Big 12 Baseball

Six Thoughts on Friday’s Big 12 Regional Baseball Games

John Spikerman is greeted after a score as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) play the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) in Bedlam baseball on May 19, 2023 at L Dale Mitchell Park in Norman, Okla. [Steve Sisney/For The Oklahoman]

The field of 64 is set as the road to Omaha started Friday. There were six Big 12 teams in action on the diamond as the conference went 5-0. Here are my six thoughts on the Big 12 from day one of the college baseball regionals.

Friday’s Scores

Oklahoma: 14, Oral Roberts: 0

Oklahoma State: 19, Niagara: 7

Texas: 12, Louisiana: 5

West Virginia: 4, Dallas Baptist: 1

UCF: 8, Alabama: 7

Kansas State: 9, Louisiana Tech: 4 (delayed)

The Sooners Were Rolling

Sometimes when a team hosts a regional, they can be a little tight in the opening game. They let teams hang around too long and end up not playing their best. Well, that didn’t happen in Norman, Oklahoma on Friday because the Sooners were on fire from the first pitch until the last.

They put up a whopping 14 runs on the evening while Kyson Witherspoon and Carter Campbell shut out Oral Roberts and held them to just three hits. If Oklahoma plays like this then there aren’t many teams in the country that can stop them. Also, they got a bit of a gift thanks to UCONN who took down Duke earlier in the day.


The Runs Don’t Stop in Stillwater

It seems like every time I watch a game at O’Brate, Oklahoma State puts up an absurd amount of runs. I guess some things never change because the Cowboys scored almost 20 runs against Niagara. Nolan Schubart and Zach Ehrhard combined for seven RBIs as they led Oklahoma State’s offensive surge. The one thing you can count on in this series is that Oklahoma State is going to hit the ball well in Stillwater.

The Texas Size Fifth Inning

Going into the fifth inning, Texas held a 3-2 lead over Louisiana. That changed very quickly as the Longhorns put up a crooked number on the board. A bases loaded walk and an error helped put two runs on the board before Jared Thomas drove in a run.

The thing that changed the game was a grand slam by Jalin Flores. His monster shot cleared the bases and gave Texas a 10-2 lead.

But Texas wasn’t done yet as they were able to add two more runs to give themselves a ten-run lead. I said that Texas was going to have to hit their way out of College Station and they certainly did that against Louisiana on Friday evening.


Derek Clark Put on a Show

The one thing I was worried about for West Virginia coming into the postseason was their pitching. Of course, I knew that Derek Clark would take care of business, but he had a performance of a lifetime against a really good Dallas Baptist team. Clark pitched a complete game and only allowed four hits while striking out eight batters. With Derek being able to last nine innings, it helped West Virginia save some of their bullpen arms for Saturday which is crucial during this time of year.

UCF Proved Me Wrong

Coming into the weekend, I had some concerns about UCF’s ability to score and keep up with teams like Alabama and Florida State. They have the best pitching staff in the Tallahassee regional and on Friday they showed the entire country that they have the offense to get the job done as well. The Knights scored eight runs against the Crimson Tide, and it seemed like every time they needed a key run, they got it.

Jack Zyska finished the game with a team high three RBIs while Andrew Williamson and Matt Cedarburg finished with two each. The key hit that put UCF over late came from Cedarburg with his clutch RBI single.


Go Away Rain

Unfortunately, due to some weather issues, the game between Kansas State and Louisiana Tech will have to be finished on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. central time. The Wildcats will resume play with a 9-4 lead in the sixth inning.

Saturday’s Schedule

UCF at Florida State (4 p.m. CT)

Florida at Oklahoma State 6 p.m. CT)

UCONN at Oklahoma (8 p.m. CT)

Texas at Texas A&M (8 p.m. CT)

West Virginia at Grand Canyon (9 p.m. CT)

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