Big 12 Tournament Live Blog: Day One

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Four games will be played during Wednesday's first day of the 2009 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship. Burnt Orange Beat's Jason Cole is on-hand to provide live coverage of all games throughout the week.

Game 4: Texas Tech 0 - Oklahoma 0 - BOT 3


8:40 p.m. - I likely won't have any live updates from this game. The press box is packed with local Oklahoma writers for this game and my laptop doesn't have enough battery left. I will have a short writeup on this game afterwards.

Game 3: Texas A&M 2 - Missouri 5 - FINAL


7:23 p.m. - Raley grounded into a fielder's choice and Anders grounded out to third to end it.

7:16 p.m. - After walking Brodie Greene, Buehler has been pulled from the game for fireballing righty Nick Tepesch.

Tepesch is generally a starting pitcher, and he'll likely start one of Missouri's remaining Big 12 Tournament games. But the Tigers are desperately searching for someone to record these final two outs.

7:14 p.m. - Now Smith scores on a wild pitch, moving Alleman to second base. Still one out with Missouri leading 5-2.

7:12 p.m. - Alleman ended up reaching regardless on the E4, bringing Gonzalez in to score.

In all of the games today, the right side of the infield has given some strange hops. The first and second basemen for all teams are certainly struggling with it.

7:11 p.m. - Dave Alleman was hit by the Buehler pitch, but the umpires called him back, saying he stuck his leg out. The replays back that one up. A&M coach Rob Childress argued the call, but the ruling was upheld.

7:09 p.m. - The Aggies have another one-out rally cooking. Catcher Kevin Gonzalez worked a four-pitch walk before Adam Smith doubled him to third base. A&M has men on second and third with just one out.

The double was a welcomed sight for Smith, who was previously 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and two fielding errors.

7:03 p.m. - Tigers closer Brad Buehler will pitch the ninth for his club. He has seven saves and a 3.86 earned-run average this season.

6:54 p.m. - Sidewinding lefty Phil McCormick got Patterson to ground into a 5-3 double play on the first pitch, once again ending the Texas A&M threat.

Freshman lefty Estevan Uriegas is now pitching for the Aggies.

6:52 p.m. - The Aggies are once again rallying, this time against the Missouri bullpen.

A Brooks Raley walk and two singles has loaded the bases for Joe Patterson with only one out. The score remains 5-0 for the time being.

6:40 p.m. - Keep an eye on Alex Wilson. Although his results haven't been dominant [with 109 strikeouts in 78.2 innings this year, his strikeout numbers certainly have] this season, he's got a good chance to go within the top 50 picks of this year's MLB Draft. Wilson is flashing a consistently 94 mph fastball with a good, hard breaking ball tonight, as he does on most nights. The biggest question is whether or not Wilson profiles more as a starter or power reliever at the next level.

Wilson just finished off a scoreless bottom of the seventh, and the Tigers still lead 5-0.

6:35 p.m. - The good news for Texas A&M? Kyle Gibson's day is done.

The bad? It might not matter, as they trail 5-0 through six innings.

Missouri coach Tim Jamieson chose to go with right-hander Ian Berger, who has been a starting pitcher for much of the season, but recently moved to the bullpen.

6:33 p.m. - Missouri scored another run on an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of Michael Liberto after a Brodie Greene error.

The Aggies now have just as many errors (3) as they have hits in this game.

6:18 p.m. - The Aggies are turning to closer Alex Wilson to begin the sixth inning. The hard-throwing righty began the season as a starter, and he certainly has the ability to finish the game.

6:17 p.m. - Gibson battled back by getting Joe Patterson to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. He then got Shofner to fly out to right field and escaped without any damage done.

6:13 p.m. - Texas A&M has its best opportunity of the day against Gibson. Luke Anders led off with a great at-bat, working a 3-2 walk. Then Colligan went the other way with a single, and the Aggies have two on with nobody out.

6:08 p.m. - Thebeau had to throw quite a few pitches, but he worked out of a jam in the fifth. The inning ended on a hard ground ball that hit him in the mid-section and ricocheted right to the second baseman, who tossed it to first to end the inning.

Through five, Gibson has allowed no runs on two hits, walking two and striking out seven. He has thrown 81 pitches, so the good news for A&M is that he likely won't be going the distance tonight.

