Five Big 12 teams entered the 2019 NCAA Baseball Tournament. After the first weekend, only two remain, and those two teams will have to play against each other in a Super Regional.
This is less than ideal, to put it mildly.
Big 12 teams were eliminated in heartbreaks, eliminated in blowouts, eliminated by just not being as good as their opponents. So let’s take stock of what happened, who’s left, and who’s heading home.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys won their regional — technically the Oklahoma City Regional — but it wasn’t necessarily the prettiest series of games. Okie State beat Harvard 2-0 and Nebraska 6-5 before dropping a game to UConn 5-2 on Sunday. That’s understandable, because I think UConn ate its Wheaties that morning — the Huskies whooped up on Nebraska 16-1 in the early game. Oklahoma State won 3-1 in the regional championship to advance.
Now the Cowboys will enter the Super Regional to play a familiar opponent.
Texas Tech: Tech is playing in a Super Regional for the fourth time in six years after sweeping through the Lubbock Regional. The Red Raiders easily beat Army 11-2 before beating Dallas Baptist twice, 3-2 and 3-0.
Now Tech and Oklahoma State will square off in the Super. Two colleges located in the middle of nowhere with pistol-toting mascots, prominent use of black uniforms and wholly unpredictable fanbases. Both are very good at baseball and perennially confusing and offensively-driven in football.
This is really the collegiate equivalent of the Spider-Man pointing at himself meme. Here, look:
TCU: Well, all good things must come to an end, and I suppose that includes TCU’s ability to hit the ball. Against lesser teams like California and Central Connecticut State (a school I am still not convinced actually exists), the Frogs put up 13 and nine runs; against Arkansas, TCU scored one run over two games.
But the Razorbacks were better, and they deserved to win. TCU performed well in the tournament despite the elimination, and while I’m not sure the Frogs deserved a bid, they did their job once they got in there. That’s all you can ask for — until next year, when we’ll demand a CWS title.
Baylor: Well, the Bears weren’t there for a long time, but they were there for a good time.
Baylor lost its first game 3-1 to Loyola Marymount before, uh, releasing some frustrations against Omaha, scoring 24 runs in a win. The Bears then promptly turned around and lost 11-6 to UCLA and were eliminated. UCLA was the No. 1 overall seed, so that’s not too bad of a loss. But Baylor averaged 10.33 runs per game, allowed an average of 6.67 runs per game, and went 1-2. That’s hard to do!
West Virginia: This hurts to talk about. The Mountaineers were up three on Texas A&M in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, a full count and the bases loaded, and, well, see for yourself, if you somehow haven’t already:
Texas A&M's Bryce Blaum crushes a walk-off grand slam to beat West Virginia pic.twitter.com/HLM9zRW09L— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) June 3, 2019
Brutal. Absolutely brutal. Pour one out for our friends in Morgantown.