What an opening day it was up in Arlington for the Big 12 Conference Baseball Tournament. We saw a total of four Big 12 games on Wednesday and it was non-stop jam-packed action from morning until the late-night hours.
As we continue to make our way through the tourney, I have a few thoughts from the first full day of Big 12 baseball action. Here were the final scores from yesterday’s games.
#5 Texas defeats #4 Oklahoma State 4-0
#1 TCU defeats #8 Baylor 4-2
#2 Texas Tech defeats #7 Kansas State 5-3
#3 Oklahoma defeats #6 West Virginia 6-4
1. Texas Looked Like Texas
It feels like an eternity ago but before the season started, Texas came in ranked as the number one team in the country. Early on, they certainly looked like it but when starting pitcher Tanner Witt went down with a season ending injury, this team never looked the same. The bats were always there with guys like Ivan Melendez, Murphy Stehly, and Skyler Messinger but the pitching was a bit shaky. However, over the last few games the pitching rotation has found their groove and that was the case for starting pitcher Pete Hansen on Wednesday morning. Hansen went almost eight full innings as he struck out 12 batters and allowed just three hits. Oklahoma State is a solid baseball team, but Pete Hansen went through their lineup with ease. Of course, it helps when the bats stepped up later in the game as well.
2. Baylor Collapses Against Top Seeded TCU
Baylor came into the tournament as the eight seed and had the number one seeded TCU Horned Frogs on the ropes. Going into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Bears had a 2-0 lead, but TCU was able to tie the game with a hit from Bobby Goodloe and Kurtis Bryne was able to score on a double play. But once again, another Baylor mistake proved to be costly as a wild pitch help put TCU on top before adding a final insurance run in the eighth inning.
3. Error Alert
The Kansas/State Texas Tech game was a little wild. The Wildcats had a horrendous second inning that was memorable for all the wrong reasons. A pickoff attempt that failed ended up being the first score of the game and just a little later, Texas Tech’s Parker Kelly stole second base and thanks to a throwing error, he was able to get up and make it all the way home.
Those two plays helped Texas Tech get an early 3-0 lead and they never looked back. Mason Molina had a heck of a game on the mound for the Red Raiders as well striking out ten batters despite the Wildcats having a late game push. I do wonder, if not for those early mistakes, could Kansas State have won on Wednesday?
4. Oklahoma Stays Red Hot Despite Late Scare
Before the tournament I said the Sooners had good chance at winning the whole thing due to the fact that they are playing the best baseball out of anyone in the Big 12. They continued their hot streak on Wednesday night against West Virginia. Peyton Graham lifted the Sooners up to a 5-0 lead after his big grand slam in the second inning. West Virginia would end up scoring three runs in the final inning, but it wasn’t enough to top Oklahoma.
5. No Bricktown No Problem
I am not going to lie; I was a little skeptical of moving the Big 12 Conference baseball tournament from Oklahoma City to Arlington, but I am a sucker for indoor stadiums. I got the chance to see the State Farm College Classic earlier in the season and it was a pretty cool scene. I think it is a great fan experience overall because for one, there won’t be any weather delays and it is connected to Texas Live so you can get some great food and drinks after the game. I look forward to the next few years in Arlington and the Big 12 should be happy to be there.
#4 Oklahoma State vs #8 Baylor (9 a.m. CT)
#6 West Virginia vs #7 Kansas State (12:30 p.m. CT)
#1 TCU vs #5 Texas (4 p.m. CT)
#2 Texas Tech vs #3 Oklahoma (7:30 p.m. CT)