Stillwater News Press

May 25, 2009

And the beat goes on

Cowboys' season stays alive with regional bid

Christopher Shelton — Stillwater NewsPress

The Oklahoma State baseball team was scattered around Stillwater at 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

Some Cowboys were avoiding watching ESPN and others were drawn to the NCAA Selection, which included the announcement of OSU’s No. 3 seeding in the 2009 NCAA Clemson Regional Tournament. OSU will play second-seeded Alabama on Friday at 2 p.m. in Clemson, S.C.

“I ended up watching it,” pitcher Tyler Lyons said. “I wasn’t going to watch, I told myself (Sunday night) I wasn’t going to watch. I was just going to wait and see what I heard, but then I kind of heard some optimistic news, I guess, and it kind of had me interested.”

That news was a whispering from people who knew people who thought the Cowboys (32-22) had a decent chance to get in the postseason. The rumors proved true as Oklahoma State’s rigorous schedule helped its chances with selection.

“We weren’t sure what was going to happen with the committee, and when you put it in the hands of somebody else that makes those decisions, you’re always anxious about what will happen,” coach Frank Anderson said. “But we had a good schedule and played a good schedule with a good NCAA RPI strength, so we knew we had a chance.”

Junior and MLB-draft hopeful Neil Medchill was one of the players watching with interest to see if, what could be his final season at OSU, would continue or end without fanfare.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “I know a lot of the guys were down — including myself — practicing all week, thinking we weren’t practicing for much. They let a team with a lot of talent get in and spark us, hopefully, a little bit. We’ll try to make things happen.”

Senior third baseman Tyrone Hambly watched the show alone. He was excited to find that his Cowboy career would continue, but he also had other interests in the selection.

“I kind of wanted to see where some other teams got sent and things like that,” he said. “And obviously to see if we got in, and we did so I’m glad I watched it. It was an exciting time.”

More than one Cowboy admitted that some people didn’t think OSU should be in the NCAA mix this year, but there were a lot of factors to consider and OSU’s gauntlet of a schedule couldn’t be ignored.

“The thing with RPI — if RPI meant anything, we should have been in,” Medchill said. “I know there’s a lot of writers out there that aren’t exactly too happy and thrilled with us getting in, but if RPI means something, then we should be there.”

Lyons didn’t have any celebration plans Monday afternoon with practice to get through, but Medchill opened a small window into some of the Cowboys’ Monday night to-be.

“We’ll try to keep it low-key,” he said. “I’m sure a few of us might get together and hang out a little bit — but hopefully nothing too crazy.”