The Oklahoman

Two-way stars McLean, Benge lead perfect week

- OSU Insider Jacob Unruh The Oklahoman USA TODAY NETWORK

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State mashed its way to a perfect week for the first time this spring.

The Cowboys belted nearly 10 home runs and scored 45 runs across four games, including a three-game sweep of Austin Peay.

Now, OSU baseball gets a stiff week. It plays six games in six days, beginning with back-to-back days against Arizona State on Tuesday and finishing with four games over Friday, Saturday and Sunday against Utah Tech.

Outside of the opening weekend against Missouri, Vanderbilt and Arkansas, this will be the toughest test to date for the Cowboys, who have won five straight games, based on volume of games alone.

Here is a look back at last week:

Top Oklahoma State player last week

Nolan McLean, RF/RP: The twoway star continued his hot start at the plate, recording six hits over the weekend, including two home runs in Sunday's rout of Austin Peay. But the biggest sign that McLean is off to a tremendous start is his ability to draw walks. He walked seven times in four games and struck out just four times. He's up to 17 walks and 12 strikeouts this season, a stark improvemen­t from last spring when he whiffed 107 times and totaled just 37 walks. He also recorded two saves last week and is up to five, his total a year ago.

Oklahoma State player on the rise

Carson Benge, OF/RHP: The former Yukon star made his collegiate pitching debut, throwing two shutout innings Saturday against Austin Peay. It was a small but significan­t step coming off o Tommy John surgery. He followed that up with a two-homer, fourRBI day at the plate Sunday. The homers — and they were deep blasts — were the first of his collegiate career as well. The Cowboys entered the year extremely excited for Benge's ability to be a two-way impact player. He's starting to gain steam.

Stat to know

9: Home runs hit by the Cowboys in four games last week, more than they hit in the previous two weeks of the season. As a team, OSU has 17 long balls.

Cowboys pitchers shine

Even with all of the offense, don't overlook what the Cowboys did on the mound.

Ace Juaron Watts-Brown threw six strong innings Friday, striking out eight and allowing a run on three hits, two walks and three wild pitches against Austin Peay. It was his second straight impressive outing.

And reliever Bayden Root picked up two wins. He earned the win Tuesday at Missouri State, but his best day was Sunday. He allowed just three hits and struck out six batters over 5 2/3 innings of relief to complete the sweep of Austin Peay.

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