Bison baseball setting up shop in TulsaFARGO — The newspaper in Tulsa, Okla., has been busy covering the NBA playoff run of the Oklahoma City Thunder. If the newspaper wants to deviate, it can hire Tod Brown as a columnist.
By: Jeff Kolpack, The Dickinson Press
FARGO — The newspaper in Tulsa, Okla., has been busy covering the NBA playoff run of the Oklahoma City Thunder. If the newspaper wants to deviate, it can hire Tod Brown as a columnist.
The North Dakota State head coach and his Bison baseball team have set up shop in the city.
“We’re going to start writing restaurant reviews,” Brown said. “We’ve got this town down pat.”
NDSU arrived in Tulsa a week ago Wednesday to play a four-game Summit League regular-season series with Oral Roberts. Since ORU was already designated as the Summit tournament host, the Bison remained in Oklahoma.
They play Oakland (Mich.) in the first round at 3:30 p.m. today. ORU takes on Southern Utah in the other first-round game, with the championship in the double-elimination format to be decided Saturday.
It hasn’t been easy, but NDSU has tried to make the Hilton Tulsa Southern Hills hotel as much like home as possible. The other option would have been to bus 16 hours back to Fargo, getting back Sunday morning and leaving again for Tulsa on Monday.
The Bison took Sunday off like they always do. They were able to get into the ORU weight room thanks to two former NDSU strength and conditioning coaches. Adam Hermann and Brad Ruhanen now are the head and assistant strength coaches with the Golden Eagles.
Helping any road monotony on Wednesday was the imminence of the tournament. Teams had an official workout and a banquet.
“The enthusiasm of the tournament is starting to set in,” Brown said.
NDSU is having one of its most successful seasons in program history at 38-18. Yet, Brown said the last month hasn’t been what it could be and if NDSU wants to stay in Tulsa until Saturday, a few things have to change.
Ace John Straka will get the start on the mound today. He’s 7-4 with a 2.61 earned run average.
“It would be a bummer to go 38-18 and not make some kind of noise in the conference tourney,” Brown said. “Whether it would be winning the thing or coming down to the wire and pushing the envelope … it would be disappointing if these seniors went out on a bad note.”
Kolpack is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.