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On Sunday, the No. 2 seeded TCU Horned Frogs claimed the Big 12 Championship title over the top seeded Oklahoma St. Cowboys. Although the Cowboys proved to be the one of the hottest teams in the country, they were no match for TCU as the Horned Frogs collected a 7-1 win. With the win, the program also clinches an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
TCU struck first in the bottom of the second inning as Kevin Cron crossed the plate giving Jerrick Suiter the ground out RBI. However, the score was evened in the next inning as OSU strung together two hits. With players in scoring position, the last thing a team can afford is a wild pitch to the backstop. That's exactly what happened as the Cowboys were able to take advantage.
Tyler Alexander, the TCU pitcher wasn't in clear water just yet. With two on and just a single out, the potential of giving up more runs was a legitimate threat. Yet, Alexander settled back into a rhythm getting the next two batters to ground-out and fly-out to retire the side.
Heading into the fourth, the Horned Frogs took the offensive and never looked back. Dylan Fitzgerald knocked a two-RBI single to out TCU ahead for the remainder of the game. Following him Keaton Jones recorded a ground-out RBI, adding a bit of insurance. But, a pass ball would make it 5-1 before the Cowboys could get out the inning.
To end the game, TCU added two more runs, one in the fifth and one in the eighth as they ran off with the victory and the crown.
They say that lightening never strikes twice but on a stormy day in Oklahoma City that's exactly what happened. Oklahoma State used an eighth inning rally to force an elimination game against Texas early Saturday afternoon and then they used another eighth inning rally to send the Longhorns packing and advance to Sunday's championship game.
The Cowboys struck first by plating two runs in the top of the second inning but Texas responded with one of their own in the bottom half. Oklahoma State extended their lead to 3-1 in the top of the third off a Bryan Case home run that cleared the left field wall.
In their best attempt not to lose twice in the same day, Texas put two runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game up and then took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Brooks Marlow came home on a Mark Payton single through the right side.
Needing to rally once more, the Cowboys picked the same inning to doom the Longhorns as they had earlier in the day. Saulyer Saxon led off the eighth by drawing a four-pitch walk, and then Aaron Cornell was hit by a pitch on the next at bat. After a sacrifice bunt by Donnie Walton moved the runners to second and third Texas made the decision to intentionally walk Gage Green and load the bases. Tanner Krietemeier made them pay for the decision by sending the ball straight up the middle for a single that would score both Saxon and Cornell. A few batters later Green would come home on a sacrifice by Conor Costello and all three free passes that Texas allowed at the start of the inning ended up scoring to give Oklahoma State a 6-4 win and their second eighth inning rally of the day.
The Cowboys will now face TCU, who is undefeated on the weekend, in a #1 vs. #2 seed match-up for the Big Twelve championship. First pitch in the game is slated for 4:30 on Sunday afternoon.
Saturday will bring us at leas one more baseball game before Sunday's Big Twelve baseball championship game. The Longhorns were looking to make Oklahoma State one and done on Saturday and move on to face TCU in the championship game but the Cowboys had other plans. A three-run ninth inning rally sent O-State and Texas into a final elimination game on Saturday evening.
In a game that had been a pitcher's duel through out, Texas took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth when a Ben Johnson single drove in Collin Shaw. Strong pitching and sound defense kept the score that way until the bottom of the eighth when the Cowboys scored three runs on five hits take a 3-1 lead.
Needing to respond immediately, the Longhorns instead went down in order in the top of the ninth to close the game out and complete the Oklahoma State comeback.
Oklahoma State used a battery of four pitchers to hold Texas to just their single run on six hits. Meanwhile Texas starter Nathan Thornhill blanked the Cowboys through six innings. All three of OSU's runs came off of John Curtiss. The two teams will now face off one more time in a game that will determine who will face TCU for the championship on Sunday.
The TCU Horned Frogs are the first team to advance to Sunday's Big XII baseball championship game. The Frogs sent Baylor packing on Saturday morning after a 4-1 decision in Bricktown.
TCU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Cody Jones scored on a Kevin Cron single to right field. That would be the only run that Baylor starter Daniel Castano would allow on the day. He went six innings, with three strikeouts, and scattered seven hits.
