Stillwater News Press

College Sports

May 30, 2014

NCAA Division I Baseball Stillwater Regional: Cowboys get production from catcher Case

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Cowboys had plenty of run support in Friday’s 8-0 victory against Binghamton in the NCAA Regional opener. And if Bryan Case continues to bat the way he has recently, there shouldn’t be much problem duplicating that as the postseason rolls on.

The junior from Cosumnes River Junior College has made quite the impact in the postseason. In the Big 12 Championship, Case belted two solo home runs and batted .308 in four games as the starting catcher.

He stayed hot with Friday’s contest against the Bearcats, going 1-for-2 with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the sixth. He also walked twice and accounted for another run in Oklahoma State’s shutout win.

“That was the third slider that I saw against that pitcher (Nicholas Liegi),” Case said. “I decided to give it a swing. I’ve worked really hard this year on my swing, and I’ve come a long way. It’s starting to pay off and I’m getting some big hits.”

Case started the season as the main man behind the plate for OSU (46-16), but it was a lack of offensive production that saw Robie Rojas and Gage Green play more at catcher. Nevertheless, Case didn’t let it shut him down.

“This kid works his tail off,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “He started out the year as our primary catcher. We made some adjustments in the middle of the year to change the look of our offense from time to time.

“This kid never ever changed the look on his face, never changed his attitude, his work ethic; he was 100 percent committed to the team. He really went to work on changing his swing and making himself a better player. And that’s a really great lesson for our team to see that, ‘Hey, just because your number isn’t being called right now doesn’t mean it won’t come back around.”

Case’s return to working with the pitchers has not only resulted in good performances like Friday’s shutout effort from five OSU pitchers, but it has also allowed Gage Green to spend most of his time in left field snagging would-be hits. Green is batting .318 on the season, has 20 stolen bases and is a key piece of the Cowboys offense.

With a game against Cal State Fullerton and the nation’s best pitching staff in terms of ERA on Saturday night, continued production at the plate will be needed from Case and others to compliment the slugging prowess of Tanner Krietemeier and Zach Fish.

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