5:51 p.m. - One noticeable thing about Gibson is that he is pitching backwards in this game. He appears to be throwing a lot more offspeed pitches than fastballs. That has allowed him to blow fastballs by guys late in the count for strikeouts, but it's definitely not normal for a starter. He's had pretty good command of his upper-70s, low-80s slider today. The scout section is nearly full.

5:40 p.m. - Thebeau isn't off to the best of starts. Kyle Mach led off the inning by crushing a double to left-center field, then first baseman Steve Gray deposited a two-run homer into the left field bleachers.

The ball looked like more of a routine fly ball off the bat, but Bricktown Ballpark is notorious for its left field bleacher home runs that carry out of the park.

5:36 p.m. - Kyle Thebeau is coming on to pitch for the Aggies. The starter, Ehlert, went three innings, giving up two runs on three hits. Thebeau has a 3.66 ERA in 46.2 innings this season. He got out to a slow start, but has pitched better of late.

5:35 p.m. - But Gibson got out of it by striking out Caleb Shofner. He now has five strikeouts while allowing just one hit in four innings.

5:32 p.m. - A bit of a two-out rally brewing for the Aggies. Kyle Colligan worked a walk and then Joe Patterson was hit by a pitch.

5:23 p.m. - Just like the first inning, Lollis and Folgia paired up to give the Tigers a run.

Lollis smoked a triple just past CF Kyle Colligan's glove in left-center, then Folgia hit another sacrifice fly to center, putting Mizzou up, 2-0.

When facing Gibson, every run is important. Earlier this season, the talented hurler pitched a complete game against Texas A&M, giving up two runs and striking out 16 batters.

5:15 p.m. - Gibson gets a pair of strikeouts and a weak groundout to end the top of the third. Tigers lead 1-0 through 2.5.

5:00 p.m. - Missouri got on top in the first inning after leadoff man Austin Holt walked, two-hole hitter Ryan Lollis doubled and Greg Folgia hit a sacrifice fly to center.

Kyle Gibson has been solid for Missouri thus far, allowing one hit and one walk in two scoreless innings.

4:32 p.m. - Just back from postgame interviews, and the Missouri Tigers are about to take the field. The pitching matchup will be Kyle Gibson for Mizzou against Clayton Ehlert for Texas A&M.

Game 2: Baylor 14 - Texas 9 - FINAL


4:56 p.m. - Entering Wednesday's game, the Baylor Bears had lost ten consecutive Big 12 contests, many of which had not been close. With a strong RPI ranking but a poor conference record, the Bears are right on the bubble for a NCAA Regional bid.

Wednesday's win over the Texas Longhorns could go a long way towards securing a spot in the tournament.

"We live to see another day I think," Smith said. "I think coming into this event, the things that are in our favor in terms of NCAA play is RPI and our record against the top 100. The big strike against us was the losses at the end of the year.

"You have to win some games. We needed to win, and this certainly is the kind of win that is pretty significant."

4:40 p.m. - The turning point in Wednesday afternoon's game between Texas and Baylor undoubtedly came in the top of the sixth inning, when Texas lifted starting pitcher Cole Green after just 66 pitches. The Longhorns went to bullpen aces Austin Dicharry and Austin Wood, but they gave up eight runs in the frame, helping propel the Bears to a comeback victory.

"If you blame anybody, that's not Skip," said head coach Augie Garrido on the decision to go to the bullpen. "That's on me. I thought that was where the momentum was going to change, if it was going to change. That was my decision, and we played what I think are our aces and best cards."

Garrido went on to say that they wanted Green to be available for a possible championship game appearance on Sunday afternoon.

"You pitch that pitcher there because he has the ability to recover and pitch in the championship game," Garrido said. "I was hoping to end it on a good note for him so he was mentally and physically in good position to come back Sunday.

"I felt confident, and still feel confident, in who we brought in."

Baylor coach Steve Smith agrees, and he believes the Longhorns had plenty of reason to feel good about the bullpen.

"At the time that happened, they had a five run lead," Smith said. "Let's face it—they don't need to win this thing. They've got plenty of arms. They probably felt really good about Dicharry when they brought him in. I didn't question it.

"I didn't think they were doing us any favors," Smith continued. "As a matter of fact, when they started Green, they started the guy who had the highest opponent batting average on the whole staff. And it's .240."

3:48 p.m. - And the game is over. Volz allowed zero runs in the ninth inning. Baylor wins 14-9. Baylor is firmly on the bubble for a regional bid right now, and they're probably still on the wrong side of the bubble. But this is certainly a huge win for the Bears' regional chances.