With Castano having a strong appearance on the mound and Grayson Porter scoring the tying run in the bottom of the fourth, the Bears were in the hunt to force an elimination game with the Frogs later in the afternoon. However, a pitching change in the seventh changed the course of the game.
The Bears put Josh Michalec on the mound and TCU drilled him for five hits and three runs over the seventh and eighth innings to advance to Sunday.
Cron went 3-for-5 from the plate, for TCU, with a run scored and a team high two RBI. The Horned Frogs will now wait for either Texas or Oklahoma State to join them in Sunday's championship game. OSU must defeat the Longhorns twice on Saturday in order to advance while the Longhorns need only to win once.
The Sooners may have gone down, but at least they went down swinging. In what had unfortunately became a staple for OU baseball this season, inconsistent pitching and fielding errors cost Oklahoma dearly in their Friday night elimination game against Oklahoma State.
Both teams swapped two runs in the first inning to set the tone for the evening. Knotted at 2-2 going into the fourth, Oklahoma State took the lead on an error by Kolby Carpenter that allowed Bryan Case to score. The Sooners would respond in the bottom half of the inning by plating Carpenter, Colt Bickerstaff, Craig Aikin, and Niko Buentello to go up 6-3.
Staving off elimination, the Cowboys responded by scoring eight runs over the sixth (4), seventh (1), and eighth (3) innings. Every time Oklahoma was able to come back, Oklahoma State responded by putting more distance between the two rivals. The final blow came in the eighth inning when Aaron Cornell hit a three-run blast over the left field wall to break an 8-8 tie.
The Sooners outhit the Cowboys 13-10 but they also committed three errors which caused them to lose where it mattered most, under the runs category on the scoreboard.
Adam Choplick struck out eight Oklahoma State batters but also surrendered seven of OSU's runs off seven hits to get the loss. Trying his best to keep the Sooners in the game, Sheldon Neuse went 4-for-5 from the plate with two runs scored and two RBI.
Oklahoma State's Bryan Case went 2-for-3 and also drew two walks allowing him to score three times in the game, including a seventh inning home run.
The Cowboys will play Texas on Saturday afternoon (12:30) and must beat the Longhorns twice in order to advance to Sunday's championship game.
For the Sooners, it draws a close to their 2014 baseball season with a 29-29 record.
Staying alive was the name of the game in Bricktown on Friday afternoon and that's exactly what Baylor did. The Bears overcame an early 1-0 deficit and then scored seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings to send West Virginia packing.
Billy Fleming sent a solo home run over the left field fence to put the Mountaineers up 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Baylor's Brett Doe would return the favor in the top of the fourth when he sent the ball down the line and over the fence to tie the game. In the fifth Aaron Dodson went yard to put the Bears up 2-1.
The Mountaineers would tie the game back up in the bottom of the sixth when Taylor Munden scored the first non-home run score of the game when he came home on a Bobby Boyd sacrifice to right field. With just three innings remaining, and the season hanging in the balance, Baylor made their move as West Virginia's pitching faltered.
The Bears took advantage of two WVU errors and scored five runs in the seventh, off of three hits, to put some distance between them and the Mountaineers. They then iced the game in the bottom of the eighth when Logan Brown knocked a two-RBI triple to bring up the final score of 9-4.
Brown ended up 3-for-5 from the plate on the afternoon, with two RBI, while Baylor starter Nick Lewis fanned five batters.
The Bears will now face TCU at 9:00 on Saturday morning. They must beat the Horned Frogs twice on Saturday (second game would be at 4:00) in order to advance to Sunday's championship.
We tried to warn you about the Texas Longhorns in our Big XII Baseball Tournament preview. Calling them the sleeper team with dangerous pitching, the Longhorns lived up to exactly that billing on Thursday night in Bricktown.
Dillon Peters and Parker French combined to blank Oklahoma State, holding them to just five hits for the game and striking out five as well.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Madison Carter came home on a Kacy Clemens single to left field. A mix of great pitching and great defense kept the score at 1-0 until the eighth when the Longhorns struck again for some insurance runs. Clemens recorded his second and third RBI of the game when his single to short stop made it through, allowing Tres Barrera and C.J. Hinojosa to score and provide the final score of 3-0.
