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A bad taste and sweet memories: OSU's baseball season ends

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During the Oklahoma State vs. New Orleans baseball game on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at O’Brate Stadium in Stillwater.

There was a lot of hype around the 2021 Oklahoma State baseball season.

Rightly so. OSU had five fifth year “super seniors” returning for an additional season of play and a brand-new ballpark to open up. The season didn’t end in Omaha, but rather under the hot sun of Tucson, Arizona. The Cowboys were eliminated Sunday afternoon from the NCAA tournament by UC Santa Barbara by a score of 13-3.

Coach Josh Holliday said he was disappointed in loss.

“Well, you’re going to be disappointed until you win the whole thing,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said.

Holliday said it’s alright if people want to focus on the brief postseason appearance, but the losses are a tiny part of the entire team and the young men that make it up.

The goal of winning a national championship was one the Cowboys shared with 298 other division one college baseball teams, but a goal that will be realized by only one of those teams.

The wizened Holliday, who has been on every side of a regional tournament and has experienced advancing and also getting sent home, offered a perspective beyond baseball.

“I learned a long time ago if you only judge success by whether you won the national championship or not, you might have a life in sport that’s very unfulfilling,” Holliday said.

Holliday spoke for several minutes on what he would remember about the 2021 season and the players he had coached for half-a-decade. Not once did he mention individual wins against rivals or specific on-field successes. He spoke of his players upholding tradition, staying loyal and the personal relationships he has with those players.

“(The players) careers here are not defined by this game,” Holliday said. “Many of these kids are preparing for a life of excellence in the sport of baseball or life in general, and that’s a byproduct of what they’ve done together here at Oklahoma State.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com