OSU Baseball: McLean, Cowboys edge Missouri State in regional game
STILLWATER — Earlier this week, Missouri State baseball players were checking beds for bed bugs. When they get back to their hotel Friday night, they could check under their beds for Nolan McLean.
McLean was monstrous in Oklahoma State’s 10-5 win over the Bears in Stillwater’s NCAA Regional first round at O’Brate Stadium. The sophomore third baseman hit two homers on his first two at-bats, finishing the day 2-for-4 with both runs scored and two runs batted in.
“I mean it wholeheartedly: I expect Nolan to hit a home run every time he gets up at home plate,” fellow countryman Griffin Doersching said. “I’m serious, that’s what I expect. When Nolan finds one, it will be difficult for him to stay in the stadium. »
It’s been an interesting week for Missouri State. Earlier in the week, players have taken to social media to point out some less than ideal hotel accommodations for the weekend. The hotel allegedly claimed that these were not the players’ rooms. But anyway, back to baseball.
McLean’s first out and back of the night came in the second when he put a 1-1 pitch into the right field corrals.
He came back in the fourth inning. This time, he took a 2-2 pitch out of the stadium and into the parking lot beyond the left field wall.
“It felt good,” McLean said. “I was a little off on that, so I kind of caught him in front, but it’s one of those things, when he hits the sweet spot, it’s like you’re swinging a light bat and you don’t don’t really feel it.”
McLean has a team record 16 homers this season after entering the day tied with Jake Thompson at 14.
This fourth-inning bombshell was responsible for one of the four runs the Pokes put up in that inning. Marcus Brown singled and moved to second on a groundout after McLean’s nuke. Kingfisher freshman Ian Daugherty doubled down the left field line to bring Brown home. Then Caeden Trenkle singled to tag Daugherty, stole second and advanced to third on a pitch, setting up a Thompson RBI single.
Between McLean’s two home runs, Roc Riggio, sporting a new bleached blonde hairdo, also took part in the parade of solo hits. The ball he hit likely hit the mesosphere before crashing into the Missouri State dugout. As if the bleached hair made him some kind of ball magnet, Riggio also had a lot of work at second base. He had four strikeouts and seven assists, a season high. One of those takedowns was a diving catch in the ninth.
“He’s literally one of the best defensive players I’ve met in my entire life,” Doersching said. “He’s obsessed with continuing to improve.”
The Pokes’ 6-0 lead nearly disappeared in the sixth when Missouri State staged a two-out rally that included two two-run homers to make it 6-4. This marked the end of Victor Mederos’ day. Miami’s transfer pitched six innings, allowing four runs on six hits while walking two and striking out six.
The Pokes, however, responded to the Bears’ four runs down the frame. Thompson started the scoring with a right-handed loaded single that scored Daugherty. Trenkle also scored on the play after a throwing error. With runners at first and second, Griffin Doersching doubled down the left field line to bring Riggio and Thompson home.
Rob Walton used Roman Phansalkar and Kale Davis out of his enclosure, who also bleached their hair. Phansalkar pitched three innings on the seventh, where he gave up a run on three hits. OSU coach Josh Holliday said Phansalkar was throwing too fast. One of his throws recorded at 101 mph on the stadium gun.
“Roman is usually a little better when he’s not as strong,” Holliday said. “…He must be about 96 years old [mph] so that he is at his best because when he is 96 years old, he sinks more. He will be more in control with more drop tomorrow if we need him.
Davis pitched the eighth and ninth, not allowing a one-hit run while striking out two.
That means OSU ace Justin Campbell will receive the ball on Saturday against Arkansas. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.