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Big 12 Weekly Roundup (May 9-12): OU, OSU Rise; Fight Begins for No. 2 Spot

Big 12 Baseball

New Rankings

The new College Baseball Nation Top 25 features the same two teams this week. The Oklahoma Sooners move up to No. 16 in the latest poll after sweeping Baylor in dominant fashion. The Oklahoma State Cowboys move up to No. 18 after winning twice at home over Texas Tech while the third game was cancelled due to weather.

The Sooners will have the No. 1 seed in Arlington next week, and they will be joined by Cincinnati, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, UCF, and West Virginia.

The top two seeds get a bye on day one of the Big 12 Championship.

Oklahoma State (16-9) currently claims the No. 2 spot with three games left to play. The Cowboys will play in Houston on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week.

West Virginia (17-10) will be at TCU with a chance to claim the No. 2 seed.

Texas (17-10) will host Kansas also with a chance at the No. 2 seed.

Baylor, Houston, and BYU are on the outside looking in as the season enters its final week as those three teams will not see postseason play.

A Look Back at Week 10 in Big 12 Baseball

Baylor at No. 16 Oklahoma

Baylor opened the road series in Norman by scoring three-runs in the first inning and three-runs in the second inning against the reigning Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for the last two consecutive weeks, Braden Davis. Baylor led 6-2 going to the bottom of the third inning. Oklahoma then outscored Baylor 17-1 to claim a 19-7 victory.

The Sooners pounded out 16 base hits in the game, none of them home runs. Eight of the Sooners nine starters recorded hits Friday night, six Sooners had multiple hits in the game, with eight hitters bringing in at least one run. John Spikerman (3-for-5) and Michael Snyder (3-for-4) led the Oklahoma offense, while Easton Carmichael drove in five runs, both a team-high and career-high.

Early Saturday it was announced that the two teams would play a doubleheader that day and scrub Sunday's game, a move which proved prescient.

Baylor once again took an early lead in Saturday's first game, scoring a run in the top of the first inning. The Bears still held a 1-0 going to the bottom of the fifth inning. Oklahoma then scored nine unanswered runs to claim the series with a 9-1 victory. Spikerman (2-for-4) homered for the Sooners and drove in five runs. Kyson Witherspoon was terrific on the mound in his start, allowing just the one first inning run before settling in to dominate over seven innings, allowing six hits. Catcher Scott Mudler (2-for-3) was the only other Oklahoma hitter with multiple hits, and he scored two runs. Every Oklahoma batter picked up a hit in the game.

Keeping to form, Baylor once again took the lead in the first inning of Saturday's second game. The Bears led 5-1 halfway through the second inning. Then the Sooners took control. Oklahoma scored six runs in the bottom of the second inning, the first of three different innings where Oklahoma put up six runs. Carmichael led the team with five RBI while Spikerman (4-for-5) drove in four runs. Bryce Madron (2-for-4) drove in four runs on a dramatic inside-the-park grand slam in the bottom of the fourth inning on the way to a 19-7 Oklahoma win in seven innings via the run-rule to sweep the weekend series.

At the close of action on Saturday night, with Oklahoma having swept Baylor, the Sooners had laid claim to at worst a share of the Big 12 regular season title.

Texas Tech at No. 18 Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State used seven home runs in the game to run away with a 16-4 victory over Texas Tech in Stillwater on Friday night. The Cowboys jumped out a 3-0 first inning lead when Zach Ehrhard homered before Aidan Meola (3-for-4) added a two-run shot of his own. Oklahoma State essentially put the game away in the bottom of the third inning when Ian Daugherty, Lane Forsythe, Tyler Wulfert and Carson Benge all hit home runs as part of an eight-run inning. Meanwhile on the mound, left-hander Sam Garcia (5-3) was cruising for the Cowboys, tossing seven innings of one-run baseball and striking out 10 Red Raiders batters. Drew Woodcox was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI for Texas Tech in defeat.

On Saturday night, right-hander Brian Holiday matched teammate Garcia from the night before by striking out 10 batters in his start. Holiday found himself in a pitcher's duel with Texas Tech starter Kyle Robinson as the pair took a 2-2 game into the seventh inning. Both pitchers gave up two-runs in the first inning.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Tyler Wulfert singled to lead off the inning in a thrilling at-bat that saw Robinson have to make 15-pitches before surrendering the single. Wulfert fouled off 10-pitches in the at-bat and fouled off seven in a row at one point. The effort by Wulfert sparked the offense to a four-run frame. After the Red Raiders went to the bullpen, Carson Benge hit his 15th home run of the season, a three-run job. Meola added a solo home run of his own before the frame came to a close. The Cowboys added three insurance runs in the eighth inning to put away the 9-3 series-clinching win. Collin Brueggemann joined Benge in driving in three-runs each.

Holiday departed after 6 1/3 innings having allowed just two runs, so he was not in line for a decision when Saturday's game was decided. Robert Cranz tossed two shutout innings to close out the game, striking out five of the six batters he faced. Austin Green opened the game with a two-run home run in the first inning for the Red Raiders.

Sunday's game was cancelled due to rain in the area, as had been predicted not far away in Norman. The inability for Oklahoma State to play the Sunday game meant that the Oklahoma Sooners would stand alone as Big 12 regular season champions. The fight now for the Cowboys, is for the second spot, which would mean a bye on Tuesday, May 21 when the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship gets underway in Arlington.

