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Big 12 Weekly Roundup (May 2-5): OSU Drops, OU Arrives

Updated: May 9

Big 12 Baseball

New Rankings

The new College Baseball Nation Top 25 once again features two teams this week. The Oklahoma State Cowboys a few spots to No. 21 after they dropped their series in Austin this weekend. The Oklahoma Sooners who dropped from the Top 25 a week ago, are back this week after a sweep of Texas Tech in Lubbock, checking in at No. 18.

The Sooners still have the best record in the Big 12 at 18-6, three games ahead of a trio of teams: Oklahoma State, Texas, and West Virginia, all at 15-9.

A Look Back at Week 9 in Big 12 Baseball

No. 18 Oklahoma at Texas Tech

Oklahoma opened the series in Lubbock by shutting down Texas Tech in an 8-0 shutout behind the pitching of left-hander Braden Davis (6-3). Over seven innings on the mound, Davis allowed just two base hits and struck out eight Red Raiders batters. Will Carsten pitched the final two innings for the Sooners to complete the shutout. The two pitchers combined to limit Texas Tech to just four hits in the ballgame. John Spikerman was 3-for-4 with two RBI in the leadoff spot for the Sooners, and teammate Scott Mudler also drove in two runs in a 2-for-4 effort. Jackson Nicklaus was 3-for-5 with one RBI. Texas Tech committed four errors in the game rendering three of Oklahoma's eight runs unearned.

After an injury in Friday night's game, Texas Tech was without the services of the Big 12 batting leader Damian Bravo for the final two games of the weekend. 

Oklahoma led Saturday's middle game 6-0 after five innings with the help of an Anthony Mackenzie RBI single and a three-run home run. Bryce Madron also homered on a 3-for-4 night and drove in two runs. Texas Tech clawed back slowly, plating five runs over the final four frames aided by home runs by Kevin Bazzell and Tracer Lopez, but the Sooners added an insurance run in the eighth inning on their way to a 7-5 series-clinching victory.

The Sooners got off to a quick start on Sunday afternoon, scoring two runs in the game's opening frame on a Michael Snyder (3-for-5) home run after a Texas Tech defensive error put a free runner on base. Texas Tech starter Mac Heuer departed the game with two outs in the first inning with an injury, which does not seem to be arm related, but the Red Raiders were into their bullpen early in the game looking for answers. Easton Carmichael drove in three runs, two of them on a sixth inning home run. Gavin Kash led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a no-doubter to right field, and Texas Tech scored another run in the ninth, but the rally fell a run short as the Sooners completed the sweep with an 8-7 win. Oklahoma used seven pitchers in the game, and Malachi Witherspoon was the only pitcher not to allow a run. 

No. 21 Oklahoma State at Texas

It took until the seventh inning on Friday night for the Longhorns and the Cowboys to differentiate themselves when they opened their series in Austin. Both teams scored one run in the second inning and both teams scored three runs in the third inning. Neither team scored over the next three frames. After Oklahoma State took a one run lead in the top of the seventh inning, Texas responded with two runs to take a 6-5 lead. Will Gasparino plated the final run of the game when he hit his 11th home run of the season in the eighth inning. Peyton Powell was 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored for Texas. Kimble Schuessler added a double and three RBI, and Max Belyeu finished 3-for-3 in the 7-5 Texas win. Nolan Schubart and Aidan Meola each homered for the Cowboys. Gage Boehm pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings to secure the win.

The Longhorns claimed the home series on Saturday with a 6-3 victory. Belyeu powered Texas to the win, opening the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with a two RBI double. Oklahoma State tied the game at three in the top of the eighth inning, but the tie did not hold for long as Belyeu hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning for a 5-3 lead. Texas catcher Rylan Galvan plated the only other runs in the game for Texas. Galvan grounded out in the seventh inning to score one run, and he doubled home a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Texas the 6-3 lead. Oklahoma State right-hander Brian Holiday allowed just two earned runs over 6 2/3 innings and struck out six Longhorns and took a no-decision in the loss.

