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Big 12 Weekend Preview (4/29-5-1)

The Big 12 race is coming down to the final weeks, and the matchups are getting more and more important. This week, the key series takes place in Austin between Texas and Oklahoma. Both teams are highly ranked, and feature plus pitching staffs. Saturday and Sunday games will be televised, but the key matchup will take place between Taylor Jungmann and Michael Rocha on Friday.

Oklahoma State faces off against Big 12 stalwart Kansas State. The Wildcats are coming off a sweep of Texas Tech, while the Cowboys were swept at Texas A&M. If Kansas State can take two games, they’ll head back to Manhattan tied in the standings with the Cowboys.

Baylor and Nebraska are both fighting for a spot in the NCAA tournament, and the loser of this series will most likely be staying home in June. Both teams are mixing up their rotations. Baylor is adding Brooks PInckard, while the Huskers will go with true freshman Logan Ehlers in spot of a struggling Matt Freeman on Friday.

Texas A&M has the easiest series this weekend, as they face off against Missouri. Top versus bottom will be all in the Aggies’ favor as they boast the most well-rounded team in the league. Missouri’s best chance of a win will come on Sunday when they march top freshman Rob Zastryzny to the mound.

Texas Tech suffered a gut wrenching sweep, losing the series to Kansas State by a total of four runs. As it stands, the Red Raiders aren’t in a position to make the conference tournament, but they do have the easiest remaining schedule of any bubble teams. Kansas managed a win against the Longhorns, but were held scoreless for the first 17 innings last weekend.

#4 Texas (31-10, 13-5) vs. #10 Oklahoma (30-11, 9-7)

Probable Starters:
Friday April 29
Oklahoma: RHP Michael Rocha (8-1, 1.19 ERA)
Texas: RHP Taylor Jungmann (8-0, 1.00 ERA)

Saturday April 30
Oklahoma: RHP Burch Smith (7-2, 3.75 ERA)
Texas: RHP Cole Green (3-3, 2.88 ERA)

Sunday May 1
Oklahoma: TBA
Texas: TBA

Prediction: Oklahoma 2-1

#24 Oklahoma State (28-13, 10-9) vs. Kansas State (26-15, 8-10)

Probable Starters:
Friday April 29
Kansas State: LHP Kyle Hunter (4-3, 2.93 ERA)
Oklahoma State: LHP Mike Strong (3-1, 3.83 ERA)

Saturday April 30
Kansas State: RHP Matt Applegate (4-2, 3.57 ERA)
Oklahoma State: RHP Brad Propst (6-2, 2.01 ERA)

Sunday May 1
Kansas State: LHP Shane Conlon (2-0, 1.76 ERA)
Oklahoma State: RHP Hunter Herrera (2-1, 3.38 ERA)

Prediction: Oklahoma State 2-1

Nebraska (26-16, 5-9) vs. Baylor (22-20, 7-11)

Probable Starters:
Friday April 29
Baylor: RHP Logan Verrett (4-4, 3.69 ERA)
Nebraska: LHP Logan Ehlers (1-1, 3.65 ERA)

Saturday April 30
Baylor: LHP Josh Turley (2-3, 4.25 ERA)
Nebraska: RHP Jon Keller (2-4, 2.66 ERA)

Sunday May 1
Baylor: RHP Brooks Pinckard (3-2, 4.03 ERA)
Nebraska: LHP Tyler Niederklein (6-1, 3.91 ERA)

Prediction: Nebraska 2-1

Missouri (18-23, 4-10) vs. #8 Texas A&M (29-12, 14-4)

Probable Starters:
Friday April 29
Texas A&M: LHP John Stilson (4-1, 1.12ERA)
Missouri: RHP Eric Anderson (0-0, 7.71 ERA)

Saturday April 30
Texas A&M: RHP Michael Wacha (5-2, 1.64 ERA)
Missouri: RHP Matt Stites (2-3, 3.64 ERA)

Sunday May 1
Texas A&M: RHP Ross Stripling (8-2, 2.43 ERA)
Missouri: LHP Rob Zastryzny (2-4, 3.94 ERA)

Prediction: Texas A&M 3-0

Texas Tech (25-19, 6-12) vs. Kansas (20-21, 9-9)

Probable Starters:
Friday April 29
Kansas: RHP T.J. Walz (5-4, 3.76 ERA)
Texas Tech: RHP David Paiz (3-3, 5.12 ERA)

Saturday April 30
Kansas: RHP Tanner Poppe (3-2, 3.47 ERA)
Texas Tech: RHP Trey Masek (2-3, 4.60 ERA)

Sunday May 1
Kansas: Thomas Taylor (4-2, 3.11 ERA)
Texas Tech: TBA

Prediction: Texas Tech 2-1