Cincinnati at BYU

BYU scored three-runs in the bottom of the first inning on Thursday night in Provo. The Cougars led 5-3 in the eighth inning before Cincinnati scored seven unanswered runs to win 9-5. Two hits and three runs driven in by leadoff hitter Kerrington Cross led the Bearcats offense. Landyn Vidourek drove in two-runs for Cincinnati in a 2-for-4 effort.

The Thursday loss officially eliminated BYU from any postseason play.

Right-hander Tommy Boba pitched the Bearcats to victory on Friday, striking out seven over 5 1.3 innings in a 4-2 Cincinnati win. Josh Kross hit his 16th home run of the season in the fourth inning, a two-run blast. Kross drove in three of Cincinnati's four runs. Michael Conte pitched a scoreless frame out of the Bearcats bullpen and Christian Mitchelle closed out the game with two scoreless innings to secure the series win for his team.

Cincinnati scored in five different innings on Saturday, scoring at least two runs in each of those frames on their way to a 12-5 win and a series sweep on the road. Lauden Brooks alone drove in six runs, more than BUY scored in the game, in a 2-for-4 performance. Kerrington Cross was 4-for-5 with three RBI. Nathan Taylor pitched 5 1/3 innings for the Bearcats and improved to 8-1 on the season with his outing.

Kansas State at West Virginia

West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey announced before the start of the season that this would be his final season at the helm of the Mountaineers. Kansas State travelled to Morgantown for the final home series of Coach Mazey's tenure.

But Kansas State got the weekend off to a bad start for the home team as the Wildcats won a fantastic game 4-3 on Friday night. Left-hander Owen Boerema struck out eight batters and scattered five hits in his seven innings of work for the Wildcats. Boerema allowed three earned runs and grabbed his fifth win of the year. Brady Day had two hits and drove in two runs while Kaelen Culpepper and Nick English each drove in a run. West Virginia only tallied six base hits in the loss. Blake Dean and Tyson Neighbors each contributed a scoreless inning down the stretch on the way to victory.

West Virginia rebounded by dominating Saturday night. Led by left-hander Derek Clark who threw seven scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts in which he allowed Kansas State just two base hits, the Mountaineers rolled to a 13-0 shutout. Offensively, Sam White, JJ Wetherholt, and Logan Sauve all had two hits and a home run for West Virginia. White drove in five runs in the win to even the series. Clark improved to 6-2 this season.

JJ Wetherholt hit a three-run home run and drove in four runs while teammates Sam White and Logan Sauve each had three hits for the Mountaineers. Ben Lumsden and Skylar King both hit home runs of their own as West Virginia went on to claim the series after dropping Friday's opener, with a 12-5 victory on Sunday afternoon. Day drove in three runs for the Wildcats in the loss.

Texas at UCF

Texas opened their weekend series in Orlando with a 6-3 win on Friday night. Texas starter Max Grubbs pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on seven hits and earned his fifth win of the season. Reliever Gage Boehm tossed two shutout innings to pick up his sixth save of the season. Will Gasparino hit a two-run home run and drove in a third run while Jalin Flores drove in a pair of runs for the Longhorns.

The Knights evened the series on Saturday by edging out Texas 5-4. Matt Prevesk hit a home run early, and Danny Neri drove in an insurance run with an eighth inning RBI triple to lead the UCF offense. The Knights got a terrific start out of Dom Stagliano who allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings. Dominic Castellano pitched the final 2 1/3 innings and struck out five Longhorns batters to earn the save.

The Longhorns led 5-0 after four and a half innings on Sunday afternoon before UCF put up a five spot to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Texas won the final four innings and walked away with a 10-7 win to claim the road series. Jared Thomas was 4-for-6 with a double and two RBI. Texas catcher Rylan Galvan was 2-for-5 with a double and a two-run home run. Boehm closed out his second game of the weekend, with 2 2/3 scoreless innings, to pick up his seventh save of the season.

Houston at Kansas

Justin Murray homered twice on a 4-for-6 night with five runs driven in and Houston starter Cade Citelli pitched six innings, allowing three runs in his final frame, while striking out seven as Houston rolled to a 13-5 road victory Friday night. Citelli has been great for Houston down the stretch as the Friday night starter after the Cougars lost two of their three weekend starters and have alternated their rotation the rest of the season.

Houston led Saturday's middle game 8-1 in the third inning, thanks in part to two home runs by Cary Arbolida to push his total to 15th home runs on the year, with four multi-home run games. But Kansas rallied, led by Chase Diggins, Ben Hartl, and Lenny Ashby who each hit home runs as the Jayhawks had a four-run third inning and a five-run fourth inning on their way to an 11-9 come-from-behind win to even the series. Ashby's home run came in a pinch-hit appearance and put the Jayhawks in front for good.

Kansas took an early lead for the first time in the weekend series Sunday afternoon. Houston led 4-3 in the fourth inning before Kansas exploded for five runs. Jake English (3-for-3) hit his 13th home run of the season and Lenny Ashby (2-for-3) drove in three runs for the Jayhwaks as Kansas rallied after dropping Friday's opener to claim the series on their home turf with a 9-6 win on Sunday. Arbolida (2-for-3) hit a solo home run in the eighth inning for Houston, his 16th of the season and third of the weekend.  

TCU did not play a Big 12 opponent this weekend.

Weekly Awards

Big 12 Players of the Week

Player: John Spikerman, Oklahoma, OF

Pitcher: Derek Clark, West Virginia, LHP

Newcomer: Derek Clark, West Virginia, LHP


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