Carson McCusker and his signature mustache are back, and his impact has been immediate.
“When you’re 6’8”, 240 lbs and have 6% body fat, you can have any kind of mustache you’d like,” coach Josh Holliday said of Carson McCusker after OSU’s 21-11 run-rule win.
The ‘stache delivered today.
McCusker aided in the offensive charge for the Cowboys, going 2-5 with 4 RBI and a 2-run opposite-field home run in the 8th inning.
It was just his seventh game of the season as he dealt with a back injury for the first 19 games, but the outfielder back and quickly returning to form, and he’s beloved by everyone on the team, especially Holliday.
“I marvel at Carson,” Holliday said. “I think he’s a very special talent and very special kid as a human, person, student, everything. The way he’s jumped back in on this thing is pretty amazing.”
McCusker was great on Saturday, but Hueston Morrill might have been even better.
Morrill was dealing with an injury of his own at the beginning of the season, and since his return seven games ago, it’s been a slow start at the plate. Before the game, Morrill was batting under .140.
Today he changed that.
Morrill tallied three hits and 5 RBI in the series finale, upping his average by nearly 60 points to .196.
“It felt good, just being able to trust myself knowing that I am a good athlete and a good hitter,” Morrill said. “Going up there with a little more confidence played a part in today’s performance.”
One of the perks of having a 7-time MLB all star as your hitting coach is finding ways to adjust at the plate. Matt Holliday helped Morrill identify the main problem being his timing, and it made an immediate difference.
“Coming into today, I felt like I was just missing some pitches that normally I hit,” Morrill said. “Today’s biggest thing was being on time, making sure I was in a good position to hit.”
The adjustment proved to be valuable in OSU’s 10-run third inning when Morrill crushed a 2-0 fastball that landed near the bridge in the left-field concourse for a three-run home run.
It was his first long ball of the season and his first at O’Brate Stadium.
“It was awesome,” Morrill said. “Definitely electric hearing everyone stand-up and cheer. Hopefully there’s more to come.”
With McCusker and Morrill returning to normal form, OSU’s lineup from top to bottom is becoming dangerous. The 21 runs today are exhibit A.
“It was bound to happen at some point,” Morrill said. “We were putting good swings on the ball all day long, and I felt like eventually that last punch was gonna come. That’s what happened.”