Big 12 Baseball: Ranking the Top 3 Series in Week 6 of Conference Play

Texas Athletics

Big 12 Conference play is now past the halfway point, and the race is really heating up. But there’s now been a change in the national rankings, as only two teams are in the Top 25. That includes Texas at No. 14 and Texas Tech at No. 16.

With that said, there are still some intriguing matchups for weekend No. 10, which happens to be the sixth weekend of conference play. Here are three series that you shouldn’t miss if you are a Big 12 baseball fan.


3. Oklahoma (19-19, 4-8 Big 12) @ No. 14 Texas (27-12, 8-4 Big 12)

Date: Friday, April 21 | Time: 7 p.m. CT | Location: Austin, TX | TV: LHN

The Sooners are dead last in the Big 12, and the Longhorns are first in the Big 12. So, you’re probably wondering why this matchup is even included. After all, one team is completely out of the mix and fighting to even make the conference tournament, while the other has legitimate aspirations of making it to Omaha. But it’s the Red River Showdown, and that always makes this series intense. The Sooners are hoping to play the role of spoiler on the road, while the Longhorns are looking to stay on top of the league race.

Plain and simple, Oklahoma’s pitching has just been disastrous. The team is carrying a 5.95 ERA right now and just permitted 19 runs the other night in a non-conference loss to Bedlam rival Oklahoma State. The one plus in that regard is Braden Carmichael seems to be really settling in, as he’s sporting a 2.65 ERA that’s a team-best by far. His counterpart in Austin, Lucas Gordon, is rising up as possibly the conference’s best pitcher, with his sub-2.00 ERA and 58 strikeouts to 20 walks. Peyton Powell (.344, seven home runs), Porter Brown (.340, eight home runs) and Eric Kennedy (.338, eight home runs) are quite the potent hitting trio behind him.


2. Kansas State (24-15, 9-6 Big 12) @ UC Irvine (22-11, 7-8 Big West)

Date: Friday, April 21 | Time: 8 p.m. CT | Location: Irvine, CA | TV: ESPN+

The Wildcats are ready to take a little break and dip out of Big 12 play for a minute. With three league series remaining and the ‘Cats sitting at three games over .500, it seems like a good time. They’ll head to the West Coast for a meeting with a Irvine team that’s been pretty competitive against some quality squads. In fact, the Anteaters just hammered No. 22 UCLA 12-4 in the midweek, and they’ve also swept Arizona State in Tempe and beaten USC twice. So, this won’t be an easy series, by any means.

Irvine leads the Big West Conference with a .405 on-base percentage, so every at-bat is going to count, literally. That’s highlighted with even more significance, considering Kansas State ace Owen Boerema hasn’t really had it in recent days. His ERA has ballooned to 4.35, although he still carries a very solid 4-1 record with 64 K’s to 18 walks. He’ll get some run support from a Wildcats lineup that’s belted out a Big 12-second-best 57 homers from the likes of Roberto Pena (10), Nick Goodwin (9) and Cole Johnson (8). And the Anteaters don’t exactly scare you with their pitching staff.


1. TCU (22-15, 7-5 Big 12) @ West Virginia (26-11, 5-4 Big 12)

Date: Friday, April 21 | Time: 5:30 p.m. CT | Location: Morgantown, W.Va. | TV: ESPN+

We’ve already talked about one team that’s been really hard to figure out this year, and TCU remains another. After jumping back into the Top 25, the Horned Frogs have once again fallen back out after a disappointing weekend against UNC Wilmington in which they lost two of three, followed up with a loss to Lamar. West Virginia has also spent some time in the ranks, but likewise isn’t this time around. Still, it’s a home matchup, and that will surely help West Virginia.

Our discussions time and time again have centered around JJ Wetherholt and his explosive bat this season. He has morphed into not only one of the best hitters in the Big 12, but one of the best in the sport right now, as he’s swinging it to the tune of a .451 batting average, eight homers and 35 RBI. Caleb McNeely leads the team with 36 RBI, and Dayne Leonard, Braden Barry and Landon Wallace are all 30-plus-RBI producers. All that’s to say pitchers Blaine Traxel (5-3, 3.29 ERA) and Ben Hampton (3-1, 4.10 ERA) have plenty of support. Speaking of support, TCU hurlers Kole Klecker (7-2, 3.42 ERA) and Cam Brown (2-2, 5.17 ERA) may need some of it, if they throw out the same performance as they did last weekend. Anthony Silva and Cole Fontenelle can surely provide it, with .362 and .331 averages, respectively.

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