Big 12 Notebook: Cowboys win clash of Big 12 titans

Daniel Clay

The TCU Horned Frogs traveled to Stillwater, Oklahoma, hoping to climb in the Big 12 rankings and get one step closer to knocking off the conference-leading Texas Tech Red Raiders. 

The Oklahoma State Cowboys, though, were not going to be had so easily. 

A three-game offensive barrage powered the Cowboys to a crucial series victory over the preseason conference favorites. 

Oklahoma State opened the weekend series in dominating fashion, riding a career performance by sophomore right-hander Thomas Hatch to a 9-0 shutout win. Hatch’s 10-strikeout complete game was enough for the sophomore to earn conference pitcher of the week accolades. 

“Against such a quality opponent like TCU, it’s good to get [a complete game],” Hatch said. “I went into the ninth last week at Baylor and wasn’t able to finish it — it’s nice to be able to finish the job.”

The win gives the Cowboys a 9-6 conference record and moves the team into a tie with Texas for third in the conference, three games back of conference-leading Texas Tech. 

Grove takes newcomer’s award

  • The first inning of West Virginia’s series finale at Oklahoma seemed like a lost cause. 

The Sooners scored seven runs and chased Mountaineer sophomore starter BJ Myers before the first inning had even ended. 

That would be all the offense Oklahoma would get. 

Freshman pitcher Michael Grove came on in relief and tossed 13 strikeouts over 8.1 innings of shutout ball to silence the Sooner bats and allow the Mountaineer offense enough time to catch up to the deficit and pull out a 12–7 victory. 

“After a seven-spot (in the first inning), to come in and strike out 13 in the last eight innings, who knew?” Mountaineer coach Randy Mazey said. “That’s a premium Big 12 pitcher right there in Michael Grove.”

The win staved off an Oklahoma sweep and led to Grove taking home conference newcomer of the week honors. 

Bears drop series to Wildcats

  • The struggling Baylor Bears landed in Manhattan, Kansas, with their eyes set on halting a Big 12 skid and remaining relevant in the postseason conversation. 

A surge of offense by the struggling Kansas State Wildcats smashed those aspirations. 

The Wildcats rode a pair of 10-run performances to take two out of three from the visiting Bears and climb three games clear of the last-place Kansas Jayhawks. 

The two teams entered the series finale tied up with one win apiece, but a 10-run showing by the Wildcats, combined with some solid pitching, handed Baylor its seventh loss in its last nine conference games. 

Baylor knocked back-to-back home runs in the series finale but were unable to match the Wildcats’ 13 hits and ended up dropping the Sunday matchup 10-4. The loss moves Baylor (5–10) into a tie with the Wildcats for the second to last place in the conference above cellar dwelling Kansas (3–8).