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Big XII Baseball Notes | Sooners Down Jayhawks | Mountaineers Take First

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USA Today Sports

Congratulations to the West Virginia Mountaineers for moving into first place in the Big Twelve Conference baseball standings over the weekend...well sort of. Fact is, the Mountaineers are in first after taking Baylor in what turned out to be just a two-game series over the weekend but at just 2-0 in conference play you can't help look at that mark without a bit of skepticism. This is the same West Virginia team that went 1-2 against North-Carolina Wilmington last weekend. The two losses dropped Baylor to third place in the conference at 4-4.

Oklahoma and Kansas were tied for second place in the Big Twelve going into the weekend but the Sooners stand alone in second place now after taking two of three games in Lawrence. The Jayhawks dropped down into a three-way tie with Texas and Oklahoma State for fourth place.

Pitching was the key to Oklahoma's successful weekend as the OU staff held the Jayhawks to six total runs in the three-game series. Kansas went into the weekend as the top batting team in the conference and finished a notch lower as their season percentage dropped below .300 on the year.

Also dropping this weekend was Oklahoma's team ERA which fell to 3.16, placing them as the fourth lowest in the Big Twelve. "Our pitching staff has been unbelievably reliable and the saving grace for this team, for the season and for this weekend," Oklahoma Coach Pete Hughes said after Saturday's 2-1 win over the Jayhawks.

Big 12 Pct Streak Overall Pct Streak
West Virginia 2-0 1.000 W2 15-8 .652 W3
Oklahoma 4-2 .667 L1 20-9 .681 L1
Baylor 4-4 .500 L3 13-13 .500 L4
Texas 3-3 .500 W1 22-7 .759 W1
Oklahoma State 3-3 .500 W2 19-9 .679 W2
Kansas 3-3 .500 W1 18-10 .643 W1
Texas Tech 4-5 .444 L1 22-9 .701 L1
TCU 2-4 .333 L2 15-12 .556 L2
Kansas State 1-2 .333 W1 17-10 .621 W2

The Texas Longhorns took two of three games from Texas Tech, in Lubbock, over the weekend with the Red Raiders getting their lone win on Saturday. The series loss dropped Tech to below .500 in conference play.

Joining the Red Raiders with a sub .500 record in conference is TCU who lost the final two games of their series against Oklahoma State after winning the opener Friday night in Stillwater.

In the weekend series that featured a non-conference opponent, Kansas State bounced back, after dropping the opener, to take two of three games from Creighton in Omaha.

Conference Leaders

* The Sooners dropped from the top spot to number three in the Big Twelve in team batting. The Kansas State Wildcats have taken over as the top hitting team in the conference with a collective batting average of .305 on the year. Kansas State is currently the only team in the conference averaging over .300 collectively.

* The Texas Longhorns still hold the top spot in team pitching with a combined ERA of 1.98 on the season. The Longhorns' Nathan Thornhill saw his ERA dip all the way down to 0.88 on the year.

* Oklahoma's Mac James still sits atop the rankings for individual batting but he now shares the spot with Mark Payton, of Texas, as the two have an equal .402 average on the year.

* James and Payton also share the lead for most hits in the conference with 41 each. Payton has a Big Twelve best on base percentage at .516 on the year.

* West Virginia's Ryan McBroom .622 slugging percentage which is far and away the best in the conference.

* Oklahoma's Hunter Haley and Kansas State's Ross Kivett have each scored 29 runs this season, allowing them to share the Big Twelve's top spot in that category.

* Connor McKay, of Kansas, has 34 RBI on the year which is the most in the conference.

* The Sooners trio of Hunter Haley, Mac James, and Sheldon Neuse are still the top three in the Big Twelve in total bases.

* The Longhorns' Marlow Brooks has drawn the most walks in the conference with 25. He surpassed Texas Tech's Lawton Langford who was in the top spot last week and currently has 24 on the season.

* Five pitchers are tied for the most wins in the conference (5) and eight are tied for the second most (4).

* TCU's Brandon Finnegan is averaging 12.97 strikeouts per game and has fanned a total of 73 batters this season.

* Oklahoma's Ralph Garza, Jr. has made a Big Twelve best 16 appearances this year and Baylor's Josh Michalec has recorded a conference-leading 9 saves.