Oklahoma State took Sunday’s game to salvage the road series. Making just his second start of the season on the mound, Carson Benge improved to 2-1 as he tossed a career-high 6 2/3 innings. Benge allowed just one run on two hits and struck out five Texas batters. Benge got the scoring started for the Cowboys with a solo home run in the fourth inning. Schubart and Colin Brueggemann were both 2-for-4 on Sunday and Lane Forsythe was 2-for-2 in the Oklahoma State victory, with Brueggemann hitting a two-run home run and tying a season high with four RBI. The home runs for Benge and Brueggemann were the 13th of the season for both. Texas used eight pitchers in the 7-2 loss at home and they walked nine Cowboys batters.

West Virginia at Cincinnati

West Virginia opened their road trip in Cincinnati with a 5-4 victory. All five of the Mountaineers' runs came via four home runs. Sam White (3-for-4) hit two of the home runs. Skylar King added his third of the season, and Kyle West had a two-run shot, his team-leading 12th of the season. Josh Kross was 2-for-3 with one RBI and Hunter Jessee was 2-for-4 with a two-run home run in a losing cause for the Bearcats.

Saturday's middle game of the weekend was scoreless going into the bottom of the third inning when the Bearcats scored four runs, three of them on a home run by Max Palmieri. In the fifth inning, Alec Jones (2-for-4) hit a solo home run before Kerrington Cross hit a two-run shot and Cincinnati led 7-0. Right-hander Tommy Boba was great in his start for Cincinnati, tying his career-high with nine strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings and he allowed just two runs. Josh Cross was 2-for-2 in the game with a solo home run for the Bearcats as they coasted to a 10-4 win to even the series. Reed Chumley was 3-for-4 with a pair of two-run home runs for West Virginia in defeat.

Cincinnati took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of Sunday's rubber match and the Mountaineers had already gone to their bullpen to start the second inning. West Virginia plated a run in the second and a run in the third inning to close the deficit to 4-2. In the bottom of the third inning, Jones hit his second home run of the weekend, a three-run blast to left field. The game was all but over at that point, as the two teams combined to score just one run over the final six innings. Nathan Taylor improved to 7-1 on the year with the 8-2 victory. Taylor allowed just two runs over six innings and struck out seven batters. Brenden Garula and Christian Mitchelle added one and two scoreless innings, respectively to help Cincinnati to the series win at home.

TCU at Baylor

TCU led Friday's opening game with Baylor 2-1 heading into the top of the ninth inning. Horned Frogs left-hander Payton Tolle (6-3) was dominant over 6 1/3 innings as he allowed just one unearned run on three hits and struck out eight Bears batters. Baylor starter Mason Marriott had been equally good over eight innings pitched, allowing just two runs on four hits. Baylor went to the bullpen to open the top of the ninth inning, and TCU exploded for five runs, capped by a Jack Arthur (2-for-3) grand slam to left-center field. Ben Abeldt earned his fifth save of the season with two scoreless innings to close out the 7-1 win on the road. Baylor had only four hits in the ballgame.

Baylor led Saturday's middle game 6-1 after two innings, and TCU had already gone to their bullpen in the second inning. Anthony Silva hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, and Kurtis Byrne (3-for-5) added a solo shot as part of a three-run frame. The Horned Frogs tied the game at six in the sixth inning, and the score remained tied until the 11th inning. Sam Myers and Luke Boyers (3-for-6) each delivered RBI singles in the top of the 11th as TCU took a three-run lead. Baylor got a run back in the bottom of the 11th but fell short as TCU claimed the series with a 9-7 final score. Kole Klecker was great out of the TCU bullpen, throwing four hitless, scoreless innings and striking out six Bears batters. Zachary Cawyer (6-1) was great over five innings as well, also striking out six batters. Abeldt earned his second save in as many days, his sixth of the season, with a scoreless inning of work.

