The Big 12 opens up conference play this weekend with 3 weekend series. #6 Texas A&M and #13 Baylor headline the schedule, with a 3-game series split between College Station and Waco. Missouri travels to Austin to take on #3 Texas, while Nebraska will be in Lubbock to battle Texas Tech. #11 Oklahoma State hosts Rhode Island and Cal-State Fullerton in Stillwater at the Oklahoma State Tournament, while #19 Oklahoma travels to Tampa, Florida to play in the USF Bulls Baseball Classic. Kansas State will play host to Butler over the weekend with Kansas traveling to Tempe, Arizona to face off with #4 Arizona State.
#6 TEXAS A&M (11-3) vs. #13 BAYLOR (10-2)
Game 1: Saturday, March 14th – 6:35 pm at Olsen Field, College Station
BAYLOR: Craig Fritsch (1-1) 3.60 ERA 15 IP 11 Ks
TEXAS A&M: Brooks Raley (3-0) 2.50 ERA 18 IP 16 Ks
Game 2: Sunday, March 15th – 1:05 pm at Olsen Field, College Station
BAYLOR: Kendall Volz (1-0) 1.86 ERA 19.1 IP 13 Ks
TEXAS A&M: Alex Wilson (1-2) 0.96 ERA 18.2 IP 35 Ks
Game 3: Monday, March 16th – 6:30 pm at Baylor Ballpark, Waco
TEXAS A&M: Barret Loux (0-0) 4.11 ERA 15.1 IP 23 Ks
Baylor has dropped their last 4 games against Texas A&M, but enters the weekend on the heels of a 4-game winning streak. Texas A&M has lost 2 of their last 3 outings, the last a 15-5 loss in College Station against Cal-State Fullerton. Baylor is lead, offensively, by Fr. SS Joey Hainsfurther whose .486 batting average leads the Big 12. Texas A&M’s So. 3B Caleb Shofner leads the Aggies, hitting .462 with 10 HBPs. Aggie Jr. RHP Alex Wilson leads the Big 12 with 35 Ks, but has won only 1 of his starts, picking up losses in a pair of 2-0 games. Fr. Logan Verrett, Baylor’s top relief pitcher, has won 4 games and picked up a save for the Bears in 2009.
PREDICTION: Texas A&M wins the series 2-1.
MISSOURI (7-8) at #3 TEXAS (12-1)
Game 1: Friday, March 13th – 6:00 pm at UFCU Disch-Falk Field
MISSOURI: Kyle Gibson (2-1) 1.29 ERA 21 IP 27 Ks
TEXAS: Chance Ruffin (2-0) 2.31 ERA 23.1 IP 20 Ks
Game 2: Saturday, March 14th – 2:00 pm at UFCU Disch-Falk Field
MISSOURI: Ian Berger (1-1) 6.23 13 IP 12 Ks
TEXAS: Brandon Workman (2-1) 0.83 ERA 21.2 IP 22 Ks
Game 3: Sunday, March 15th – 1:00 pm at UFCU Disch-Falk Field
MISSOURI: Nick Tepesch (1-1) 6.35 ERA 17 IP 25 Ks
TEXAS: Cole Green (2-0) 0.81 ERA 22.1 IP 15 Ks
Texas has only given up 10 runs in their 9 home games in 2009. Missouri has scored 15 runs in 5 games away from Columbia. The Longhorns’ boast a staff ERA of 1.35, tops in the Big 12 and in the top 5 nationally. Ryan Lollis’ 15 RBIs leads the Tigers, while his .340 average leads the starters. Kyle Gibson, Missouri’s ace, has won 2 games with a 1.29 ERA. Texas is lead by SS David Hernandez, hitting .395, and 2B Travis Tucker, at .333 with 12 runs scored. Tucker did not play the final 2 games against Stanford after injuring his ankle. Instead, Fr. Jordan Etier has filled in at 2B in his absence. The strength of the Longhorns is their pitching staff. Sr. Austin Wood is tied for 2nd in the Big 12 with 3 saves.
PREDICTION: Texas sweeps 3-0
NEBRASKA (10-3-1) at TEXAS TECH (6-9)
Game 1: Friday, March 13th – 6:30 pm at Dan Law Field
NEBRASKA: Mike Nesseth (2-1) 1.71 ERA 21 IP 26 Ks
TEXAS TECH: Miles Morgan (1-2) 4.96 ERA 16.1 IP 19 Ks
Game 2: Saturday, March 14th – 5:00 pm at Dan Law Field
NEBRASKA: Jordan Roualdes (1-1) 4.58 ERA 17.2 IP 6 Ks
TEXAS TECH: AJ Ramos (2-0) 0.00 ERA 13 IP 18 Ks
Game 3: Sunday, March 15th – 1:00 pm at Dan Law Field
NEBRASKA: Michael Mariot (1-0) 6.19 ERA 16 IP 16 Ks
TEXAS TECH: TBA
Texas Tech has struggled since their 5-1 start, dropping 8 of their last 9 games. Nebraska has a 5 game winning streak, sweeping Cal-State Northridge in 4 games, a team that swept Texas Tech 3-0 in week 2. Nebraska is led by pitcher Mike Nesseth. Nesseth has struck out 26 batters and walked only 8 in 21 innings pitched. Adam Bailey is Nebraska’s most dangerous hitter, with a .358 BA, 6 home runs, and 22 RBIs. Texas Tech’s top pitcher on the year has been A.J. Ramos, a senior returning from Tommy John surgery in 2008. Ramos has not allowed a run in his 13 innings of work, but is limited by a pitch count because of his injury. SS Joey Kenworthy has emerged as Tech’s top hitter, hitting .538 with 7 runs in Tech’s last 6 games. Tech 2B Willie Rueda has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, but appeared against Dallas Baptist on Wednesday as a pinch hitter.
PREDICTION: Nebraska wins 2-1
OTHER BIG 12 TEAMS IN ACTION
- #19 Oklahoma will travel to the USF Bulls Baseball Classic. OU will play Bethune-Cookman at 2:00 pm on Friday, USF at 6:00 pm on Saturday and Eastern Illinois at 11 am on Sunday
- Kansas State will host Butler in Manhattan for a 4-game series. Game 1 is Friday at 3:00 pm. Game 2 will be at noon on Saturday, followed by Game 4 at 3:30 pm on Saturday. Game 4 will be played at noon on Sunday.
- #11 Oklahoma State hosts Cal-State Fullerton and Rhode Island at the Oklahoma State Tournament. OSU will play CSF at 6:30 pm on Friday and 6:30 pm on Saturday. OSU will play URI at 2:30 pm Saturday and 4:00 pm on Sunday.
- Kansas will be in Tempe, Arizona against #4 Arizona State. The games will be at 6:30 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
(All times CST)