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Around the Big 12 in Baseball: Nitty-Gritty Time

The Big 12 baseball season is reaching the most important part of the schedule.

TCU Baseball vs Texas | March 24, 2019 | Lupton Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
TCU Baseball vs Texas | March 24, 2019 | Lupton Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
Melissa Triebwasser

Football season is over, basketball season is over, and now it’s time to switch everyone’s favorite weekly Frogs O’ War column over to the diamond. Baseball season is in full swing, with four series left in Big 12 play for most teams.

Most of how I’ve consumed TCU baseball content this year has revolved around checking the F.O.W. Slack channel during games and seeing things like “oh no” and “this game is very stupid.” That could also go for most football and basketball games this year, so it’s good to see the Frogs are on brand.

But I digress. To the breakdown! Let’s go in order of standings.

Oklahoma State (25-13, 10-5 Big 12): The Cowboys are riding a four-game win streak after sweeping Texas in a three-game series and Dallas Baptist in a solo home game last week. OSU scored more than 10 runs in each game against the Longhorns, including a 15-0 pantsing on Friday.

This was an excellent rebound from OSU, a team that lost a series 2-1 to Kansas earlier in April. The Cowboys’ schedule is brutal from here on out, though, with series against second-place Baylor, third-place Texas Tech and fifth-place Oklahoma to close out the season. Oklahoma State will also play Oregon State in a three-game series, for reasons I have yet to figure out.

Baylor (26-12, 9-5 Big 12): Baylor had a chance to solidify its spot at No. 2 in the conference last week, but lost a series 2-1 to Texas Tech on the road. Now the Bears are 1.5 games ahead of the Red Raiders with three Big 12 series remaining.

Baylor will play TCU on the road this upcoming weekend in what could be a crucial stretch for both teams. The Bears have Kansas State at home and Oklahoma State on the road to close out the Big 12 season.

Texas Tech (25-13, 8-7 Big 12): If you’ll recall from about two paragraphs ago, Tech beat Baylor 2-1 in a three-game series in Lubbock last weekend. The Red Raiders have at least one player in the top five of all major offensive stats categories for the Big 12, including steals leader Gabe Holt, who has swiped 21 bases this year.

Much like Oklahoma State, Tech’s end-of-season schedule is brutal. The Red Raiders play OSU this weekend at home, then finish at Oklahoma and at home against TCU.

West Virginia (24-14, 8-7 Big 12): Well, well, well, how about the Mountaineers? After being swept by Baylor in mid-March, West Virginia has since taken series off Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Kansas, and is now sitting pretty in a tie for third in the conference.

And of all the teams in the top half of the standings, the Mountaineers have the easiest schedule moving forward. West Virginia takes on a down Texas team this weekend, followed by a series at home against TCU and a series at Kansas State to end the conference slate. The Mountaineers also have a series against George Washington (the school, not the former president) in the final week of the season.

Oklahoma (27-14, 6-6 Big 12): The Sooners are currently traversing the Great White North, taking two out of three at Minnesota before stopping over in Kansas for a game against Wichita State tonight. They’ll stay in the Sunflower State to play Kansas State in a series this weekend.

Oklahoma has lost the last three Big 12 series it has played to West Virginia, TCU and Baylor. The Sooners have Tech and Oklahoma State still left on the schedule before closing out the season against Texas on the road.

TCU (23-15, 6-6 Big 12): The Frogs have the leading hitter in the Big 12 in Jake Guenther and two of the top three pitchers in ERA (Nick Lodolo and Charles King). Unfortunately, that hasn’t translated into wins. TCU lost a three-game series to Kansas State 2-1 last week and, to add insult to injury, also lost 6-3 at UT-Arlington in the Tuesday game.

The Frogs need to finish on a high note, and this weekend’s series against Baylor could be the turning point TCU needs. Series against West Virginia, Kansas and Texas Tech follow to close out the season.

Kansas State (19-22, 5-7 Big 12): The Wildcats have won their last two Big 12 series, beating Texas and TCU. They also beat Nebraska just for fun in a Tuesday game last week. But Kansas State is still below .500 and on the outside looking in to the NCAA Tournament.

That could change if the Wildcats make noise in the final three series. KSU gets Oklahoma at home this weekend, followed by a trip to Baylor, a homestand against West Virginia and a final road series at Kansas.

Texas (24-18, 5-9 Big 12): The Horns have had a no-good, very bad, not-fun time in the Big 12. Texas has won just one conference series, taking the opener over Texas Tech. Since then, it’s been a struggle, including a sweep at the hands of Oklahoma State last week.

Texas gets West Virginia at home this week before a brief reprieve at Kansas next weekend. The Longhorns will take on Oklahoma in the final series of the season.

Kansas (20-18, 5-10 Big 12): There are two things I want to talk about when it comes to Kansas baseball.

One is that KU was very close to taking a series against West Virginia last weekend, losing 4-3 in 11 innings Saturday before winning Sunday’s game. This is the same KU team that took a series off Oklahoma State two weeks ago, which is proof that Kansas can surprise teams.

The second is that KU is led in batting average by a player named Jaxx Groshans. How Jaxx Groshans is not a quarterback for, like, Tulsa, I will never know.