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Big 12 baseball interview: Wichita Falls influence helps Oklahoma State to title

Gage Green....Wichita Falls Rider and Oklahoma State star in action.
Gage Green....Wichita Falls Rider and Oklahoma State star in action.
Gage Greenn website

Scot Green beamed with pride as he watched his son Gage Green trot onto the field today, Friday, May 23 to play for regular season Big 12 champion Oklahoma State in the postseason tournament at Chickasaw Brickyard Stadium in the heart of Oklahoma City. Scot, who is the father of the Cowboy catcher and outfielder, has a lot of reasons to be proud of his son.

Not only did Gage Green star on the Wichita Falls Rider High School baseball team that dad Scot coached to the Texas high school baseball championship three years ago, but he was also a key player on the Oklahoma State baseball team which won the Big 12 baseball championship this year. A smiling Scot Green agreed to an impromptu interview in the bleachers along the third baseline of the stadium between games in the Big 12 postseason tournament today.

When asked why he was retiring as the baseball coach at Rider after sixteen years there Green said, "I wanted to see my kids play. My son Gage is playing here at Oklahoma State and my daughter won all-dstrict honors playing volleyball for Rider this past season."

Scot Green has the charisma and easy grace of a champion. It's easy to tell one of the reasons why his son Gage has already been so successful at OSU even though he is only a junior. He has a great mentor in his dad.

The Cowboy star went three for six in the opening game of the tournament Wednesday as Oklahoma State pounded arch rival Oklahoma in the bedlam game. His three basehits were a big contribution to the Cowboys victory in that game. He played an even bigger role in OSU winning the Big 12 regular season this year and guaranteeing themselves a shot at the College World Series, according to Big 12 Sports.

During May in the regular season Bedlam series against OU, Gage showed his versatility by stealing home to win one of the games and driving in the winning run in another game.

His regular season stats were impressive for 2013 as he hit .335, socked three home runs and drove in 29 runs.

The outstanding former Rider coach said of son Gage, "I am very proud of what he's done. They (coaches at Oklahoma State) teach life as well as baseball to the players."

While admitting his son would probably consider a career in the major leagues if the opportunity presented itself, Scot Green said one of his son's immediate goals besides helping the Cowboys on the baseball diamond is to earn a degree in health sciences.

"He would also like to coach baseball at the college level someday," Green said.

Coach Green led Rider to its only baseball state championship in history in 2011 when his son Gage and current OSU teammate Brian Brohm helped lifted the Raiders to statewide glory.

Green said former player Reed Barnett also played a crucial role in that state championship

Wichita Falls attorney Bob Balch, who was present at the game to watch Gage, said, "Texas is a big state. It's an incredible achievement to win a state championship in any sport in a state that large."

Balch said one of his sons had known Coach Green at Rider and was very impressed with him.

Coach Green has led the Rider Raiders to the state championship tournament in Texas in three of the last four years.

"The more times you go, the more times you realize how special it is," Green said.

Although he is resigning as baseball coach this year, he is retaining his job as a teacher at Rider.

He said he was honored by being named as runner-up by Wichita Falls Independent School District for outstanding teacher in 2014. His letting loose of the reins of head coach allowed him time to watch daughter Jordan Green exell on the volleyball court for Rider this year.

As if to offer additional evidence of Scott Green's coaching greatness, former players Austin Hagee and Mason Stone were at the Oklahoma State game with him. Both were All-State players for Green at Rider and now play baseball for Murray State at Tishomingo, Oklahoma.

Coach Green gave wife Lisa credit for his success, saying, "It's because Lisa is the person she is that I can do what I do."

But the focus this week remains on son Gage Green as continues to play well for the Oklahoma State team which had the best team in the Big 12 during the regular season. The Cowboys don't have to win the tourney this week as they are already assured a slot in the NCAA's postseason playoffs based on their fabulous regular season record of 42 wins.

Oklahoma State fan Rick Sheetz said before the game, "We knew we would be decent this year. Didn't realize the team would win 42 games." The OSU alumnus recalled the glory days when he was a student at OSU.

"I remember Pete Incaviglia and Robin Ventura during the 1985-86 seasons. We came up one game short of the national championship," he said with regret as he remembered how close that team came to winning it all.

Other fans from Wichita Falls present in Oklahoma City rooting for Gage Green included attorneys Gary Southard, Charles Perry, Ed Lane. and James Rasmussen. Non-attorneys from Wichita Falls cheering for the Wichita Falls hero included rancher Don Taubert and Oklahoma City Law School student David Rasmussen.

Engineer and missionary Doug Raine of Commerce, Texas was also present rooting for Gage Green.

While watching his son Gage and daughter Jordan excel in the athletic arena, Scot Green said he and two friends are also opening up a business.

Scot Green said, "Rob Johnson, Kerry Hargrove and I are opening up a batting facility to help young people in Wichita Falls. We're not looking to make a lot of money on the deal. That's not the purpose of it."

While no one knows whether or not Oklahoma State can win the national baseball championship this year, everyone should know their chances are a lot better because of the Wichita Falls, Texas influence of Scot and Gage Green.

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