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Big 12 Weekly Roundup (Mar. 28-31): Yet Another Ranked Team

Big 12 Baseball

A Look Back at Week 4 in Big 12 Baseball

Kansas at BYU

Kansas right-hander Reese Dutton recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts as Kansas defeated BYU 11-1 in Provo on Thursday. Dutton shut down the Cougars over eight innings allowing just one run and improved to 6-1 this season with the win. Jake English and Michael Brooks each had three hits and three RBI to lead the Kansas offense. The Jayhawks now have six-straight wins in the opening game of the weekend, which includes four-straight in Big 12 action.

A Friday double header started with a Jayhawks 4-3 victory to claim the series. English broke open a scoreless game with a solo shot to lead off the top of the fourth inning, the first of his three hits and two RBI in the game. Brooks added two hits and two RBI for the totality of the Jayhawks offense. Kansas starter Dominic Voegele (3-1) tossed six innings of one-run baseball where he allowed five hits and earned the win.

In game two of the afternoon, Kansas took a 7-0 lead after a four-run sixth inning keyed by a Kodey Shojinaga two-run home run. BYU battled back with four runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it a ballgame. Shojinaga drove in another run for insurance and the Jayhawks won 8-5 to complete the road sweep.

Houston at TCU

TCU got the weekend started by punishing Houston 14-1 in Ft. Worth. Right-hander Louis Rodriguez (3-0) pitched eight scoreless innings for TCU and struck out 10 Houston batters. The Horned Frogs offense pounded out 21 base hits led by 3-for-5 performances by Chase Brunson, Logan Maxwell, and Luke Boyers. Houston had as many hits in the defeat as they did errors, four.

Payton Tolle (3-1), after pitching a complete game in his last outing against Oklahoma State, was one out shy of another complete game as he tossed 8 2/3 innings in a 6-2 series-clinching victory. Center fielder Chase Brunson was 2-for-4 with three RBI in the leadoff spot for the Horned Frogs.

TCU completed the sweep on Saturday with a 6-4 victory in the most unorthodox of ways. The Horned Frogs scored six runs on only two hits, four of the runs were unearned as TCU capitalized on three Houston errors. A four-run bottom of the seventh inning gave TCU the lead they would hold onto.

Texas at Kansas State

Kansas State earned their only win of the weekend in a wild 14-6 victory over Texas on Thursday night. The Wildcats plated eight runs in the second inning and they sent 13 batters to the plate in the frame. A three-run ninth inning for the Longhorns made the final score appear closer than this game actually was in the end.

Offense was at a premium on Friday night when Texas bounced back to even the series with a 21-11 win. Max Belyeu and Rylan Galvan each drove in five runs and had nine hits combined. The game was tied at 11 after seven innings before Texas plated three runs in the eighth inning and seven more runs in the ninth inning to secure victory.

The Longhorns then took the series win on Saturday with a 6-3 victory behind six innings from Max Grubbs who allowed just one unearned run. Kansas State scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to get within a run, but Texas responded with a two-spot of their own in the top of ninth inning and Andre Duplantier II did the rest, closing out the Wildcats and the series victory.

Texas Tech at No. 25 UCF

Texas Tech led 4-1 at the halfway point in the series opener on Thursday night in Orlando. UCF battled back until the very end. Jack Zyska doubled home the tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Knights walked-off game one 5-4 winners when Andrew Williamson was hit by a pitch to force in the winning run, the second such occurrence in Big 12 play for the Knights already this season. Damian Bravo was a perfect 5-for-5 for Texas Tech in defeat.

UCF won 2-1 on Friday night and claimed the series. Kyle Robinson was a tough luck loser for Texas Tech as he allowed just two runs over six innings on the mound. But Dom Stagliano was just a little better over 6 1/3 innings allowing the sole Red Raiders run in the game and only three hits. Chase Centala relieved Stagliano and pitched the final 2 2/3 innings to close out the Red Raiders.

