Stillwater News Press

OSU Sports

May 23, 2012

Andrew Heaney named Big 12 Pitcher of Year

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — There was a time earlier in Andrew Heaney’s career where Oklahoma State baseball coach Frank Anderson wasn’t Heaney had what it took to start for the Cowboys, let alone be one of the most dominant pitchers in the league.

As Heaney walked up to accept the award for Big 12 Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday in Oklahoma City, even the typically reserved Anderson cracked a smile.

“I’m proud of him because of the things he’s done,” Anderson said. “Obviously, he’s done great things for us, but he deserves all the accolades. He’s worked hard and he’s gotten better each year.”

Heaney became the first Oklahoma State player to win Pitcher of the Year, going 8-1 with a 1.63 ERA.

“I read that on the little handout they gave us and I was a little surprised,” Heaney said. “It really puts it in perspective of how difficult it is and how lucky I am to have won it. You look at both the guys I’ve played with and heard the legend of and it’s hard to believe some of those guys have never won it.”

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the lefty from Oklahoma City. He struggled his freshman year before eventually finding his groove late in his sophomore season thanks to some added muscle.

“It hasn’t always been smooth,” Anderson said. “He’s kind of been up and down his entire career, but the biggest change I’ve seen is he’s so much stronger than when he first came in. He came in at about 145 (pounds) and now weighs 175. He’s still not huge, but he’s a lot stronger.”

Heaney, a first team All-Big 12 selection, credits his mental toughness for a lot of that success, saying that he knew he had the potential to be a potential first round draft pick.

“My goal was just to be stronger,” Heaney said. “Whether it was getting in the weight room or just being mentally strong, that’s how you get better is through hard work.”

Now Heaney has a new goal — beating rival Oklahoma in first round of the Big 12 tournament in a stadium he grew up going to as a kid.

“Growing up in Oklahoma City, I came to RedHawks games all the time,” Heaney said. “I remember watching guys like Ruben Sierra play on that same field. Now I have the chance to pitch in a ballpark that I grew up going to in a rivalry that every kid in Oklahoma is familiar with. It’s almost surreal.

“If it is my last game in an Oklahoma State uniform it just seems like a fitting way to end it — facing OU in Oklahoma City, my hometown,” Heaney said. “Hopefully, we’ll advance and it won’t be my last game. I’m just trying to go out there and get us off on the right foot toward winning a Big 12 championship.”

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