Friday marked the second day of pool play in the 2013 Big 12 baseball tournament. The Oklahoma Sooners, Kansas State Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks got their second victories of the tournament, while the West Virginia Mountaineers beat the TCU Horned Frogs to get their first win in Pool Two.
Oklahoma - 8
Texas Tech - 0
WP: Dillon Overton, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
LP: Dominic Moreno, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
The Texas Tech Red Raiders hung around for seven innings against the Oklahoma Sooners. Then, in the eighth and ninth innings, the Sooners hung a combined seven runs on the board to run away with an 8-0 victory.
Friday's win marked the second game in a row in the Big 12 tournament that the Sooners' pitching staff shutout its opponent. Oklahoma used three pitchers on Friday, while starting pitcher Jonathan Gray threw a complete game shutout on Thursday against the Baylor Bears.
"I thought Overton did a really good job of pitching today," said Sooners head coach Sunny Golloway.
30+ scouts watching Dillon Overton fill up an entire section. Overton strikes out 3 in order in the 1st. twitter.com/OU_Baseball/st…— Oklahoma Baseball (@OU_Baseball) May 24, 2013
First baseman Matt Oberste and designated hitter Kolbey Carpenter each had two RBI for the Sooners, while center fielder Max White led the team with three hits in five at-bats.
Oklahoma is slated to play Kansas State on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., with the winner of that game advancing to Sunday's championship game.
Kansas State - 13
Baylor - 9
WP: Gerardo Esquivel, 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
LP: Ryan Smith, 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
With Okahoma's win over Texas Tech, both teams knew where they stood heading into this game. The Kansas State Wildcats knew they would play Oklahoma for a chance to advance to Sunday's championship game on Saturday regardless of the outcome against the Baylor Bears, while the Bears knew they were eliminated from advancing out of the pool.
Despite that, both teams put on a great game. The Bears took a 5-0 lead at one point and led the game 9-8 heading into the ninth inning. But the Wildcats hung five runs on the board with a pair of 2-RBI singles from Jon Davis and Lance Miles to beat the Bears 13-9.
“Our guys today, man talk about perseverance, resiliency and just a desire to win,” said Kansas State head coach Brad Hill. “It was just a great job by our guys today. It wasn’t pretty and we walked a lot of people. We made mistakes we don’t normally make.”
Both Davis and Miles led the team with three RBI on the day. Big 12 Player of the Year Ross Kivett and catcher Blair DeBord also accounted for two RBI.
Friday's win for the Wildcats gives them more assurance that they'll be a host team for the NCAA tournament in the first round.
“That was a long time out in that sun, and today for purposes of the tournament, which is one reason why the pool play isn’t necessarily the best format. The game really didn’t mean anything," said Hill. "But possibly for us, it could be huge. We may get to play in Manhattan next week with that win.”
CATS WIN! #15 K-State Baseball takes on Oklahoma tomorrow with a berth in the Big 12 Championship game on the line. twitter.com/kstatesports/s…— K-State Athletics (@kstatesports) May 24, 2013
Kansas State is 2-0 in the Big 12 tournament, while the Bears are 0-2. The Wildcats will play the Sooners for a shot at the Big 12 title at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, while the Bears will play Texas Tech in what will likely be their last game of the season at 9:00 a.m.
West Virginia - 10
TCU - 3
WP: Harrison Musgrave, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
LP: Brandon Finnegan, 1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Harrison Musgrave showed why he won that award on Friday as he shut down the TCU Horned Frogs en route to a 10-2 win for the West Virginia Mountaineers.
FYI: No opponent has scored more than 4 runs on #WVU in game Harrison Musgrave started since March 1. Mountaineers lost that game, 8-5.— The DP Sports (@TheDPsports) May 24, 2013
Musgrave held the Horned Frogs to five hits and two earned runs over seven innings pitched.
"I was concerned if I would find the strike zone after not playing for a while," said Musgrave. "Once I was able to find it, it made it a little better and I was able to settle in a little earlier than I thought I was going to be able to."
The Horned Frogs, who went into the game ranked 23rd in the country in fielding percentage, committed nine errors in the game, which certainly didn't help matters.
"I guess today it seemed like it snow-balled," said TCU shortstop Keaton Jones. "But it's all a mentality in my opinion. We should make all those plays. Once that first error hits, you have to get ready and refocused, and move on to the next play. We didn't do that very well today."
The hot bat for the Mountaineers was second baseman Billy Fleming, who was 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI. He also scored three runs. First baseman Ryan McBroom also had three RBI on the night despite going just 1-for-6 in his at-bats.
Both TCU and West Virginia are in contention to advance out of pool play and appear in Sunday's Big 12 title game. A win by Kansas on Saturday knocks both teams out of contention. However, if TCU beats Kansas on Saturday, then the Horned Frogs are in with a loss by West Virginia. If the Mountaineers beat Oklahoma State on Saturday and the Jayhawks lose to TCU, then West Virginia will play in the title game.
Kansas - 5
Oklahoma State - 3
WP: Frank Duncan, 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
LP: Tyler Nurdin, 7.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
In Friday's last game of pool play, the Kansas Jayhawks put themselves within striking distance of the conference championship game with a 5-3 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Center fielder Tucker Tharp was the best bat for the Jayhawks Friday night, as he was 2-for-4 and also hit his first home run of the season as part of a two-run seventh inning for the Jayhawks. That inning gave the Jayhawks a 4-3 lead, then an insurance run in the eighth helped close the door on the second-seeded Cowboys.
“I was really pleased with the way our guys grounded out at-bats,” said Kansas head coach Ritch Price. “Obviously we got some huge, clutch hits.”
With the win, the Jayhawks control their own destiny heading into Saturday's games. A win on Saturday against TCU assures that the Jayhawks will appear in Sunday's championship game against either Kansas State or Oklahoma. However, a loss knocks the Jayhawks out of contention due to tiebreaker rules.
“I think one of the great things about the kids in this dugout is that we have incredible team chemistry. They like each other,” said Price. “They like to play. We’ve probably faced more adversity than anybody in this conference. We’ve put ourselves in position to play for something special and obviously we know we got our hands full tonight. The great thing is we control our destiny.”
*All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted