With college baseball in full swing, there is still some time before conference play starts and what better way to soak in a weekend of baseball with a Big 12/SEC showdown? Well, that’s exactly what’s going on in Minute Maid Park down in Houston for the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic. This year’s tournament features Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma facing off against LSU, Arkansas and Missouri. As I will be making my way over to Houston for the Saturday and Sunday games, I thought I would break out a day two recap of all the action from Saturday as the Big 12 won the final two games on Saturday in dramatic fashion.
Missouri: 8 #22 Oklahoma: 7
After starting off the Shriners Classic with a big win over Arkansas on Friday afternoon, the Sooners faced off against former Big 12 foe Missouri for the early game on Saturday. Levi Prater got the start for the Sooners and he was money through the first four innings. In fact, in the first four innings, he didn’t even allow a single hit. Meanwhile, the Sooners bats were awake early on Saturday as center fielder Tanner Tredaway knocked in two runs thanks to a double in the second inning. But the runs didn’t stop there because after a crazy balk call on Missouri pitcher Konnor Ash that helped bring in a run, third baseman Peyton Graham hit his first collegiate home run to give the Sooners a 3-0 lead. A Brandon Zaragoza sac fly in the top of the fifth extended the Oklahoma lead to 5-0.
But as you can tell by the score, the game was far from over in the fifth inning. The Tigers responded quickly with a three-run blast by Calyton Peterson and had a sac fly to make it a 5-4 ballgame heading into the sixth inning. And just like a classic boxing match, Oklahoma punched right back as soon as they could as freshman Kendall Pettis hit a two-run shot into the Crawford Boxes to extend his team’s lead to 7-4.
Going into the seventh inning, starting pitcher Levi Prater’s day was through and it was time for Jaret Godman to takeover. He didn’t even last a full inning due to a two-run double by Missouri’s Thomas Broyles to pull within one. The Sooners would change pitchers once again and Missouri’s Luke Mann would drive in a run to tie the game up in the bottom of the eighth inning. Both teams would go scoreless in the ninth, but Missouri had the last laugh when Peter Zimmermann knocked in the game winning RBI to pull off the comeback. Next up, the Sooners will play LSU on Sunday at 11 A.M. CT to wrap up their weekend here in Houston.
Baylor: 6 #11 LSU: 4
I am not going to lie to you, I thought Baylor was dead in the water in this game. Instead of front of a large LSU crowd at Minute Maid Park, the Bears fought like hell and made one heck of a comeback to start the Shriners Classic with back to back wins. Baylor pitcher Evan Godwin got the start for the Bears and he certainly had a tough task dealing with the eleventh ranked team in the country. Godwin would last nearly six innings striking out eight Tigers but did give up two runs in the second and third inning as LSU’s Cade Doughty hit an RBI double in the second while Alex Milazzo hit a solo shot to give LSU a 2-0 lead after five innings.
Then came in Baylor pitcher Daniel Caruso and right away, LSU’s Saul Garza hit a two-run blast and just like that, LSU had a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. But give Baylor some credit. In the bottom of the sixth, shortstop Nick Lofton drilled a two-run homer to get the Bears on the board. And what really made the game was the big seventh inning by the Bears. It started off with a Chase Wehsener solo bomb and soon after, second baseman Ricky Martinez launched one into the stands for a two-run blast. And Baylor still wasn’t done there. The inning finally ended after Mack Mueller RBI single to end the inning with the Bears on top 6-4. To finish off the game, Baylor used closer Luke Boyd. Next up, the Bears will play Arkansas to finish off their weekend at 7 PM CT.
Texas: 8 #6 Arkansas: 7
While the score doesn’t show the true swings of this game, this was one that got crazy towards the end. The Longhorns racked up all eight of their runs in the first two innings and didn’t score a single run for the rest of the game. Arkansas pitcher Patrick Wicklander pitched just one full inning and gave up six runs before being pulled. Marshall Denton came in to relieve him but before the second inning was over, he gave up two more runs.
As for the Longhorns, the scoring in the first inning started off with a first baseman Zach Zubia RBI single and a Cam Williams RBI double play to give the Horns a quick 2-0 lead after one. Then the chaos happened. Right fielder Douglas Hodo, center fielder Austin Todd and left fielder Eric Kennedy started the madness with RBI’s before first baseman Zach Zubia hit a two-run shot to give Texas a 7-0 lead. A throwing error let another Longhorn score to make it 8-0 after the first two inning.
Meanwhile on the mound, starting pitcher Ty Madden would last six innings striking out seven while striking out seven and gave up three runs to make it an 8-3 game. That’s when the trouble started for Texas. Cole Quintanilla came in and gave up two quick runs in the seventh and lasted just one out. Pete Hanson would take the mound next and heading into the ninth, Texas used closer Andre Duplantier II to come in for the save. He ended up giving up two runs thanks to a Matt Goodheart two run double but Goodheart stayed at second as the tying run because Duplantier struck out the final two Arkansas batters for the 8-7 win. It was a wild start and a wild finish, but Texas got it done. Next up, the Horns will finish off the weekend against Missouri at 3 PM CT.
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