With two conference series yet to be played, the Big 12 conference title race has come down to Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech.
While TCU faced a non-conference foe in Florida State last weekend, Oklahoma State went to Austin and swept the Texas Longhorns to take sole possession of first place with just two Big 12 series left on the schedule. The Cowboys play a non-conference series this weekend before rounding out the conference schedule against Texas Tech and Baylor, while TCU still has Oklahoma and Kansas on the schedule. The Red Raiders finish their Big 12 season against the two Oklahoma schools.
While the Longhorns did the Horned Frogs no favors getting swept by the Cowboys in Austin last weekend, the Frogs still have a good chance to take home the Big 12 hardware if they take care of business. That starts this weekend against the Oklahoma Sooners.
Game 1: Friday @ 6:00c ESPN+
Probable Starters: OU LHP Jake Bennett (4-2) 3.29 vs TCU LHP Austin Krob (2-0) 5.14
Game 2: Saturday @ 2:00c ESPN+
Probable Starters: OU RHP David Sandlin (4-2) 5.50 vs TCU RHP Marcelo Perez (4-1) 3.38
Game 3: Sunday @ 1:00c ESPN+
Probable Starters: OU LHP Chazz Martinez (3-3) 4.22 vs RHP Caedmon Parker (2-2) 5.32
Austin Krob will make his first start since returning from injury, while regular Tuesday starter Caedmon Parker will move to the weekend rotation for the first time this season.
Left handed pitcher Jake Bennett is the OU staff ace and sure to get the start Friday night. Bennett is fourth in the Big 12 with 75 strikeouts through 65.2 innings pitched. The 6'6 redshirt sophomore was a Freshman All-American in 2020 and could pose a problem for a TCU lineup loaded with left handed hitters. The Frogs will need a strong performance from their Friday night starter to be able to stay in the game Friday night.
The Oklahoma offense is led by SS Payton Graham, 1B Blake Robertson and CF Tanner Treadaway. Freshman 2B and leadoff hitter Jackson Nicklaus has earned his way into the lineup and has sneaky power for a leadoff hitter with 6 home runs, the second most on the Sooners.
- SS Payton Graham's 12 home runs and 17 stolen bases are both the 5th most in the Big 12. Graham has a .345 avg and has only been caught stealing twice on the year.
- 1B Blake Robertson's .384 average is the 4th best in the Big 12.
- CF Tanner Tredaway is batting .341 and is 15-18 in stolen base attempts.
For TCU, the only regular starters still hitting above .300 are 3B Braydon Taylor and SS Tommy Sacco, who also lead the team with eight home runs a piece. CF Elijah Nunez leads the Horned Frogs going 20-21 on stolen base attempts.
Catchers are going to have their work cut out for them in this series as both teams like to run and do so with great success.
Before OSU swept UT last weekend, the prevailing thought around the league was that TCU had a great shot to win the conference if they could go 5-1 in these last two series against OU and KU. Now, if TCU wants to take home the Big 12 title in back-to-back years, they might need to go 6-0. If the Frogs can pull off the win Friday night against Jake Bennett, they could do just that.
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