Stillwater News Press

College Sports

June 7, 2014

Brendan McCurry’s lasting legacy

STILLWATER, Okla. — When Brendan McCurry came to Oklahoma State during his junior year as a second baseman, he hadn’t pitched since his freshman year at Howard Junior College. One bullpen session changed all of that.

“When I first got here in the fall (pitching coach) Rob (Walton) asked me to throw a bullpen,” McCurry said. “I threw a bullpen and the closer role kind of stuck.”

Now in his senior season, McCurry has established his place in the Cowboys’ record books as the all-time leader in saves with 27.

McCurry said at first the transition to being a pitcher wasn’t easy — especially since he wasn’t playing every game.

“I like to hit,” McCurry said. “When I stopped being a position player, the hitting went with it. It’s OK though.”

One thing, McCurry didn’t abandon as he took the mound was his attitude. It was his bulldog personality that helped him thrive on the mound as he recorded eight saves and struck out 35 batters to just 11 walks, while posting a 2.72 ERA in 2013.

“I go right at everybody,” McCurry said. “It usually works.”

This season, McCurry has posted a 5-0 record with a 0.39 ERA and recorded 19 saves. Sunday night against Cal State Fullerton, the senior pitched two innings to earn a save and send Oklahoma State into the Super Regionals for the first time since 2007.

“The first inning went smooth,” McCurry said. “Second inning started smooth but didn’t get a call, gave up a hit and walked one. One got on with an error with two outs. I finally made a good pitch to get out of it.”

On April 19, McCurry passed Jordy Mercer for career saves. The senior said he keeps in contact with Mercer, who is now playing shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“It’s really cool considering all the great pitchers and players that have come through here,” McCurry said. “I know Jordy and have talked to him in person a few times. He’s a good guy. He’s the shortstop for the Pirates, so it worked out for him.”

McCurry has received numerous honors in his senior season. The senior is a finalist for the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association Showstopper of the Year and the 2014 NCBWA District VI Co-Player of the Year. The Tupelo native already earned Louisville Slugger second-team All-America and All-Big 12 Conference first team. On Saturday he was drafted in the 22nd round and 672nd overall by the Oakland Athletics.

McCurry has been to the College World Series as a spectator but hopes he can get there as a player.

“I’ve seen the atmosphere up there watching some games,” McCurry said. “There’s nothing like it. It’s a lot of fun.”

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