It was a terrific first day for the Big 12 Conference at the NCAA Regionals. Big 12 teams finished 4-1 and the team that lost broke up a streak of complete games for Codie Paivia.
In the end, the conference outscored opponents 33-9, one of those being a 13-2 walloping by TCU over Pac-12 foe California. West Virginia hosted a regional game for the first time since 1955, and they won the game. Four Big 12 teams have a shot to earn the catbird’s seat with a victory Saturday. Of course, some of those come with some old rivalries too. One rivalry in particular will feature former Big 12 foes Nebraska and Oklahoma State.
The Big 12 wasn’t the best conference Saturday, but it was one of the top ones. The Missouri Valley Conference proved it was worthy of two at-large bids by finishing the day 3-0. That likely won’t last, but you have to provide credit where credit is due. While the Big 12 finished ahead of a 10-bid SEC, the ACC managed to edge out our beloved conference in the Power Five race. You can see the conference breakdowns at the bottom. It does not include Oregon State and Cincinnati.
There will plenty of action Saturday. All 64 teams will play. At least 15 teams, weather permitting, will be sent packing It will be another fun-filled day on the Road to Omaha.
No.8 Texas Tech 11 Army 2
Tech shot out of the gates with a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The Red Raiders added two more in the second. It was 8-0 by the fifth. All of this was before Cameron Warren blasted Tech’s only home run of the day, which was a three-run shot in the seventh inning.
Tanner O’Tremba finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs. Gabe Holt finished 2-for-4 with a double and a triple. The entire starting lineup produced at least one hit. Six Red Raiders produced a multi-hit game.
Starting pitcher Micah Dallas took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning. He finished with seven strikeouts in seven innings, surrendering one unearned run on three hits and a walk.
Tech has now won 17 of its last 21 games and is 12-4 in regionals under the direction of Tim Tadlock.
Next up: vs. Dallas Baptist 6 p.m. Central
At Stake: Catbird’s Seat, In-state bragging rights
Loyola Marymount 3 Baylor 1
This game was tied at 1 when Davion Downey committed an error on a groundball to right field. The ball went under his glove and past him with two runners circling the baes. Brandon Sherer scored on the play. Trevin Esquerra was credited with a double and advanced to third on the error. Esquerra would score two pitches later on a Tommy Delgado RBI double.
The only Baylor run came in the second inning when Andy Thomas scored on a 4-3 groundout.
Both starting pitcher’s provided quality starts. All three runs were considered earned against Jimmy Winston. He also surrendered two walks and four hits. Winston provided six innings of work.
Loyola Marymount starter Cody Paiva tossed a gem. He completed 7.2 innings striking out five. Paiva allowed one earned run on four this and a walk. Nick Frasso took over in the eighth and was perfect through 1.1 innings. Frasso earned the save.
Next up: vs. Omaha 4 p.m. Central
At Stake: The loser is eliminated. The winner plays Sunday.
No.9 Oklahoma State 2 Harvard 0
Surprisingly, Harvard managed to keep the Cowboys within the confines of Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Oklahoma State struck gold early. Christian Funk singled in the first. Colin Simpson followed with a double. Andrew Navigato brought Funk across home plate on an RBI groundout. Navigato would eventually score himself in the fourth inning on a wild pitch after back-to-back singles.
Oklahoma State starting pitcher Jensen Elliott allowed one walk and three hits during seven shutout innings. Peyton Battenfield recorded the save, surrendering just one hit. Each pitcher struck out four Crimson batters.
Next up: vs. Nebraska 7 p.m. Central
At Stake: Catbird’s Seat, Big Eight Rivalry
TCU 13 California 2
What was supposed to be one of the best matchups in the regionals turned out to be a good ol’ fashioned beatdown. TCU capitalized on Cal mistakes in the first and third to take a 2-0 lead. Cal would answer in the fourth when Darren Baker brought in Andrew Vaughn on an RBI single. Hunter Wolfe would extend the lead back to two with a solo shot in the fifth. TCU busted the door down for six runs in the sixth, capped off by a Johnny Rizer two-run shot. The Horned Frogs never let off the gas, outscoring Cal 4-1 the rest of the game. Cal ace Jared Horn was taken out after five innings. TCU starter Brandon Williamson left after four innings. Charles King picked up the win after four innings of relief. Williamson provided seven of the 10 strikeouts.
Next up: at Arkansas 6 p.m. Central
At Stake: Catbird’s Seat, Southwest Conference rivalry
No.15 West Virginia 6 Fordham 2
Fordham struck first blood when Matt Tarabeck produced an RBI single to score Jack MacKenzie. For two innings, John Stankiewicz looked like the talented pitcher his stats said he was. By the third inning, reality caught up to the Fordham Rams and the realized just how tough a Big 12 team can be. West Virginia scored three runs in the third in front of a crowd that erupted louder than a volcano. Tyler Doanes added two runs in the sixth inning when he produced a double that brought in Kevin Brophy and Ivan Gonzalez. The Mountaineers would tack on one more when Paul McIntosh crossed home plate on an Ivan Gonzalez RBI double the next inning. Stankiewicz, who entered the game with a 1.21 ERA, was chased after 74 pitches through 2.2 innings of work.
Nick Snyder secured the win with five innings of work, surrendering three one earned run on three walks and four hits. Kade Strowd secured the save after four innings of relief. One unearned run was scored against Strowd. He struck out five while walking four.
Next up: vs. Duke 7 p.m. Eastern
At Stake: Catbird’s Seat
Missouri Valley: 3-0
Atlantic Sun: 1-0
Mountain West: 1-0
West Coast: 1-0
ACC: 6-1 (.857)
Big 12: 4-1 (.800)
SEC: 7-3 (.700)
Conference USA: 1-1 (.500)
Big Ten: 2-3 (.400)
Pac 12: 1-3 (.333)
Big South: 0-0 (Greenville Regional postponed)
MAAC: 0-0 (Greenville Regional postponed)
America East: 0-1
Atlantic 10: 0-1
Big East: 0-1
Big West: 0-1
Horizon League: 0-1
Ivy League: 0-1
Ohio Valley: 0-1
Patriot League: 0-1
Summit League: 0-1
Sun Belt: 0-1
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