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Big 12 Tournament: TCU Hops All Over Kansas 14-4; Texas Tech Edges Oklahoma 10-9

 Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network  |    May 26th, 2023 3:12pm EDT

Texas Tech edged Oklahoma 10-9 at the Big 12 Championship at Globe Life Field Thursday. (Photo courtesy Big 12 Conference)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network 

ARLINGTON, Tex. – The fourth-seeded Horned Frogs of TCU put on an offensive show Thursday night, beating the Jayhawks 14-4 in eight innings. 

In the top of the first inning, the Jayhawks got on the boardwhen third baseman Michael Brooks drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Mike Koszewski.

The Horned Frogs began to hop all over the Jayhawks in the bottom of the first when Brayden Taylor singled to left field to score Elijah Nunez came in to score to tie the game up at one apiece.

The next batter, first baseman Cole Fontenelle, tripled down the right field line scoring Taylor after Jayhawks right fielder Luke Leto overthrew third, allowing Fontanelle to score as well, putting the Horned Frogs up 3-1.

During the top of the third inning, Kansas’ Cole Elvis tied the game with a double to left center field, scoring Janson Reeder to make it 3-3.

Kansas starting pitcher Hunter Cashero went just 1.2 innings, allowing six hits, three earned runs, no walks, and no strikeouts.

In the bottom of the third, TCU took the lead when shortstop Anthony Silva drove a single up the middle scoring, Taylor to go up 4-3. A few batters later, Logan Maxwell ripped a single to right field, scoring Silva to make it 5-3.

The Horned Frogs offense would not look back the rest of the way, adding five more in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Taylor would break the TCU program home run record set by Royce Huffman, who played for the Horned Frogs from 1996-99, and went 4-for-5 with three RBI in yesterday’s win.

“I thought it was a very, very cool moment just for the fact that I felt so loved by all teammates
and all the staff. It just really showed me that this is a lot bigger than baseball,” Taylor said after the game. “I’m very grateful for all of the friendships and the brotherhood that I’ve made in my time here. It was awesome, you know, even getting hugs from everybody. It was awesome. It was fantastic.” 

The game ended in the bottom of the eighth when Logan Maxwell reached on a fielder’s choice. The double play attempt by Kansas shortstop Collier Cranford arrived a split second late, a video review determined, allowing Silva to score the fourteenth run of the game and end the game via the mercy rule.

“The mentality doesn’t change whether it’s Kansas State or Kansas. It’s just an opportunity for us to go out and for these guys to continue to play together,” said TCU head coach Kirk Saarloos. “I think they’re probably having more fun than they ever have this year and it’s fun that it’s at this point in the year. I’m just excited for Saturday morning to whoever we’re playing, to sit back and watch these guys go out and compete and have fun and take care of business.”  

TCU starting pitcher Kole Klecker pitched three innings, allowing five hits, three earned runs, walking one and striking out two. TCU reliever Luke Salvage went 3.1 innings, allowing three hits, one earned run, walking one and striking out two.

TCU will play on Saturday at 10 a.m. EDT on Saturday on ESPN+ and will await the winner of No. 5 Kansas State University and No. 8 Kansas today at 4 p.m. EDT on ESPN+.

Texas Tech 10, Oklahoma 9 – The Sooners and Red Raiders went back and forth last night trading runs during most of the middle innings. Texas Tech’s Kevin Bazzell drove the game-winning single past third base to beat Oklahoma 10-9 at the Big 12 Championship at Globe Life Field.

Oklahoma would get on the board in the first inning when first baseman Anthony Mackenzie drew a bases-loaded walk and left fielder Kendall Pettis came in to score.

In the top of the second inning, the Pettis reached on a throwing error by Red Raiders third baseman Kevin Bazzell, scoring John Spikerman and Wallace Clark for a 3-0 lead.

During the top of the fourth inning, the Sooners added two more runs on the board when right fielder Bryce Madron laced a singled past first base, scoring Spikerman and Jackson Nicklaus to make it 5-0.

Texas Tech starting pitcher Taber Fast went 3.2 innings, allowing four hits, three earned runs, walking six and striking out two.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Red Raiders crawled back in the game when Dylan Maxcey reached on an error by second baseman and Gavin Kash came in to score to make it 5-1.

The next batter, shortstop Tracer Lopez would drive a single to left center field as Hudson White came in to score to make it 5-2. Nolen Hester then drove a single to center field, scoring Maxcey as the lead was cut to one run at 5-3. The next batter, Gage Harrelson would tie the game up at four a piece with a single to the left side of the infield as Lopez came in to score to make it 5-4.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Sooners tallied their fifth run of the game when third baseman Wallace Clark laced a double to left field scoring Mackenzie to go up 6-4.

During the bottom of the fifth inning, Red Raiders right fielder Zac Vooletich drove a single to left center field and second baseman Austin Green came in to score to cut the lead to one at 6-5.

Sooners starting pitcher Braden Carmichael pitched five innings, allowed nine hits, one earned run and four unearned runs, walked one and struck out two.

In the top of the sixth inning, Spikerman scored on a wild pitch to put the Sooners up 7-5.

The next batter, shortstop Dakota Harris, laid a safety squeeze bunt and Pettis broke to the plate from third, and the Sooners went up 8-5. Mackenzie then drove a single to left center field, scoring Madron to go up 9-5.  

During the bottom of the seventh inning, Texas Tech’s Maxcey unleashed a two-run home run to left field to cut the lead to two runs at 9-7.

Sooners relief pitcher Braxton Douthit blew the four-out save after entering the game during the eighth, allowing the Red Raiders to score three runs in the ninth inning.

Lopez would get the rally started for the Red Raiders, lacing a single to right center field and scoring Vooletich to cut the Sooner lead to 9-8. The next batter, Hester, ripped a single up the middle to score White, tying the game 9-9.

A few batters later, Bazzell singled past Sooners third baseman Wallace Clark, scoring Lopez for the winning run as the Red Raiders won 10-9.

“We were never out of it. We have guys that can hit it out of the ballpark, but we also have guys that can go up and have good at-bats, and that is what you need. You have to get guys on and put some pressure on the defense. That is how we take our opportunity.”  Maxcey on the dramatic walk off hit to prevail in the winners bracket for the Red Raiders.

The Red Raiders are just one win away from going to the conference championship game on Sunday and will look to win their first Big 12 conference championship title since 1998.

The Red Raiders will play at 1:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+ on Saturday and will play Oklahoma State Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+.

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Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network