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Big 12 Baseball Tournament Championship Preview

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Conner goes over the field for the Big 12 Baseball Championship Tournament, Tech's chances and who he think will win it all.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The regular season is done and over with, and I actually made a correct prediction that TCU would be the top dogs, or frogs, and win the Big 12 regular season. Woo! Now let’s see how I can do with the Big 12 Tournament Championship. The tournament is being held in Tulsa, OK. If you are a Red Raider that lives in, or around, that area, head on out and cheer the Red Raiders to victory! Just a quick reminder for the Viva The Matadors readers, Iowa State does not have a baseball team, and by placing last in the regular season the Kansas Jayhawks will not be participating in the Tournament.



Pretenders

#8 Baylor Bear (21-30 overall, 9-15 Big 12): The Bears enter the Tournament as the final seed on somewhat of a high note with 4 wins in their last 7 games. However, if they plan on making any noise in the tourney they have a lot of challenges ahead. They were swept in the regular season by their first round opponent, TCU. For the Bears, being competitive in at the tournament should be their goal.

#7 West Virginia Mountaineers (27-25 overall, 9-13 Big 12): As the Red Raiders learned this past weekend, you better not sleep on the Mountaineers. This is a team with decent starting pitching, led by Ross Vance, and streaky hitting. This team played hard to clinch their spot in the tournament with a series win over Tech last weekend and will look to carry that momentum into tournament action.

#6 Kansas State Wildcats (26-28 overall, 10-14 Big 12): Despite having the worst batting average and 4th worst team ERA in conference play, the Wildcats came into this past weekend knowing they had a great chance to make the tournament. They played tough against their 1st round opponent Oklahoma in the regular season, losing the series 1-2. They played close games in the losses, losing by 2 runs in one game and 1 run in the other. Can they do that again and try to pull off the 1st round upset?

#5 Texas Longhorns (26-25 overall, 11-13 Big 12): Disappointing. That’s all you need to know about the 2015 edition of Longhorn baseball. They quickly dropped out of the Top 30 teams in the nation and did not finish conference play with a winning record. In my regular season preview, I thought that this could be the team that posed the greatest challenge to TCU for the Big 12 Regular Season Title. I was wrong. The only question left for this team is if the can save some face and win a round or two in the tourney.

Contenders

#4 Texas Tech Red Raiders (30-22 overall, 13-11 Big 12): The regular season was a cycle of highs and lows for the men from Lubbock. They had losing streaks of 3, 4, and 5 games, but to counteract those streaks they had streaks of 4, 4, and 6 wins in a row. As a team, Tech struggled at the plate against the other Big 12 teams, but the pitchers had the third best ERA in the conference. The defense ranked 3rd in double plays, but committed 62 errors. Tech has the potential to make some noise in this tournament, but they also could flame out in the first round, as they did last year. Which Tech team will show up?

#3 Oklahoma Sooners (32-25 overall, 13-11 Big 12): Here is the surprise team of Big 12 regular season. I pegged them as a middle of the round team, but they proved to be a team where the sum is greater than the parts. Led by Kolbey Carpenter, the Sooners had the highest team batting average in Big 12 play, .284. No pitchers really pop out at you, but they will keep this team in games.

Favorites

#2 Oklahoma State Cowboys (34-17 overall, 14-8 Big 12): The Cowboys were runner-up to the Horned Frogs in the 2014 edition of the Tournament. This is a solid team that possesses many pitchers that have a sub-3.00 ERA and have a lineup that has produced a Big 12 leading 21 conference HRs. What I really like about this team is their ability to win ballgames away from home. They are 8-8 at opponent’s ballparks and 7-2 at neutral ballparks. Plus, Tulsa is just a tad over an hour away from Stillwater. The Cowboys should have a great fan base on hand.

#1 TCU Horned Frogs (43-9 overall, 18-5 Big 12): The defending Big 12 Tournament Champions, are heading into this year’s tourney on a roll. In addition to winning the first ever Big 12 regular season title, they have also continued to lead the NCAA in team ERA, sitting at 2.10. Three of their four starters have an ERA below 2. Their most used relievers, Riley Ferrell and Trey Teakell, are sporting ERAs below 1. 6. Many of the Horned Frog batters are hitting above .300. As you can see, there are not many weaknesses on this team. As they were for the regular season, the Horned Frogs are the team to beat.

For my pick, I will go with……… Oklahoma State. I’ve caught of few of their games on TV this year and I’ve liked what I’ve seen. This was a tough choice, but I ended up choosing OSU over TCU because of how close Stillwater is to Tulsa. I think that they will have a great crowd riled up to see their team win their second Tournament title. As for the Red Raiders, they need as many tourney wins as they can get to help their chances at an NCAA Tournament bid, which seems a slim proposition at this point. It would be awesome to see them win their first title since 1998, but I am looking for solid, consistent, play from them more than anything else. Who is your pick to win the Big 12 Baseball Tournament Conference Championship? How do you think the Red Raiders will do? Either comment below, or tweet me @ConnerCrisp and let me know! Thanks for reading and Guns Up!