This weekend’s Big 12 conference play is highlighted by a top 10 match up between #10 Oklahoma and #6 Texas in Austin, Texas. The Sooners currently sit at the top of the Big 12 standings, while Texas is a mere 1 game behind in a tie for 2nd place. Another ranked match up takes place when #13 Baylor travels to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to battle #28 Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have struggled in Big 12 play, and are coming off a sweep on the road by #30 Kansas. The Jayhawks will have a test of their own when they head to Lubbock, Texas, to play a Texas Tech club that has not had trouble winning in Big 12 play. Nebraska visits #23 Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, where Texas A&M is 5-0 in conference games. In the final series, #29 Kansas State hosts a struggling Missouri club in Manhattan, Kansas.#10 OKLAHOMA SOONERS (29-8, 8-5) @ #6 TEXAS LONGHORNS (26-8, 9-6)
Not only is it a clashing of hated rivals and the top 2 Big 12 teams, but it also pits the Big 12 best offense (Oklahoma) versus the conference’s best pitching staff (Texas). Oklahoma secured 2 shutouts of Texas Tech last week, but scored only 11 runs in a series that they won 2-1. Texas swept Nebraska in Lincoln, and hopes to find similar results in Austin this weekend. Check the weather forecast if you plan on heading out to UFCU Disch-Falk Field this weekend.
Friday 6:00 PM: Andrew Doyle, Jr. (R) (5-2, 3.67) vs. Chance Ruffin, So. (R) (5-2, 2.55)
Saturday 2:00 PM: Stephen Porlier, Jr. (R) (1-0, 0.00) vs. Cole Green, So. (R) (3-0, 2.42)
Sunday 1:00 PM: TBA vs. Brandon Workman, So. (R) (3-3, 2.76)
PREDICTION: Texas 2-1
#13 BAYLOR BEARS (24-11, 9-6) @ #28 OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (24-14, 4-8)
Oklahoma State suffered a major setback in their 2009 campaign last week when they were victims of a sweep at the hands of Kansas. Baylor, meanwhile, won 2 of 3 games in Waco, Texas, against a down-trodden Missouri ball club. Baylor is 2-3 in Big 12 road games this season, and will be looking to break .500 after their trip to Oklahoma. Oklahoma State will be looking for a major rebound against a ranked team, a feat that would improve their overall RPI.
Friday 6:30 PM: Kendal Volz, Jr. (R) (2-3, 3.91) vs. Tyler Blandford, Jr. (R) (6-1, 4.18)
Saturday 1:00 PM: Aaron Miller, Jr. (L) (3-0, 2.48) vs. Tyler Lyons, Jr. (L) ( 4-3, 3.78)
Sunday 1:00 PM: TBA vs. Andrew Oliver, Jr. (L) (4-4, 5.81)
PREDICTION: Baylor 2-1
#30 KANSAS JAYHAWKS (24-12, 7-5) @ TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (16-23, 7-8)
Coming off a sweep of Oklahoma State, Kansas is firing on all cylinders and has finally cracked the NCBWA Top 30 poll, barely. Texas Tech has struggled in the midweek games, but has positioned themselves nicely for a conference tournament birth with their weekend wins. On the season, Texas Tech has yet to suffer a sweep in conference action, and looks to continue their streak at home against a sure-handed Jayhawks team.
Friday 6:30 PM: Shaeffer Hall, Jr. (L) (3-2, 2.52) vs. Brian Cloud, Sr. (R) (2-3, 4.88)
Saturday 5:00 PM: T.J. Walz, So. (R) (4-0, 3.15) vs. A.J. Ramos, Sr. (R) (3-3, 4.87)
Sunday 1:00 PM: Lee Ridenhour, Fr. (R) (3-2, 3.38) vs. Miles Morgan, Sr. (R) (2-4, 6.25)
PREDICTION: Texas Tech 2-1
NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (17-18-1, 4-11) @ #23 TEXAS A&M AGGIES (22-14, 8-7)
Texas A&M has struggled on the road against Big 12 teams. Luckily for them, they are playing in the familiar confines of Olsen Field this weekend. Nebraska, on the other hand, has struggled everywhere against Big 12 teams. After being swept by Texas in Lincoln, Nebraska dropped to a dismal 4-11 in conference play, essentially ending their postseason hopes. Texas A&M will look to improve to 8-0 at home in Big 12 play, securing them a spot in the tournament.
Friday 6:30 PM: Sean Yost, Fr. (R) (1-3, 8.04) vs. Brooks Raley, So. (L) (6-1, 2.13)
Saturday 6:35 PM: Jordan Roualdes, Jr. (L) (4-3, 6.80) vs. Ross Hales, Fr. (L) (3-1, 3.75)
Sunday 1:00 PM: TBA vs. Barret Loux, So. (R) (2-1, 4.78)
PREDICTION: Texas A&M 3-0
MISSOURI TIGERS (19-19, 6-9) @ #29 KANSAS STATE WILDCATS (28-9, 7-5)
Missouri and Kansas State have both been surprise teams in 2009. Kansas State’s 28-9 record is a surprise for a team that was supposed to finish 9th out of 10 teams in the conference. Missouri’s 19-19 record is a surprise for a team that began the season ranked in the Top 20. While both teams have strayed from their preseason expectations, they are still both in the hunt for the postseason. Kansas State’s pitching will ultimately be too strong for the weak-hitting Tigers.
Friday 6:30 PM: Kyle Gibson, Jr. (R) (5-3, 3.00) vs. A.J. Morris, Jr. (R) (9-1, 1.19)
Saturday 2:00 PM: TBA vs. Lance Hoge, Sr. (L) (4-2, 3.15)
Sunday 1:00 PM: Nick Tepesch, So. (R) (3-3, 7.03) vs. TBA
PREDICTION: Kansas State 3-0