The Horned Frogs opened Sunday's game with a six-run inning. Boyers, Logan Maxwell (3-for-5), and Karson Bowen (2-for-4) each hit two-run home runs in the opening frame and Baylor went to the bullpen having only recorded one out in the inning. Louis Rodriguez (4-2) had a nice outing for TCU allowing just two runs over five innings with six strikeouts. The home run trio of the first inning provided all the run-scoring in the game: Maxwell singled home a run in the second inning, Boyers brought home a run in the fourth inning, and Bowen singled home a pair in the top of the ninth inning. Abeldt pitched 2/3 of an inning in the bottom of the ninth to close out the sweep and earn his third save of the series with the 10-6 victory.

Kansas at Kansas State

Kansas took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday night in Manhattan. Kaelen Culpepper tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with a two-out double and Nick English singled home the go-ahead run and Kansas State took a 3-2 lead to the ninth inning. In the top of the ninth inning, three straight walks issued by Tyson Neighbors gave the Jayhawks hope as they loaded the bases with no outs. After a strikeout, Jake English hit a screaming liner that Wildcats third baseman Jaden Parsons left his feet to grab over his head for the second out. Neighbors then got a strikeout looking to end the thriller and he earned his fifth save of the season.

Kansas State head coach Pete Hughes said after the game of Neighbors in that ninth inning jam, “There's only one guy in our program that can pitch his way out of it, and it was the guy on the mound.”

A terrific outing by Kansas starter Reese Dutton was for naught as he allowed three runs over 7 2/3 innings. Kansas State's Owen Boerema was equally great, allowing just two runs in seven innings and striking out eight Kansas batters.

Kansas rebounded to win Saturday's middle game with a 4-0 shutout. Kansas starter Dominic Voegele tossed six scoreless innings, while Cooper Moore, Tegan Cain, and Hunter Cranton each threw a scoreless inning in relief. The contest was scoreless into the fifth inning when Jayhawks designated hitter Lenny Ashby hit a two-run double off the top of the right field wall, that was all the offense Kansas needed though they added two more runs over the sixth and seventh innings. Kansas State had only six hits in the ballgame.

“I felt like my location was pretty good today. It didn’t matter what pitch I threw, it went where I wanted it to,” said Voegele after the win as he improved to 7-2 this season.

Kansas took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on Sunday after a Ty Wisdom solo home run. Kansas State climbed back slowly, scoring a run in the fifth and a run in the sixth inning to tie the game at two heading to the seventh inning. Nick English (2-for-4) drove in the game-winning run with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh. Parsons was 3-for-4 for the Wildcats, his first three-hit game of the season. Blake Dean was outstanding out of the Kansas State bullpen, tossing 3 2/3 scoreless innings before Neighbors finished the job in the ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season in the 4-2 win to claim the series. Neighbors struck out three in the ninth, but the final one reached base on a wild pitch allowing the potential tying run to come to the plate.

UCF at Houston

UCF right-hander Ben Vespi was perfect into the fourth inning against Houston on Friday night, retiring the first 10 batters he faced. Vespi then allowed one of the only two hits he allowed over seven innings, the other hit was a solo home run by Cougars outfielder Cary Arbolida, the Big 12 leader in slugging percentage, his 13th home run of the season. Andrew Sundean hit a two-run home run to center field for the Knights in the third inning and a run-scoring triple by Lex Boedicker in the seventh inning was all the offense UCF needed as they took the 4-1 road win.

UCF starter Dom Stagliano was outstanding Saturday night in Houston. Leading 4-0, Stagliano carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning when a single in the inning broke up the no-hit bid. The Cougars loaded the bases and the Knights went to the bullpen. Harold Coll hit a grand slam to tie the game at four.  Mikey Kluska (2-for-4), who drove in three runs in the game, drove in two of them in the top of the eighth inning to put UCF back in front for good. Knights' catcher Danny Neri drove in a run in both the second and sixth innings. UCF pitching limited Houston to just four hits in the 6-4 win.

Sunday's final game was rained out and will not be made up.  

BYU did not play a Big 12 opponent this weekend.

Weekly Awards

Big 12 Players of the Week

Player: Nolan Schubart, Oklahoma State, OF

Pitcher: Braden Davis, Oklahoma, LHP (for the second week in a row)

Newcomer: Kuhio Aloy, BYU, DH


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