Oklahoma State's loss will put them in the losers bracket where they will face the Sooners for the seventh time this season. The Cowboys on a 4-2 record against Oklahoma this season.
The Horned Frogs used a huge eighth inning to break open a close came and ultimately send the Mountaineers into the loser's bracket of the Big Twelve Conference Baseball Tournament.
Strong pitching performances by both squads kept the game scoreless until the 5th when TCU's Jerrick Suiter scored on a Kyle Bacak single. The Frogs were able to maintain their 1-0 lead into the eighth when they exploded for five more to bury West Virginia underneath a 6-0 deficit. The Mountaineers managed to put two runs on the board in the bottom half of the inning but it was far short of what they needed. Despite outhitting TCU by a margin of 7-5, pushing runs across home plate was a struggle all afternoon for West Virginia.
Mountaineers starter Corey Walter went 7.2 innings but was responsible for all six of TCU's runs. Center fielder Bobby Boyd was the only WVU player to manage multiple hits in the game. He went 2-for-4 from the plate but was never moved around the bases.
The Frogs' Preston Morrison pitched a complete game. He allowed seven hits on the afternoon but also fanned six Mountaineer batters.
West Virginia now drops down into the loser's bracket to play against Baylor in an elimination game at 3:15 on Friday afternoon. TCU will then face off against the winner of that game at 9:00 on Saturday morning.
Things looked bleak trough the first four and a half innings of OU's elimination game against Texas Tech, in the Big Twelve Tournament, on Thursday afternoon. The Red Raiders scored four runs in the top of the first and Oklahoma had no response at all. Then Tech added another run in the top of the fourth to increase their lead to 5-0. However, the Sooners showed some life in the bottom of the fifth when Kolbey Carpenter scored on a Sheldon Neuse single.
The Red Raiders added two more runs in the top of the sixth but it was too late as Oklahoma's bats were already awake. Over the final four innings of the game OU would chip away at Tech's 7-1 lead. Craig Aikin knocked in Hunter Haley and Anthony Hermelyn in the bottom of the sixth to make it 7-3.
After an uneventful seventh, Carpenter led off the bottom the eighth with a solo home run. Four batters later Neuse would bring Dylan Neal in on a fielder's choice and then Mac James would sacrifice Aikin home to cut the score to 8-6 heading to the ninth.
Texas Tech blew a bases loaded opportunity in the top of the ninth and having dodged a bullet the Sooners were ready to complete their rally. Hunter Haley led off by being hit by a pitch and then Carpenter represented the tying run with a single through the left side. Neal sacrificed the two over to second and third base on a bunt and then Aikin delivered again. His single into left field scored scored Haley and but Oklahoma down just 8-7 with two runners on and the Big XII Freshman of the Year just two batters away.
Hector Lorenzana loaded the bases by getting hit by a pitch and then Sheldon Neuse singled to right field to score both Carpenter and Aikin and win the game 9-8 in walk-off fashion.
Craig Aikin finished the game going 4-of-6 from the plate with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored and Neuse recorded four RBI on two hits.
Texas Tech's Tyler Nelsony was 4-for-5 with 2 RBI and a run scored in the loss.
Oklahoma will now wait to play the loser of tonight's OSU/Texas game in another elimination game tomorrow. Texas Tech (40-18) will now wait for the NCAA's call to see where they'll be in the tournament.
Baylor scored all four of their runs in the bottom of the third inning and then held off the Jayhawks through the final six frames. Trailing 1-0 the Bears led off the third with their first to batters reaching base. They would ultimately record five hits in the inning to score their four runs.
Baylor starter Drew Tolson went six strong innings and while he was on the hook for all three of the Kansas runs, he also struck out five Jayhawk batters. From the plate, Baylor's Joe Sabatini went 2-for-3 and scored a run.
Kansas starter Frank Duncan went seven innings and, outside of the third inning, was very solid. Ka'iana Eldredge was 3-of-4 from the plate but failed to record a run or an RBI.
The Bears will now wait for the loser of the TCU/West Virginia game.
