as it gets," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, I'm going to have to go home and watch it on SportsCenter tonight, I'm sure. He's standing at third base, no outs, and Zach and Ryan coming up were going to score in the first inning."
Take the maximum effort from the OSU defense, and mix it with the Pokes' timely hitting and elite pitching, and you have yourself a team that's only one win away from next week's best-of-3 championship series.
Cowboys will take the field again on Friday when they play the winner of Arizona and UC Santa Barbara.