Updated: Apr 25, 2022
No. 15 TCU wins final two games in Stillwater, now first-place in Big 12
When No. 9 Oklahoma State opened the series with a 13-2 win in Stillwater, it seemed that the Cowboys would not have much trouble maintaining their position atop the Big 12 standings. OSU rattled off 17 hits, while starter Justin Campbell moved to 6-1 in 8.0 innings with just two hits allowed and 14 strikeouts.
But TCU’s resilience was revealed. The Horned Frogs battled back, and won the next two games, shocking the Cowboys, to take first-place in the Big 12. The visitors from Fort Worth were off and running from the get-go in game two, a 6-4 win, mounting a 6-1 lead by the third inning. OSU responded with three runs, two of which were scored in the sixth, but TCU’s bullpen held the Cowboys there, shutting the powerful lineup out for the final three innings.
Sunday’s 7-6 contest was taken down to the wire, and decided on the final out of the game. Played out remarkably even, with 10 hits apiece, OSU went up 4-3 in the third, but TCU pushed one run in each of the final four innings for a 7-4 advantage entering the bottom of the ninth. OSU nearly took that opportunity and walked it off, scoring twice in the frame, and even had runners on first and second with two outs. But two-way player Nolan McLean, who pitched the final two innings for the Cowboys, struck out swinging on a well-placed pitch from TCU closer Garrett Wright, giving the Horned Frogs a narrow win in the series’ most critical contest.
Now 12-6 in Big 12 play, TCU has been battle-tested time and time again the last two weeks. In fact, the Horned Frogs have faced a Top 6 team in six of their last seven games. Their record in those contests? 5-1.
No. 22 Texas Tech takes series from No. 40 West Virginia in back-to-back complete games from starters
Inclement weather delayed the start of Texas Tech’s home series with West Virginia. But it did not douse the intense fire burning for the Red Raiders, who had dropped four straight, including a midweek game at New Mexico, entering the weekend.
In a doubleheader on Saturday, head coach Tim Tadlock’s ballclub left nothing to chance. Complete games from Tech’s starting pitchers- Andrew Morris in game one and Brandon Birdsell in game two- kept the WVU lineup at bay, while the Red Raiders took both games, and the series. The opener appeared to be headed in the same direction of last weekend’s series opener at TCU after the Mountaineers scored four in the third for a 5-2 lead. But in that same inning, the Tech bats caught fire, scoring five runs that kept them in front the rest of the way.
Morris looked shaky early on, but found his rhythm by the fourth, holding WVU scoreless for the remainder of the contest as he allowed just three hits. In game two, a 12-2 rout for the Red Raiders, Birdsell struck out nine, and both of the Mountaineers’ runs came unearned. In fact, of the seven runs scored by WVU on Saturday, just two were earned, both against Morris. According to Texas Tech’s sports information department, it marked the first time that Tech pitchers fired back-to-back complete games since April 11, 2009.
A 15-4 loss on Sunday was much closer than the final result, with each side having its opportunities over the final innings. Entering the ninth, it was 5-4 in favor of the Mountaineers, but that did not last long. Four different Red Raider pitchers took the mound in the frame, as WVU went on a 10-run tear, promptly putting the game out of reach. Postgame, Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock noted that he and his staff “are definitely looking for a guy to pitch Sundays,” but praised the effort from Mason Molina and Trendan Parish early on. The Red Raiders have now dropped their last two Big 12 series finales, but have won four of their last five conference series.
WVU leadoff hitter Austin Davis hit safely in all three games, capping the series with a 5-for-6 day in the series finale, with four runs scored. For Tech, Cole Stilwell hit a homer and a double on Sunday, finishing the series 5-for-14, and Ty Coleman was an impressive 8-for-13.
No. 23 Texas blasts Baylor
Sometimes, a statement is made early in the series, and that provides momentum for the rest of the weekend. Texas’ 20-1 rout of Baylor on Friday was that statement for the Longhorns, coming off a disappointing series loss at Kansas State a week ago. Back in the familiar atmosphere of Disch-Falk Field, Texas pounded the ball at the plate, with 48 hits in the series, outscoring the Bears 46-9 in a desperately-needed series sweep.
The trio of victories puts Texas back in the league title conversation, as the Longhorns are now third in the ever-changing conference standings with a 9-6 mark. Baylor meanwhile, heads in the opposite direction, now seventh, at 4-11.
Texas was consistent in Friday’s 19-run win, scoring in every inning from the second to the seventh, including a seven-run fourth that saw Ivan Melendez propel the Horns into double digits with a two-run homer. It was not the last time Melendez sent a pitch over the outfield wall. In game two, his two-run blast in the fourth made it 6-3, and on Sunday, he added a pair of home runs that helped Texas secure its 13-4 victory. On the weekend: four home runs, 6-for-10 at the plate, 10 RBIs.
That level of hitting was nearly impossible for Baylor’s pitching staff to slow, and the results revealed that. The Longhorns hit for an eye-popping .448 in the series.
No. 39 Oklahoma sweeps Kansas, highlighted by 14-inning thriller in game two
It did not take the Sooners long to set the tone in Lawrence. Cade Horton’s steal of home in the third inning of the series opener said plenty about who would be the aggressor. Oklahoma promptly swept Kansas, extending its win streak to five games as the Sooners continue to fight in the middle of the Big 12 pack as one of the more underrated teams in the league.
OU starter Jake Bennett allowed just one earned run through six innings on Friday, striking out seven in his third win of the year.
That is not to say there was not some drama in the mix. Saturday’s 7-6 win for the Sooners was decided in the 14th inning of a game spanning nearly five hours, as both teams tallied 10 hits. With two outs in the ninth, Horton came up clutch, with a single up the middle that scored Mason Lowe and tied the score at six apiece. That is the way it stayed for the next four innings, until Peyton Graham singled and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Tanner Tredway, for OU’s first lead of the game. Kansas attempted a counter, but went quietly in the bottom of the 14th, as OU hung on.
Sunday’s duel needed only half of that before it was decided, with the Sooners dominating a 24-4 seven-inning result. Tredway, whose go-ahead sacrifice fly helped win OU the game the day before, was 4-for-6 at the plate, extending his hit streak to 13 games. He was 7-for-16 against the Jayhawks, pacing a lineup that hit .384 on the weekend.
The sweep marked OU’s first series win since a March 25-27 series against Baylor.