Kansas vs Baylor
Oklahoma vs Texas Tech
West Virginia vs TCU
Oklahoma State vs Texas
It the final game of the opening round of the Big XII Tournament the Texas Longhorns sent the Red Raiders into the loser's bracket where they'll face Oklahoma.
After scoring five runs in the top of the second the Longhorns were able to put the game on cruise control. After Tech got on the board with a run in the third,Texas added two more in the fourth and their last one in the sixth to lead 8-1. The Red Raiders tried to rally in seventh and managed to plate two more runs but the final score of 8-3 was as close as they would get.
The Longhorns Ben Johnson went 2-for-5 from the plate and knocked in 2 RBI. He also crossed home plate three times in the game.
Texas will play Oklahoma State on Thursday evening at 7:30 and the Red Raiders will play the Sooners at 12:30 pm.
If there was any doubt after last weekend's Bedlam series about who the best Big XII baseball team is in Oklahoma then it was removed Wednesday night at the Bricktown Ballpark. The Sooners quickly scored three runs in the top of the first but O-State had an immediate response by scoring two of their own.
The Sooners were able to nurse their 3-2 lead into the fifth inning but that's when the wheels began to come off. After failing to take advantage of a bases loaded situation in the top half of the inning, OU quickly saw the Cowboys load them in the bottom half. After the first three OSU batters reached base to lead off the fifth, Zach Fish sent the ball into left field to score Donnie Walton and tie the game. O-State would plate two more runs in the inning to lead 5-3 when it closed out.
The Cowboys would nail the door shut in the sixth with a 4 hit/6 run inning. Trailing 11-3 the Sooners were unable to muster enough offense to even consider a rally. Sheldon Neuse would score on a passed ball in the seventh for Oklahoma's fourth run of the game but that would be the end of OU's scoring while the Cowboys would still have two runs to put on the board in the bottom of the eighth.
Oklahoma's Craig Aikin went 4-for-5 from the plate in the game but only scored once while OSU's Zach Fish went 2-for-4 but scored a run and knocked in six RBI.
The Sooners will play at 12:30 pm against the loser of Texas and Texas Tech while the Cowboys will get the winner of the Longhorns and Red Raiders at 7:30 pm.
For seven innings TCU was in complete dominance of Baylor. However, the Bears swung wildly in the last two frames and almost completed the second come back in as many games on the opening day of the Big XII Baseball Tournament.
Plating runs in the first, third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings, TCU built an 8-0 lead as the game went into the eighth. The Bears dropped the goose egg in the top of the eighth when Adam Toth knocked in Lane Kelly on a two-out double. After holding TCU scoreless in the bottom half of the eighth, Baylor came to life in the top of the ninth with six of their first seven batters reaching on base hits.
With Lawton Langford and Nate Goodwin on the corners in an 8-5 game the Bears were in business having only one out. However Toth struck out looking on a 2-2 pitch and then Grayson Porter popped out on an 0-1 pitch to end the game.
The Frogs will face West Virginia on Thursday afternoon at 4:00 and the Bears will take on Kansas at 9:00 in the morning in an elimination game.
West Virginia scored two runs in the top of the first and then withstood a furious Kansas rally to come back and win in a high-scoring affair.
Holding a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the bottom of he fifth, the Mountaineers committed an error and threw a wild pitch to help the Jayhawks plate four runs and take the lead. The situation didn't improve in the sixth either as Kansas tacked on another four runs to seemingly take control of the game with an 8-2 lead. But then the seventh inning rolled around.
The Mountaineers recorded six hits in the frame and plated eight runs to regain the lead and knock the wind out of the Jayhawks.
After scoring 16 runs in three innings, the two teams cooled off for the final two innings. The Jayhawks plated one in the bottom of the eighth and had the tying run on board in the ninth but ended up leaving him stranded.
The two teams recorded thirteen hits each with Kansas' Tucker Tharp going 4-for-4 from the plate and knocking in 3 RBI. West Virginia's Jackson Cramer also had 3 RBI on a 2-for-4 performance.
The Mountaineers now await the winner of TCU and Baylor, while the Jayhawks get the loser in an elimination game.
#3 Kansas vs #6 West Virginia
#2 TCU vs #7 Baylor
#1 Oklahoma State vs #8 Oklahoma
#4 Texas Tech vs #5 Texas
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