Truly anything can happen in college baseball when you get into conference play, and that certainly held true on Friday night in the Big 12, even as a few teams played non-conference games.
Baylor Wins Opener Over Oklahoma
Baylor has been a Jekyll and Hyde team this season. After opening the season strong with a sweep of Cal Poly and a series win over Kent State, they hit the skids, at one point losing 10 games in a row. Now, they’ve taken another 180 and look primed to compete in the Big 12.
Friday night brought an impressive 3-0 win over Oklahoma at home. Starting pitcher Daniel Castano was outstanding in throwing a five-hit shutout. Walks were a bit of an issue (he had five), but he was always able to dance around baserunners. Offensively, Logan Brown, Duncan Wendel, and Mitch Price each had two hits.
For OU, the effort of starting pitcher Jake Elliott (7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K) was all for naught, but his performance has to have the Sooners feeling good about their one-two punch of Elliott and Alec Hansen in the weekend rotation.
TCU, Texas Split Non-Conference Games
Both TCU and Texas are taking on non-conference foes from the Midwest this weekend.
In their opener against former Big 12 opponent Nebraska, the Longhorns came away with a 3-1 loss. The Huskers were able to hang three runs on UT starter Parker French in 4.1 innings, and Chance Sinclair was fantastic on the mound for them. He threw 7.2 innings, giving up 2 hits and one run with two walks and six strikeouts.
TCU, on the other hand, came away with a dominating 14-1 win over Wichita State. Evan Skoug led the TCU attack, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. On the mound, the Frogs got a solid performance from Mitchell Traver, who threw six innings, giving up four hits and one run with three walks and five strikeouts.
Sunflower State Teams Pull Upsets
Both Kansas State and Kansas pulled upsets on Friday night, over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, respectively.
The Wildcats downed the Cowboys by the score of 4-2, in large part thanks to the work of Shane Conlon, who was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI. OSU’s Jon Perrin was chased in the fifth inning, having given up six hits and four runs. After their heartening series win over TCU, this is not the way that OSU would have wanted to start this series against a team they are expected to handle.
The Jayhawks beat the Red Raiders 7-4. Kansas pounded out 15 hits on the night, including nine off of Tech starter Ryan Moseley in just 4.1 innings. Connor McKay (3-for-6), Michael Tinsley (3-for-4, 3 R), and Matt McLaughlin (3-for-3, 2 BB) each had big games for KU. They also got great relief work from Stephen Villines (2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K) to close out the win.
West Virginia Downs Charleston Southern
The Mountaineers came away with a routine 9-2 win over Charleston Southern in a series taking place in Washington, Pennsylvania.
It wasn’t the best of starts from WVU’s Conner Dotson (3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K), but they did get outstanding relief work from Nick Wernke (4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R). Offensively, the Mountaineers were led by Shaun Corso’s three RBI and Kyle Davis and Ray Guerrini’s two-hit days.