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Big 12 Rewind: Week 1

The 2024 season is underway, the Big 12 has a new-look in 2024 with the additions of Houston, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF. The conference features national powers, contenders and teams looking to build on strong 2023 campaigns. See how each team began the season below.

Texas- The Longhorns entered the 2024 season ranked 10th in the College Baseball Central pre-season top 25 poll, centered on a strong belief in their pitching staff. Austin held their collective breath as Tanner Witt did not look back to form in limited action. The Longhorns hosted San Diego and took two of three despite allowing the Pilots to hold leads at times. Peyton Powell has led the Longhorn offense thus far and teams will struggle to keep Jared Thomas off base. Looking ahead: vs Houston Christian (2/20), vs Cal Poly (2/23-25).

Houston-  The Cougars opened the season with Binghamton, going 3-0 this weekend.  Freshman Ace Reese has a chance to be a star freshman in this conference. Looking ahead: vs Prairie View A&M (2/20), vs St. Johns (2/23-25).

TCU- The #5 Horned Frogs, fresh off of an Omaha appearance in 2023, allowed Florida Gulf Coast to score a lot of runs and hold leads in each game of the series, though the Frogs battled back in each game to go 3-0.  The Frogs are very talented and have GRIT, Payton Tolle’s bat has Big 12 player of the year potential and he pitches, too.  Looking ahead: vs Texas State (2/20), vs UCLA (2/23-25)

UCF- Much like the Florida Gators, UCF only played one game this weekend due to weather.  Though unlike the national runner-up Gators, UCF went 1-0 against Bryant. Andrew Brait and Jack Zyska led the way for the Knights.  Looking ahead: At Miami (2/21), vs Samford (2/23-25).

Kansas State- The Wildcats, whom were ranked #20 in the College Baseball Central pre-season poll, were part of a competitive field in the MLB desert invitational.  The Wildcats went 2-1, falling to an underrated Cal team on opening day before defeating Boston College and Georgetown on Saturday and Sunday respectively.  Kalen Culpepper is a star for the Wildcats.  Looking ahead: At Arizona State (2/20), vs Holy Cross (2/23-25).

Oklahoma-  The Sooners, to kick off their last year in the Big 12, were invited to the Shriners College Showdown in Arlington.  Skip Johnson’s club produced a 2-1 record, falling to Oregon on opening night before defeating Tennessee and Nebraska in style.  The Sooners knocked off Tennessee in extra innings before walking off Nebraska in comeback fashion.  Easton Carmichael and John Spikerman were catalysts for Oklahoma offensively.  Looking ahead:  vs Dallas Baptist (2/20), vs Wright State (2/23-25).

Texas Tech-  The Red Raiders joined Oklahoma in the Shriners College Showdown at the home of the Texas Rangers.  Texas Tech stumbled against Tennessee to open the 2024 campaign before turning in strong, victorious performances against Nebraska and Oregon.  Tim Tadlock’s team showed off strong pitching depth with Austin Green and TJ Pompey turning in promising performances offensively.  Looking ahead: vs UTA (2/20), vs Oregon State (Arlington) (2/21), vs Texas Southern (2/23-25)

BYU-  The Cougars opened the season in the MLB Desert Invitational, defeating a solid USC team on opening night.  Ohio State got the best of BYU on Saturday.  The Cougars play Grand Canyon on Monday.  Kuhio Aloy has led the way for BYU thus far.  Looking ahead: vs Grand Canyon (2/19), at Cal (2/21), at UC Davis (2/22-24).

West Virginia-  The Mountaineers have started the season 1-1 against Statson and will play a doubleheader against the Hatters on Monday. Sam White and Ben Lumsden have led the way at the plate for WVU.  Aidan Major struck out 7 hatter hitters on Friday.  Looking ahead: at Stetson DH (2/19), vs Charlotte (2/23-25). 

Kansas-  The Jayhawks, in year two under Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald, began the 2024 season with a three game set against Chicago-Illinois in Texas.  UCI got the best of the Jayhawks on Friday and Saturday before Kansas took the third game on Sunday.  Kodey Shojinaga has been a force at the plate for KU, coveted freshman Dominic Voegele leads the Jayhawk staff in innings thus far.  Looking ahead:  vs Texas A&M Corpus Christi (2/20), RoundRock Classic- vs Texas State, Washington State, Kentucky (2/23-25).

Oklahoma State-  The #21 Cowboys headed South to Sam Houston to kick off the 2024 campaign.  The Pokes struggled to score runs on Friday and Saturday before exploding for 19 of them on Sunday.  Coach Holliday’s squad left Huntsville with a 1-2 record, though Carson Benge has been a reliable bat for the Pokes thus far.  Looking ahead:  vs Abilene Christian (Arlington) (2/21), Kubota Classic- vs Michigan, Arkansas, Oregon State (2/23-25).

Baylor-  The Baylor Bears opened up the season in Arlington, joining Texas Tech and Oklahoma in the Shriners Showdown.  The Bears went 0-3, falling to Nebraska, Oregon and Tennessee.  Baylor is in the midst of a rebuild, though the Bears received a strong performance from starter Mason Marriott against Nebraska on Friday.  Marriott struck out 10 cornhuskers in 5.2 IP, giving up just one hit.  Looking ahead: vs Lamar (2/20), vs Indiana (2/23-25).

Cincinnati- The Bearcats opened the 2024 season 0-2 against Jacksonville with Sunday’s tilt canceled due to weather.  Cincinnati is in year one under Head Coach Jordan Bischel.  Josh Hegemann has led the Bearcats with 4 hits thus far. Looking ahead:  vs Northern Kentucky (2/20), Coastal Carolina tournament- vs Ball State, vs Illinois, vs Coastal Carolina (2/23-25).

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