What a day it was in Arlington for day two of the Big 12 Conference Baseball Tournament. We saw a total of four Big 12 games on Thursday 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 second full day of Big 12 baseball action. Here are the final scores from Thursday’s games.
#5 Kansas State: 6, #1 Texas: 0
#2 Oklahoma State: 3, #3 West Virginia: 2
#4 TCU: 14, #8 Kansas: 4
#6 Texas Tech: 10, #7 Oklahoma: 9
1. Goodbye Texas
Kansas State and Texas faced off against each other in an elimination game on Thursday morning. There was plenty at stake for both teams as Texas was looking to potentially host a regional while Kansas State was simply trying to keep their postseason hopes alive.
What was supposed to be a good game turned into a lopsided one as the Wildcats dominated the Longhorns. Dom Hughes got Kansas State on the board first but then this game turned into a pitching battle between Ty Ruhl and Lebarron Johnson Jr. Both teams would go scoreless for a while before the Wildcats woke up and scored five runs in the seventh inning thanks to a pair of walks and hits by Cash Rugely and Nick Goodwin.
From there, Tyson Neighbors iced the Longhorns to keep them scoreless. Between Ruhl and Neighbors, they allowed just two hits and completely shut down the Texas offense.
With the win, Kansas State keeps their slim postseason hopes alive as they live to fight another day. As for Texas, they are the first team eliminated from the tournament which is a bit shocking considering that they were the top seed. While Texas will still make the postseason, they will not be hosting a regional in Austin next weekend after their performance in Arlington.
2. Oklahoma State is the Last Hope for the Big 12
Coming into the tournament, there were three teams that had a legitimate chance to host a regional. Of course, those teams were Texas, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia. With Texas getting bounced out in the first two games, their regional hosting bid is all but gone. So that leaves just Oklahoma State and West Virginia left. However, with these two teams playing each other on Thursday, the loser would not only be sent home packing but their hopes of hosting a regional would also be gone.
Neither offense did much in this game as both Ben Hampton and Nolan McLean were excellent. With the game tied at two in the eighth inning, Roc Riggio was the man who came up with the big hit to give Oklahoma State the lead and the win.
Now with Texas and West Virginia gone, Oklahoma State is the only team left in the Big 12 that has a chance at hosting a regional.
3. TCU is Dangerous
Before the tournament started, I talked about TCU being a Cinderella team this week. They came into the week on a roll and were a team to keep an eye on. Forget about being a Cinderella, because TCU looks like a team that has the potential to win the Big 12 tournament and win a regional.
After demolishing Kansas State on Wednesday, the Horned Frogs stayed hot on Thursday as they run-ruled Kansas. Brayden Taylor and Cole Fontenelle got the party started early before Anthony Silva and Logan Maxwell joined in. This game was actually close for five and a half innings but then TCU caught fire.
TCU scored five runs in the sixth inning which was highlighted by Brayden Taylor’s record setting home run.
The Horned Frogs would go on to score four more runs over the next two innings to complete the run rule.
I said this on Wednesday, but I will say it again. There is no hotter team in the Big 12 than TCU right now.
4. The Cardiac Raiders
What a game this was between Texas Tech and Oklahoma. It seems like every single year we have a game or two that has a wild finish and this one certainly had plenty of craziness in it.
Going into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Sooners had a 5-0 lead. Thanks to a key error in the bottom of that inning, Texas Tech was able to climb right back into the game as they scored four innings to make it a one run game.
Both teams would trade runs in the fifth inning before Oklahoma put three more runs on the board in the sixth. However, Texas Tech wouldn’t go away easily because Dylan Maxcey hit a two-run blast to pull his team within two.
Then things started getting whacky in the bottom of the ninth inning.
In that ninth inning, Tracer Lopez drove in a run and Nolen Hester tied the game with his RBI single up the middle. But the man of the evening was Kevin Bazzell who brought in the game winning run with his hard hit to third base. It seemed like no matter what was going on in this game, Texas Tech was always right there in it and eventually they were able to win it late in walk-off fashion.
Elimination Game: #5 Kansas State vs #8 Kansas
Elimination Game: #2 Oklahoma State vs #7 Oklahoma