A Big 12-record four teams begin NCAA Baseball Super Regionals play on Friday, and they will have their home fans as a 10th man, needing two wins to advance to the 2014 College World Series.
This has been a regular season and postseason of firsts for the teams still standing from the Big 12 entering the round of 16 in the NCAA Baseball Championship.
To begin with, this is the first time that the Big 12 has had four teams advance to the NCAA Super Regionals in baseball. It is also a first that all four teams are serving as a host for a super-regional series.
Texas Tech, which will host College of Charleston in a Saturday thru Monday super-regional series, captured it first NCAA regional championship last weekend and, subsequently, advanced to its first ever super regional and as a host site.
Earlier this season, Texas coach Augie Garrido became the winningest coach in college baseball history. He has 1,915 victories in his 46 years as a college baseball head coach, 768 of those coming at Texas. Garrido has been at Texas for 18 seasons, since the first year of the Big 12.
TCU, which may be the hottest team in all of college baseball right now. The Horned Frogs have won 30 of their last 33 games. TCU also lays claim to the only Big 12 player selected in the first round of this year’s Major League Baseball first-year player draft. Left-handed starter Brandon Finnegan was the 17th overall pick and the No. 1 selection of the Kansas City Royals.
Oklahoma State is celebrating a number of firsts heading into its Super Regionals matchup against UC Irvine. The Cowboys won their first regular season conference crown since 1996 and their first as a member of the Big 12. They won their first NCAA Regional series at home since 1993 and will be hosting their first Super Regional. OSU also won 48 games for the first time since 1994.
Wouldn’t it be terrific if this weekend produced another first in Big 12 baseball? One in which one or more teams would make an appearance in the College World Series for the first time since 2011.
A quick summary of this weekend’s Big 12 NCAA Super Regionals matchups:
Oklahoma State (48-16) vs. UC Irvine (38-23) in Stillwater, Okla.
UC Irvine advanced to the Super Regional weekend by ousting No. 1 national seed Oregon State on the Beavers’ home field. UC Irvine was the No, 3 seed in the Corvallis Regional.
The Anteaters are the second team from the Big West Conference that Oklahoma State will have played in the 2014 NCAA Baseball Championship.
Oklahoma State, ranked No. 7 nationally (USA Today Coaches Poll) is two wins away from the College World Series for the 19th time in program history. The Cowboys have appeared in the College World Series 19 times, the most recent in 1999.
This is the Cowboys’ 40th NCAA postseason appearance in baseball, which ranks fourth all-time.
TCU (42-15) vs. Pepperdine (42-16) in Ft. Worth
Pepperdine won its 17th West Coast Conference title this season. The Wave were the No, 3 seed in the San Luis Obispo Regional and upset top-seed Cal Poly for the regional championship,
This is the 28th season Pepperdine has been in NCAA postseason play. They own two College World Series titles (1979, 1992).
Only one loss separates the season records of these two teams.
Tenth-ranked TCU has been in three previous NCAA Super Regionals (2009, 2010 and 2012), but this is the Horned Frogs’ first time to host one,
TCU is 10-2 in the NCAA postseason under head coach Jim Schlossnagle.
The Horned Frogs have allowed one run or fewer 32 times this season, and have won nine straight games and 30 of the last 33.
Texas Tech (43-19) vs. College of Charleston (44-17) in Lubbock, Texas
College of Charleston won the Colonial Athletic Association conference tournament and then defeated top-seed and eighth-ranked Florida and Long Beach State in the Gainesville Regional.
The regional championship was only the second ever for College of Charleston. This year is the sixth time College of Charleston has been in the NCAA postseason since 2006, but only the second time to make it as far as the super regionals.
Texas Tech defeated top-seed Miami twice to win its first ever NCAA baseball regional championship.
Freshman starter Dylan Dusek is 7-0 this season in 13 starts for the Red Raiders. Earlier this week, he was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team.
Texas (41-19) vs. University of Houston (48-16) in Austin
Houston’s path to Austin this weekend came as a result of a regional championship in the Baton Rouge Regional. The Cougars are ranked 15 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll; Texas is 20th in the same poll.
Houston is making its first appearance in the NCAA Super Regionals since 2003 and hasn’t been to the College World Series since 1967.
Houston pitching coach Frank Anderson was the former head coach at Oklahoma State from 2004-2012 and spent four seasons coaching at Texas, including during the 2002 Texas national championship season
Houston right-handers Jake Lemoine and Alex Garza (with 15 combined wins in 2014) anchor a pitching staff that is sixth in the NCAA in team ERA.
Texas outfielder Mark Payton has reached base successfully in 99 consecutive games. That is a Big 12 record and the third longest streak nationally.
Longhorn senior starter Nathan Thornhill has posted an ERA of 0.40 over his last four games. The right-hander has given up just one run in his last 22 2/3 innings. He is 7-2 this season in 13 starts.
Tags: 2014 NCAA Baskeball Suoer Regionals Brandon Finnegan Mark Payton Nathan Thornhill Oklahoma State Cowboys Baseball TCU Horned Frogs Baseball Texas Longhorns Baseball Texas Tech Red Raiders Baseball