The 2013 Oklahoma State University baseball recruiting class placed great emphasis on reloading its pitching staff.
On Friday, Verdigris High School senior Blake Battenfield signed an NCAA Division I national letter of intent to pitch for the Cowboys in the fall of 2013.
Battenfield become the third pitcher from the Tulsa-metro area to ink with OSU, joining Jenks ace left-hander Thomas Hatch and Broken Arrow’s Trey Cobb.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Battenfield has been the leader of the Verdigris pitching staff the past four years, helping steer the Cardinals to back-to-back Class 3A state championships in 2011 and 2012.
Going into his senior year, Battenfield looks to guide the Cardinals to their third consecutive 3A state championship as the No. 1 pitcher in an arsenal that returns Mitch Hammack and J.W. Owens.
OSU’s 2012 fall roster consists of 18 pitchers, with four of those being seniors.
First-year head coach Josh Holliday — who is the brother of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday — tabbed former Oral Roberts University head baseball coach Rob Walton as his pitching coach and the move so far has produced stunning results in recruiting.
Walton, whose son Donnie was an All-State infielder for Bishop Kelley the past four years and now a freshman at OSU, landed three of the top pitchers in northeastern Oklahoma in Hatch, Cobb and Battenfield.
Along with the three hurlers, OSU also signed Owasso High School senior shortstop Andrew Rosa.