Big 12 Baseball Update

Mark Roberson

It’s finally May and baseball in the Big 12 is heating up as we inch closer to the conference tournament.

There have been a few surprises as of late. The TCU Horned Frogs have won 12 straight games, including a mid-April sweep of the Texas Longhorns in Austin.

It looks as if TCU has finally revived a program that showed a lot of promise a few seasons ago. The Frogs are currently sit in second in the Big 12 standings.

Another nice surprise so far has been the rise of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Red Raiders have 11 conference wins so far this year and the most total wins in the conference at 36.

Their success can be credited to their great offensive play; thus far, Tech has scored 128 runs in conference play. Oklahoma State, who sits in first place in the Big 12, is the next closest with only 85 runs.

Coming down the stretch, pitching will be the key. So far, Texas, TCU and Oklahoma State rank in the top three in runs allowed in conference.

If Texas Tech wants to remain afloat, they cannot rely solely on their offense, the pitching has to step up in a big way.

Here’s how I think it will finish:

I like Oklahoma State to stay on top and finish first in Big 12 regular season play. The Cowboys have the most balanced team, a decent offense backed by a strong pitching staff.

It looks as if there is no answer to TCU right now, and the Horned Frogs are poised nicely to finish in the top three in conference. Like I said, it will come down to pitching and the Horned Frogs have held opponents to just seven runs over their nine game streak.

Texas has lacked consistency as of late, but if the Longhorns can regroup and start producing more regularly in the run department Texas should be in the mix at the end of the season. The real difference maker will be whether the freshman in the Texas lineup, Kacy Clemens and company, can step up and produce.

I have the Red Raiders finishing just outside the top three. I just don’t buy that their offensive production will hold up to finish the season. If they have any shot at doing well in the Big 12 tournament, they have to get some quality starts from their rotation.

The Big 12 Tournament starts May 21 in Oklahoma City.