The regular season's over– it's put up or shut up time. The Big 12 baseball tournament kicks off Wednesday afternoon from Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. It's the first year the tournament has been played at Globe Life, previously being held in Oklahoma City.
No. 5 Texas (39-17, 14-10) and No. 4 Oklahoma State (36-18, 15-9) get things started Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. CT. Top-seeded TCU (35-18, 16-8) takes on No. 8 Baylor (26-26, 7-17) following the first game.
Reigning Big 12 tournament champion TCU captured the regular season title and looks to defend that title this week. However, like the regular season, the conference gauntlet won't be easy to traverse.
The tournament is double-elimination, making the road to the 'ship that much more difficult.
The field is packed with batting prowess, led by Texas and Texas Tech, who are not only the top two home run-hitting teams in the Big 12, but they are fourth and 29th in team home runs nationally, respectively.
No. 3 Oklahoma (33-20, 15-9), Texas, and No. 6 West Virginia (33-20, 14-10) took series against TCU this year, two of which came at home. Oklahoma and WVU are across the bracket, so the Frogs wouldn't have to face them until the championship game, but they could see the likes of Texas as early as Round 2.
TCU takes on Baylor in first round
Brett Walker (5-2) takes the mound Wednesday afternoon to face the Baylor Bears in the opening round of the tournament. Walker won his last start against Santa Clara this past weekend, making this his shortest turnaround time for a start.
TCU won the regular season series, taking two of three games in Waco. Walker struggled in his Saturday start during that series, allowing four runs and only striking out one in 2.1 IP before being pulled. The Frogs did go on to win the contest 11-9, but it was Walker's worst start of the season.
Since then, he's put proof in the pudding and been a solid starter for TCU.
The Bears are comfortably the worst hitting team in the Big 12, placing last in batting average (.269), home runs (39), and extra base hits. They've also given up heat off the bat, allowing the second-most home runs in the conference this season.
Big 12 Baseball Tournament Bracket
How to watch the Big 12 baseball tournament
Where: Globe Life Field, Arlington, Texas
When: Wednesday, May 25–Sunday, May 29
TV/Streaming: Games 1, 7, 8, and Championship Game on ESPNU. All others streaming on ESPN+.
Previous champion: TCU Horned Frogs
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