STILLWATER — Throughout his college career, Oklahoma State slugger Griffin Doersching paid little attention to the NCAA Tournament selection show.
Memorial Day was about relaxing. Perhaps he was preparing to move somewhere for a summer baseball league.
At Northern Kentucky, he never had the opportunity to actually be in the postseason field or even have his name mentioned on the show by an ESPN analyst.
All of that happened Monday morning.
“Honestly, I don’t really know how a lot of this stuff works,” said Doersching, who transferred to OSU last summer.
Nothing like the present to learn.
The Cowboys were selected as the No. 7 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament on Monday, guaranteeing the road to Omaha in their portion of the bracket runs through O’Brate Stadium in just its second season.
OSU opens the regional at 6 p.m. Friday against fourth-seeded Missouri State. The game will be streamed on ESPN+. No. 2-seeded Arkansas will face third-seeded Grand Canyon at noon on SEC Network.
“I think it’s an exceptional experience to have with this team,” Doersching said. “Being able to bring it back here to O’Brate and be on that team that gets to first host it here means everything.
“One of my biggest things is it’s more baseball.”
— OSU Cowboy Baseball (@OSUBaseball) May 30, 2022
This is OSU’s 47th regional appearance overall, which is fourth all-time nationally. Under coach Josh Holliday, the Cowboys have made nine straight regionals. This is the fourth time they’ve hosted a regional under his guidance.
OSU last hosted a regional in 2019, but that wasn’t even in Stillwater. Due to heavy rainfall that left Allie P. Reynolds Stadium unplayable, the tournament was moved to Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Receiving the national seed this season was a bit of a surprise for a team that ended the regular season losing five of its final seven games. But the Cowboys rebounded with a strong showing in the Big 12 Tournament.
They ended the tournament at Globe Life Field ranked No. 10 overall in RPI, a jump of eight spots after going 3-2.
“I think it really came back to reward us,” Holliday said of the team’s schedule. “It’s a real compliment to our players and the way they competed.”
The Cowboys are familiar with two of the foes in their regional.
They beat Missouri State 5-1 on March 8 in O’Brate Stadium.
OSU and Grand Canyon played four times last season, with the Cowboys eliminating Grand Canyon in the regional at Arizona. The teams also played a three-game series the year before. Holliday and GCU coach Andy Stankiewicz were also on the same coaching staff at Arizona State.
Mix in SEC power Arkansas, and it’s a tough regional.
“It’ll be one heck of a tournament,” Holliday said.
OSU learned Sunday night it would host a regional tournament. But it did not know its seed.
When it was announced as a top-eight seed before the bracket was revealed, excitement and some shock filled the meeting room at O’Brate Stadium.
“I was excited,” OSU super-senior Jake Thompson said. “We’ve played 59 games so far and it’s pretty awesome to see that what we’ve done puts us at No. 7 in the country.”
Now, the Cowboys aim to prove the selection committee correct.
Should they advance this weekend, they host the winner of the Chapel Hill Regional, which features No. 10 North Carolina, Georgia, VCU and Hofstra.
That simply means OSU is one step closer to the College World Series. And O’Brate Stadium, which opened last season, will get even more postseason action.
Doersching will also finally get his shot in the postseason.
“I envisioned a postseason here,” Doersching said. “I honestly saw this place as somewhere you can build an insane team, and that’s what we did. This is the place you have all the facilities in the world and getting to roll in here every day never gets old.
“I knew that we could develop and put together something crazy. That’s what we’re trying to do still. We’re kinda getting there.”
Tickets are on sale for select season-ticket holders for the Stillwater Regional. Here is how tickets will be available leading up to Friday:
► Season-ticket holders in Sections 110-114, Corrals and Club Level have until 10 a.m. Tuesday to pay for their tickets in their Ticketmaster account.
► Season-ticket holders in Sections 105-109 and 115-126 will have access to tickets at noon Tuesday.
► General admission season-ticket holders will have access to tickets at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
► Any remaining all-session locations (reserved or general admission) will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Tickets can be purchased online at tickets.okstate.com/baseball/ or by calling 877-255-4678.
Friday's games at O’Brate Stadium
► Arkansas (2) vs. Grand Canyon (3), noon (SEC Network)
► Oklahoma State (1) vs. Missouri State (4), 6 p.m. (ESPN+)
Saturday, June 4
Game 3 – Winner G1 vs. Winner G2 – Noon (TV TBD)
Game 4 – Loser G1 vs. Loser G2 – 6 p.m. (TV TBD)
Sunday, June 5
Game 5 – Winner G4 vs. Loser G3 – Noon (TV TBD)
Game 6 – Winner G3 vs. Winner G5 – 6 p.m. (TV TBD)
Monday, June 6
Game 7 – Winner G6 vs. Loser G6 (if necessary) – 6 p.m. (TV TBD)
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAABaseball) May 30, 2022
Jacob Unruh covers college sports for The Oklahoman. You can send your story ideas to him at email@example.com or on Twitter at @jacobunruh. Support his work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Oklahoma State selected as regional host for NCAA baseball tournament