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Big 12 Weekly Roundup (Apr. 25-28): Musical Chairs Continues

Big 12 Baseball

New Rankings

The new College Baseball Nation Top 25 once again features two teams this week. The Oklahoma State Cowboys rose one spot to No. 18 after they swept BYU in Stillwater this weekend. The West Virginia Mountaineers dropped out of the Top 25 last week after appearing for one week, they are back this week at No. 24 after sweeping Baylor in Morgantown. The Oklahoma Sooners dropped from the Top 25 after losing a series at home to Texas.

The Sooners still have the best record in the Big 12 at 15-6, one game ahead of both Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

A Look Back at Week 8 in Big 12 Baseball

BYU at No. 18 Oklahoma State

Carson Benge was on the mound for Thursday’s opening game in Stillwater. Benge made life difficult in two ways: He tossed five innings of one-run baseball and struck out six batters, and he went 3-for-4 at the plate with two home runs and three RBI. Nolan Schubart was 3-for-3 in the game and also hit two home runs and had four RBI. Ian Daugherty added a home run and four RBI as the Cowboys ran away with a 17-5 game one victory.

BYU took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning of Saturday’s first game thanks in part to a Collin Reuter solo home run. But the Cowboys responded. Nolan Schubart and Zach Ehrhard each hit home runs and drove in two runs, while Ian Daugherty contributed three hits and two RBI. In fact, the four thru seven spots in the Oklahoma State order all had two RBI in the game. Gabe Davis came out of the Cowboys bullpen and tossed 3 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball allowing just one hit and picking up five strikeouts to earn the save and secure the 11-5 series-clinching win for Oklahoma State.

Brian Holiday (4-3) worked 7 1/3 innings and struck out 10 Cougars batters on the way to 12-5 Cowboys victory and a weekend sweep. Benge hit his 11th home run of the season and his fourth of the series in Friday’s second game, while Ehrhard also went deep for the 10th time this season and added four RBI. Colin Brueggemann (2-for-3) drove in three runs as well for the Cowboys.

Baylor at No. 24 West Virginia

Baylor took a 2-0 first inning lead over West Virginia in Friday’s opening game. The Mountaineers then outscored the Bears 18-3 the rest of the way. JJ Wetherholt and Kyle West each hit home runs on the night and Reed Chumley drove in five runs. Wetherholt finished the game with two hits and four RBI while West, Logan Sauve, and Grant Hussey each drove in two runs. West Virginia won the game 18-5.

Left-hander Derek Clark (5-1) led the Mountaineers to a 5-2 win, and a series win, on Saturday. Clark pitched 8 innings and allowed the two runs and struck out eight. It was the fifth time in eight starts that Clark has pitched eight or more innings. West reached base three times and hit his 11th home run of the season, which leads the Mountaineers. Chumley added two hits and Brodie Kresser drove in two runs for West Virginia.

On Sunday, West Virginia’s Grant Hussey went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, and scored three times. Skylar King added two doubles and three RBI with Benjamin Lumsden driving in two runs on two hits. A five run seventh was followed by a three run eighth as the Mountaineers put the game out of reach for the Bears. Aidan Major went 5 2/3 innings before the bullpen pitched a shutout over the final three innings. West Virginia completed the sweep by winning game three 13-4.

Texas at Oklahoma

Oklahoma left-hander Braden Davis (5-3) pitched six innings of one-run baseball and struck out nine Texas batters to open the series on Friday night. Jaxon Willits hit a home run and singled home another run for the Sooners while Kendall Pettis and John Spikerman each drove in two runs. Malachi Witherspoon pitched a scoreless ninth inning, striking out all three outs in the frame as Oklahoma took game one 9-4.

Before Saturday's game it was announced that there would be no baseball played on Saturday and a doubleheader played on Sunday instead.

Jalin Flores went 2-for-4 with two RBI doubles in Sunday's first game for Texas, while Will Gasparino and Kimble Schuessler each hit solo home runs, and Casey Borba added two RBI. Chase Lummus pitched 3 2/3 innings in relief for Texas and allowed just one run on three hits before Gage Boehm pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to earn his fifth save of the season. The Longhorns only had seven base hits in the ballgame, but it was enough to get past the Sooners as Texas won 8-6 to even the series.

The Sooners and the Longhorns then combined to score 22 runs on 28 hits in the second game on Sunday, and they only played seven innings. Texas hit six home runs in the game for the second time last week. Max Belyeu went 4-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI, while Borba, Gasparino, Peyton Powell, and Rylan Galvan also added to the home run total. Willits was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI and Jackson Nicklaus was 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI for Oklahoma. Lightning in the area forced the game into a delay just as the eighth inning was about to get underway. The game never resumed, and Texas took the 12-10 victory and the series win in Norman. 

