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Big 12 Notebook: May 16, 2024


Big 12 Baseball

The Big 12 field for the Phillips 66 Championship in Arlington, Texas next week is set after last weekend. No. 16 Oklahoma is in front in the league right now with a 21-6 record and the Sooners have secured the top seed for next week, No. 18 Oklahoma State leads by half a game for the second spot next week. The top two spots get a bye on Tuesday when the Championship gets underway.


Baylor, BYU, and Houston are out of the field for next week.


Recapping the Midweek

BYU edged out Grand Canyon 8-7.

Houston defeated Sam Houston 4-3 in a neutral site game.

UConn at Cincinnati played 4 1/2 innings before rain eventually put a stop to the game and it was ruled a “no contest.”


Weekend Schedule

No. 16 Oklahoma (32-17, 21-6) at Cincinnati (30-21, 16-11)

No. 18 Oklahoma State (34-16, 19-7) at Houston (26-26, 7-19)

BYU (20-29, 6-21) at Kansas State (29-21, 13-14)

West Virginia (31-19, 17-10) at TCU (30-17, 13-14)

Kansas (29-18, 15-12) at Texas (32-20, 17-10)

UCF (30-17, 12-14) at Baylor (21-29, 9-18)


Texas Tech will not play a Big 12 opponent this weekend.


League Notes

West Virginia left-hander Derek Clark earned Big 12 Pitcher and Newcomer of the Week honors after striking out 10 in seven scoreless innings against Kansas State. It was the second time Clark earned both awards this season. Clark leads Big 12 pitchers with 66 2/3 inning pitched in conference games.


Houston’s Cary Arbolida has hit multiple home runs in four different games this season and has hit a home run in three consecutive games entering the weekend. Arbolida is on an 11-game hitting streak where he is hitting .463 with 19 hits, nine home runs, and 18 RBI. Arbolida leads the Big 12 with a .930 slugging percentage in conference games.


Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 and is 17th nationally with a 4.30 team ERA; six Cowboys own an ERA of 3.71 or under, with Brian Holiday (3.43) and Sam Garcia (3.71) ranking in the top 10 in the conference. Holiday is also second in the Big 12 with 97 strikeouts and has recorded four games reaching double digit strikeouts.


After reaching base in all five of his plate appearances Tuesday night vs. Tarleton, infielder Hunter Teplanszky became the third Baylor player this season to reach safely in eight-straight trips to the plate. Teplanszky actually pushed his streak to nine-straight plate appearances. Enzo Apodaca and Cole Posey have also accomplished the feat this year. Prior to the 2024 season, no Baylor player had reached base in eight-straight plate appearances since 2016.


In Big 12 play, Oklahoma leads the conference in nine major categories: BA (.326), SLG (.546), OB% (.420), runs scored (261), hits (308), RBIs (236), doubles (65), triples (10), and total bases (516). The team ranks in the top five in numerous other categories including second in stolen bases (44) and walks (136) and T4th in home runs (41).


Kansas State has recorded 13 come from behind victories this season, including three on the road. The Wildcats have overcome four-run deficits in four games, and five three-run games. In their comeback wins, Kansas State is outscoring opponents 114-69. Of the 13 wins, five were one-run games while four ended with margins of victory larger than six runs.


Kansas has already surpassed their win total from 2023 and the 15 conference victories this season are tied for the most in program history. The Jayhawks are the only team in the Big 12 that is ranked in the top 40 nationally in both batting average (.306) and ERA (4.63). The Jayhawks are first in the Big 12 (ninth nationally) in doubles (119), second (24th nationally) in double plays turned (44), second in batting average, third in on-base percentage (.408), fourth in ERA, slugging percentage (.506) and runs per game (7.5) and fifth in WHIP (1.47) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.32).


TCU's Sam Myers extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He is hitting .390 (16-for-41) with six RBI during that stretch. Jack Arthur is on an eight-game hitting streak of his own. During that stretch, he is hitting .294 (10-for-34) with 7 RBI.


Texas heads into the weekend following a fifth-consecutive Big 12 Conference series win and eighth league series win overall. The Longhorns are batting .290 with 117 doubles and a Big 12 Conference leading 103 home runs, while the pitching staff has a 4.94 ERA with 419 strikeouts.

 

Prior to the start of the season, Cincinnati was picked to finish last in the Big 12's preseason coaches poll. The Bearcats not only will not finish in last place, but they enter the final weekend of the regular season with a chance to finish in second place in the Big 12 when they host No. 16 Oklahoma.


UCF’s Matthew Prevesk will enter the weekend  tied for second in the Big 12 with 72 hits and third in batting average at .365. He also has 15 extra-base hits, 34 RBI and is second in runs scored with 38. Teammate Jack Zyska is next with a .314 batting average and leads the team in home runs with 10, doubles with 11, RBI with 42, runs scored with 40, and a .966 OPS.  


Texas Tech is riding a five-game losing streak, which is their longest this season. With their four home runs hit last weekend at Oklahoma State, the Red Raiders reached 85 home runs for the third time in four seasons. Last season the Red Raiders hit 93 total home runs while they hit 90 home runs in 2021.


BYU has totaled 166 extra-base hits including 65 home runs. Easton Jones leads the Cougars’ offense, hitting .286 on the year with 36 RBI and 14 home runs. Thirteen players have homered for BYU this season led by Jones and Cooper Vest with 10.


 

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