Big 12 Baseball Weekend Preview: Top Five Storylines

Heartland College Sports – An Independent Big 12 Today Blog

After another fun week, college baseball returns to action as 13 Big 12 teams are hitting the diamond. There are several big-time matchups ahead, so let’s take a look at the top five storylines heading into the weekend.

Oklahoma Can Distance Themselves

There hasn’t been a bigger story in the Big 12 so far this year than Oklahoma. The Sooners have gotten off to a scorching hot start in conference play, sitting in first place with a 6-0 record.

The big reason for their surge has been their offense. As a team, the Sooners are hitting .309 and have five guys in their lineup averaging over .330. While Bryce Madron and John Spikerman have been getting a lot of attention, the player who has caught my attention has been Michael Snyder. And despite Spikerman being out due to injury for a few weeks, I still think that they will take care of business against a struggling West Virginia team this weekend.

 

Texas Tech Needs a Bounce-Back Weekend

If there is anyone who needs a bounce-back weekend, it’s Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are coming off back-to-back series losses against Texas and Baylor and are looking for their first series win in Big 12 play. Pitching was an issue during the Texas series, and the lack of offense was the problem in Waco last weekend.

Right now, the Red Raiders have the third-worst ERA in the conference (5.69), and that will need to change against a BYU team that put up a lot of runs against a good Houston pitching staff.

This is a Make-or-Break Weekend for TCU

I know this is an important series for Oklahoma State, but they aren’t behind the eight-ball like TCU. The Horned Frogs came into the season as the favorites to win the Big 12 and were a top-ten team. Now after a 1-5 start in conference play, TCU better wake up.

Between the inconsistencies on the mound (giving up seven runs per game) and the lack of offense (scoring more than five runs just once) during these conference games, it has certainly been odd. TCU has the talent to beat anybody, but at some point, they need to put it all together. If not, then they are going to have a tough time trying to claw their way back into the Big 12 title race.

 

A Texas-Sized Showdown in Houston

This is the series to watch outside of the TCU/Oklahoma State series. Both Houston and Kansas State are in the top half of the standings, and both teams could be in the postseason come June.

The Cougars are coming off a disappointing weekend in Provo, but they are still in great shape. Their pitching staff has the lowest ERA in the Big 12 (3.53) and that is going to be an interesting matchup as Kansas State as they have the second-best team batting average (.317) and have scored the second most runs in the conference (178). That Houston pitching staff going up against a lineup that features Brady Day, Kaelen Culpepper, Nick English, Chuck Ingram, and Brendan Jones is going to be interesting.

A Gut-Check Weekend for Kansas

It’s crazy what a week of baseball can do for a team. Last week at this time, I was talking about Kansas being the real deal, and then they went out and fell to Cincinnati. Now, they host a tough UCF team, and they have a huge opportunity to redeem themselves. They put up just one run in the final two games of their series against Cincinnati, and that offense of theirs is going to need to wake up against the Knights’ pitching.

Other Series

Cincinnati at Saint Louis

Texas vs Baylor