Cincinnati at UCF

A Jack Zyska three-run home run bottom of the fifth inning gave UCF 4-1 lead. The game from the sixth inning on looked completely different. The Bearcats plated three runs in the seventh inning as Landyn Vidourek drove in two runs. With the game tied at four in the top of the eighth inning and with the bases loaded, Kerrington Cross doubled to clear the bases giving the Bearcats a 9-4 lead, which would be the final tally. Luke Sefcik was 2-for-3 at the plate with a sacrifice fly and two RBI in the game. Ben Vespi pitched well enough to win for UCF, going six innings allowing just two runs, but the game was decided well after he departed.

Zyska was 2-for-4 with a season-high four RBI on Saturday and this time his heroics were rewarded with a victory as UCF reset the series to even with a 5-2 win. Andrew Brait, Matt Prevesk, and Dylan King all contributed two hits to the Knights offense, which had 13 hits in the game. Knights starter Dom Stagliano pitched four innings allowing the two Bearcats runs, and Dominic Castellano pitched the final five frames without allowing a run and giving up just two hits. The two hurlers combined to strike out eleven batters. Nathan Taylor pitched a solid game for Cincinnati in defeat, throwing 6 1/3 innings and allowing just two runs.

The Bearcats then took the road series on Sunday with an 8-2 victory. Cincinnati shortstop Lauden Brooks drove in three runs while Luke Sefcik and Josh Hegemann each drove in a pair of runs. Chase Horst and Griffin Hugus both pitched in relief of Tommy Boba and completely shut down the Knights batters over a combined five scoreless innings. The Bearcats racked up 16 hits in the ballgame and all eight of the runs they scored were scored with two outs.

Texas Tech at Kansas

Kansas walked off Texas Tech 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday night in Lawrence. After trailing in the game by scores of 2-0 and 3-1, Kansas first baseman Ben Hartl delivered a timely single to left field with the bases loaded to make the Jayhawks victors. Hartl was 4-for-5 Friday night with a double, a home run, two RBI, and a run scored. Right-hander Reese Dutton paced the Kansas pitching staff with his seventh quality start of the season, tossing seven innings and allowing three runs while striking out seven Red Raiders batters. Drew Woodcox was 2-for-4 with two RBI for Texas Tech in a losing effort.

Texas Tech scored two runs in the top of the second inning on Saturday to take a 2-0 lead. Kansas responded by scoring 11 unanswered runs on their way to an 11-2 win to stake claim to the series. Jayhawks left fielder Chase Jans flashed plenty of leather in the win, he also hit his first home run of the season and finished with a season-high four RBI. Hartl and Cooper Combs also had two RBI each. Dominic Voegele was terrific once again on the mound for Kansas. Voegele pitched six innings and allowed just the two Red Raiders runs on three hits and improved to 6-2 this season with the win.

The Jayhawks completed the sweep on Sunday 7-3. Right-hander Ethan Lanthier was stellar out of the bullpen for Kansas, throwing 4 2/3 scoreless innings, to earn the win for the third consecutive Sunday. John Nett hit a solo home run in the victory and extended his hitting streak to 18 games. Kodey Shojinaga hit a bases-clearing double to cap off a five-run fourth inning for the Jayhawks.

Kansas State at TCU

TCU threw its fourth shutout of the season on Friday to welcome Kansas State to town. Payton Tolle, who has pitched in three of the four TCU shutouts this season, started the game on Friday and pitched five innings and struck out seven Wildcats batters. Andrew Mosiello pitched the final four innings and added six strikeouts to the ledger. Logan Maxwell and Kurtis Byrne each drove in three runs while Luke Boyers homered for the fifth time this season to lead the Horned Frogs to the 12-0 shutout.

Kansas State led the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader 3-1 going into the bottom of the fourth inning. TCU then exploded for six runs in the frame. Peyton Chatagnier (2-for-4) was the only TCU hitter with multiple hits in the game and left fielder Jack Arthur contributed two RBI. Reliever Ben Abeldt took the mound in the sixth inning and proceeded to shut down the Wildcats over the next four innings. Abeldt allowed four base hits but nothing more and TCU took the game 7-4 and claimed the series victory.

Kansas State won the second game of the Saturday doubleheader to leave Ft. Worth with one road victory. The Wildcats got a solid outing from Owen Boerema who pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing three runs. Tyson Neighbors relieved Boerema and pitched a shutout over the final 3 1/3 innings giving up just two base hits and striking out four Horned Frogs batters. Kaelen Culpepper was 2-for-3 in the game and drove in four of the six Wildcats runs.

Houston did not play a Big 12 opponent this weekend.

Weekly Awards

Big 12 Players of the Week

Player: Carson Benge, Oklahoma State, OF/RHP

Pitcher: Braden Davis, Oklahoma, LHP

Newcomer: Kyle West, West Virginia, IF


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