Texas Tech rallied to avoid the sweep with a 3-2 victory on Saturday afternoon. Right-hander Mac Heuer pitched one-run baseball over 5 2/3 innings while Drew Woodcox and Gavin Kash each hit a solo home run to power the Red Raiders offense. Dominic Castellano pitched five solid innings of relief for the Knights to keep the game close, he allowed just one run and struck out six.

Cincinnati at Baylor

Cincinnati's Tommy O'Connor homered twice and drove in four runs and Seth Logue pitched 6 1/3 innings in relief for the Bearcats in an opening night defeat of Baylor in Waco. Logue struck out eight batters and allowed just two runs. The Bearcats took game one 8-3, with Baylor scoring their three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Baylor evened the series Friday night with an 8-6 win. Josh Kross hit a grand slam for Cincinnati, his 11th home run of the season. Hunter Teplanszky hit a three-run home run for Baylor and Enzo Apodaca and Zach Mazoch each drove in two runs.

The Bears claimed the series on Saturday with a 9-2 victory. Teplanszky helped lead the Bears offense with three RBI, while David Altman matched him with three RBI and hit a home run. Baylor Freshman right-hander Collin McKinney was the pitching story of the game as he struck out 10 Cincinnati batters and allowed just one hit over 6 1/3 innings.

Oklahoma State at West Virginia

Oklahoma State edged West Virginia Friday night 2-1 to open the series in Morgantown on a traditional weekend schedule. Sam Garcia was brilliant over seven innings striking out 11 batters while allowing just the one West Virginia run. Aidan Major was equally dominant over eight innings with 13 strikeouts, but he took the tough-luck loss as he allowed the two Cowboys runs. Colin Brueggemann homered for the Cowboys and Zach Ehrhard drove home the other run with a two-out RBI double in the sixth inning.

The story Saturday was about the old school pitcher's duel between Derek Clark and Brian Holiday. Each starter allowed just one run in the contest, Holiday over eight innings and Clark over nine complete innings, his second straight outing of nine innings. After a scoreless 10th inning for both teams, the game was still tied 1-1, before a nine-run 11th inning for Oklahoma State propelled them to the series win as they won 10-1.

Sunday looked nothing like the previous two games in Morgantown. A six-run second inning and a three-run third inning gave West Virginia a 9-1 lead with six innings left to play. Ehrhard was 5-for-6 with a home run for the Cowboys while Spencer Barnett was 4-for-5 with five RBI and Kyle West added four RBI for the Mountaineers. West Virginia used six pitchers and Oklahoma State used seven in the 15-10 Mountaineers sweep-avoiding win.

Oklahoma did not play a Big 12 Conference opponent this weekend.

New Rankings

After the weekend, there is still just one team in the new College Baseball Nation Top 25, and it is yet another new team. Kansas State, previously ranked No. 23, dropped their series at home against Texas this weekend to fall out of the Top 25. The UCF Knights have now moved in to claim the No. 25 spot. The Knights are in the Top 25 for the first time this season after winning their series at home this weekend against Texas Tech.

Weekly Awards

Big 12 Players of the Week

Player: Jake English, Kansas, C

Pitcher: Louis Rodriguez, TCU, RHP

Newcomer: Cade Boxrucker, UCF, RHP & Reese Dutton, Kansas, RHP

Round Numbers

With Thursday's victory over Houston, TCU head coach Kirk Saarloos picked up his 100th win as head coach.


"When you're so emotional, it's hard for me to say anything rational," West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey said during an in-game interview Sunday. "When you have such a devastating loss, you want 'em to have a good night's sleep." Mazey added that he told his team after Saturday's 11th inning implosion, "You never panic, and you only have a few opportunities in life to show people how tough you are."

"I think that each weekend is its own story and in each weekend you have a chance to grow. Sometimes you lose a series but you get better.” - Kansas Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald

“Winning three straight series in a row is a really big deal. I don’t care what conference you are playing in, winning three consecutive conference series takes a lot, and takes a whole team effort.” - UCF catcher/DH Danny Neri after the Knights defeated Texas Tech Friday night.


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