Big 12 Weekend Preview (March 27 – March 30)

A.J. Morris (Courtesy of Kansas State)
A.J. Morris (Courtesy of Kansas State)

All 10 Big 12 teams have conference series this weekend. The spotlight series is in Waco, where Kansas State (20-5, 1-2) takes on #11 Baylor (14-5, 3-3) in a 3-game series. Texas Tech visits #9 Texas, Kansas travels to #13 Texas A&M, #18 Oklahoma State hosts Missouri, while Nebraska heads to Norman to play Oklahoma.

#11 BAYLOR BEARS (14-5, 3-3) vs. KANSAS STATE WILDCATS (20-5, 1-2)

Baylor is in a 5-way tie for 3rd place in the Big 12, and is looking to separate themselves from the rest of the pack this weekend against Kansas State. The Wildcats boast the Big 12’s top pitcher in A.J. Morris. Morris, a junior from Texas, is 6-0 with a 0.48 ERA in 2009.

Probable Matchups:

Friday 6:30 PM: A.J. Morris , Jr. (R) (6-0, 0.48 ERA) vs. Kendal Volz, Jr. (R) (2-1, 2.81)

Saturday 6:30 PM: Lance Hoge, Sr. (L) (3-1, 4.30) vs. Logan Verrett, Fr. (R) (6-0, 2.08)

Sunday 1:30 PM: Kayvon Bahramzadeh, Fr. (R) (2-1, 4.78) vs. TBA

PREDICTION: Baylor 2-1

#9 TEXAS LONGHORNS (15-6, 2-4) VS. TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (10-15, 3-3)

Texas was swept by Kansas last weekend, and looks to take out their anger on Texas Tech. Tech is 1-9 on the road in 2009, while Texas is 12-2 in Austin. Texas has one of the nation’s top pitching staffs, which should not struggle against Tech’s freshmen-laden lineup. Tech’s starting pitching has been better than their bullpen, but still struggles, while Texas’ offense is highly suspect and can struggle to put up runs. Expect Texas Tech to throw Chad Bettis on Sunday if he doesn’t pitch much on Friday or Saturday.

Probable Matchups:

Friday 6:00 PM: Miles Morgan, Sr. (R) (1-3, 6.23) vs. Chance Ruffin, So. (R) (3-2, 2.68)

Saturday 2:00 PM: A.J. Ramos, Sr, (R) (2-1, 2.78) vs. Brandon Workman, So. (R) (3-1, 1.34)

Sunday 1:00 PM: TBA vs. Cole Green, So. (R) (2-0, 2.37)

PREDICTION: Texas 2-1

#13 TEXAS A&M AGGIES (15-9, 3-3) vs. KANSAS JAYHAWKS (15-7, 3-0)

Kansas shocked the Big 12 last week with a sweep of Texas, winning all games by 1 run. Texas A&M could not solve Missouri’s strong pitching in Columbia, dropping their first 2 games of the series before winning the final game. This weekend should be different for both clubs. Kansas won’t face another team struggling with the bat. Texas A&M has the bats, and the clutch hitting to control this series from the start. Combined with their strong pitching, they should easily sweep the Jayhawks.

Probable Matchups:

Friday 6:30 PM: Schaefer Hall, Jr. (L) (2-1, 2.16) vs. Brooks Raley, S0. (L) (4-0, 2.18)

Saturday 2:00 PM: T.J. Walz, So. (R) (2-0, 3.28) vs. Alex Wilson, Jr. (R) ( 2-3, 3.41)

Sunday 12:05 PM: Lee Ridenhour, Fr. (R) (3-1, 1.82) vs. Barret Loux, So. (R) (0-0, 5.04)

PREDICTION: Texas A&M 3-0

#18 OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (17-7, 1-2) vs. MISSOURI TIGERS (12-12, 3-3)

If there is one team that can score runs at home, its Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have scored in the double digits in 7 of 12 home games in 2009 with a 9-3 record in Stillwater. The Tigers, a team that surprised everyone with their 1-7 start has rebounded to break even on the year. With tons of experience on the mound, Missouri should be able to win at least 1 game, especially if Kyle Gibson maintains his current form.

Probable Matchups:

Saturday 2:00 PM: Kyle Gibson, Jr. (R) (4-1, 1.82) vs. Andrew Oliver, Jr. (L) (3-2, 6.54)

Sunday 2:00 PM: Ian Berger, Sr. (R) (2-2, 6.00) vs. Tyler Lyons, Jr. (L) (4-1, 4.50)

Monday 1:00 PM: Nick Tepesch, So. (R) (1-1, 5.28) vs. Tyler Blandford, Jr. (R) (4-0, 4.13)

PREDICTION: Oklahoma State 2-1

OKLAHOMA SOONERS (21-5, 2-1) vs. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (15-8-1, 3-3)

Oklahoma has won the most games of any Big 12 team, and has done so with steady, solid hitting. They’re last game saw them explode for 29 runs against Kansas State, proving their prowess with the bat. Nebraska has been an unsteady team without a dominant unit. Nebraska dropped 2 games to Texas Tech in Lubbock, but rebounded last weekend with a series win in Stillwater. Unfortunately, Oklahoma should be too much for the Huskers to handle. Expect to see Mike Nesseth in the same role for Nebraska that Chad Bettis is in for Texas Tech.

Probable Matchups:

Saturday 2:00 PM: Casey Hauptman, Jr. (R) (2-0, 4.21) vs. Andrew Doyle, Jr. (R) (2-2, 4.55)

Sunday 1:00 PM: Jordan Roualdes, So. (L) (3-1, 3.86)vs. Michael Rocha, So. (R) (3-1, 4.35)

Monday 3:00 PM: TBA vs. TBA

PREDICTIONS: Oklahoma 2-1