Oklahoma City, OK – The No. 18 West Virginia Mountaineers (34-18, 13-11) and the Kansas Jayhawks (31-24, 12-12) kickoff the Big 12 Tournament Wednesday morning at 10:00 am est inside Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark . WVU won six of their eight Big 12 series to come in as the four seed, while Kansas was on the verge of being left out of the conference tournament until they went 8-2 in their final 10 conference games to grab the five seed.
West Virginia won the season series 2-1 in Morgantown, winning the first two games of a doubleheader in walk-off fashion.
In scoreless eight and a half inning game one, Mountaineer ace Alek Manoah tossed a 15-strikeout complete game shutout that setup Marques Inman leading-off with a solo homerun for the walk-off.
A solo homerun from Nolan Metcalf in the sixth gave the Jayhawks the lead. However, Paul McIntosh answered in the bottom of the inning with a solo shot of his own to tie the game. Thunderstorms rolled through and delayed the game for 2:40 at the end of the inning.
After play resumed, the Mountaineers regained the lead in the eighth on a wild pitch, then Tristan Hudson hit an RBI single to give put WVU up 3-1.
Rudy Karre tied it back up in the ninth on a 2 RBI single to send into extra innings, but another wild pitch brought in Brandon White for the second walk-off win on the day.
The Jayhawks led 6-1 heading to the eighth, until a four-run rally in the bottom of the inning got the Mountaineers within a run. Nonetheless, Kansas held on to avoid the sweep.
Nick Snyder (8-1) will start the game the game on the hill Wednesday Morning. Snyder has been the midweek starter all season long and West Virginia head coach wants to keep his pitching staff on the same routine. Nick ranks 2nd in the Big 12 in ERA (1.95).
Kansas looks to be going with a different approach. The Jayhawks are going with one of their closers in Nathan Barry (5-0). He hasn’t pitched more than 2.1 innings on the year but has a 2.86 ERA.
Darius Hill and Tyler Doanes pushed their batting average to .308 with great hitting performances at the tail end of the year. Hill leads the Big 12 in doubles (22)
Paul McIntosh and Marques Inman lead the Mountaineers in homeruns with nine. Kevin Brophy has 8.
Three Mountaineers are in the top four in the conference in stolen bases.
2. Brandon White 23
3. Tevin Tucker 19
4. Tyler Doanes 17
Jayhawk Jaxx Groshans is 7th in batting average (.333) and 3rd in homeruns (12).
Along with WVU, the Big 12 Championship features four teams ranked in the top 25.
- 7 Texas Tech (36-15, 16-8) Regular season champs
- 13 Oklahoma State (32-17, 14-9)
- 17 Baylor (33-15, 14-8)
In a double elimination bracket, West Virginia will face either Kansas State or Texas Tech in game two.
Along with Big 12 coach of the year Randy Mazey, WVU comes into the tournament with Big 12 pitcher of the year Alek Manoah and finished the season leading the conference in strikeouts (125) and ERA (1.91).
Three Mountaineers were named to All-Big 12 second team.
- Catcher Ivan Gonzalez
- Right fielder Darius Hill
- First baseman Marques Inman
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