3:36 p.m. - Dan Evatt just smacked his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot off lefty Andrew McKirahan. The only question was whether it would be fair or fall. The homer hit an advertisement above the bleachers, the only thing that kept it from leaving the park altogether.

3:32 p.m. - Volz gets out of the eighth without any damage done. He gave up a two-out single to Brandon Loy, but he got David Hernandez on strikes.

3:30 p.m. - Volz looks about the same as a reliever as he did starting, just with a bit more velocity. He was 86-88 mph in his start against Texas earlier in the year, and he has been 90-93 mph today. But his command has not been particularly good, and that is what has caused him problems this season. His slider is definitely a plus pitch when he commands it, but his slider command hasn't been great either.

3:17 p.m. - And Volz gets out of the seventh without any more damage done. Baylor has a 13-9 lead through seven full.

Kendal Carrillo will go back to the mound for the Longhorns.

3:16 p.m. - Brandon Belt just hit his seventh home run of the season, a two-run shot to the left field bleachers with two outs, cutting the Baylor lead to four.

3:11 p.m. - Lots of radar guns going up right now. Volz is projected to be a very high draft pick in two weeks, and Kyle Gibson—who could be a top 10 overall pick—is getting the start in today's third game. I'd estimate there are about 30-plus scouts in the stands right now, and probably at least a few scouting directors.

3:04 p.m. - Kendal Volz is about to take the mound for Baylor. As a reliever with Team USA last summer, Volz threw his fastball in the mid-90s and allowed zero earned runs in 14 innings.

3:02 p.m. - Kimmey got an infield single on a chopper to third, which scored one run. Torres' throw to first base went wild, allowing another run to score. Baylor now leads the Longhorns, 13-7. Still two outs in the top of the seventh.

2:58 p.m. - Lambert hit rocket towards third base, but Michael Torres was able to make the outstanding diving stop and he fired a strike to first to get the out, keeping the runners at second and third.

Kendal Carrillo is now pitching for the Longhorns.

2:54 p.m. - Here come the Bears once again. Workman struck out the first batter of the inning, but a single and a double has runners on second and third with just one out.

Keith Shinaberry is now on the mound for the 'Horns. He has not pitched since the Nebraska series, which took place during the second week of April.

2:50 p.m. - Fritsch strikes out the side in the bottom of the sixth, giving him nine in just 4.2 innings. Things are looking bleak for the Longhorns. Right-hander Kendal Volz has been moved to the bullpen for the tournament, and he's warming in the bullpen now. Volz was phenomenal while pitching out of the bullpen for Team USA last summer.

2:40 p.m. - The inning mercifully ends for the Longhorns, but not after Shaver Hansen doubled home two more runs, giving the Bears an 11-7 lead. The eight-run inning for Baylor was the largest inning against the Texas pitching staff all season.

At this point, the decision to lift Green after just five innings appears questionable.

2:35 p.m. - Austin Wood's day is also over. He recorded just one out. Brandon Workman is coming in to pitch for the Longhorns.

2:33 p.m. - Baylor has taken the lead, as the Texas bullpen is falling apart. Wood came in and walked Lambert (credited to Dicharry because of the 2-2 count), gave up a sac fly to pinch-hitter Brooks Kimmey, walked Hainsfurther, and gave up a two-RBI double to Dustin Dickerson. He also just gave up an RBI single to Campbell, giving Baylor a 9-7 lead.

Austin Dicharry ended up allowing five earned runs in one-third of an inning.

Baylor leads 9-7 with men on the corners and two outs in the sixth.

2:23 p.m. - Dicharry gave up an RBI single to Ben Booker, making it a 7-4 game. Then, with a 2-2 count on Don Lambert, pitching coach Skip Johnson went out and signaled for senior closer Austin Wood. Baylor has the bases loaded with one out.

2:16 p.m. - Baylor is making a comeback attempt. Dicharry has loaded the bases on an HBP, a double and a walk with nobody out. Brandon Workman and Ausin Wood are warming in the Texas bullpen.

2:11 p.m. - Austin Dicharry is now in to pitch for Texas. Green went five innings, allowing three runs on four hits, walking one and striking out seven. He threw just 66 pitches, so he'll likely be available for Sunday's championship game if they play and need him.

2:04 p.m. - Green appears to be hitting his stride. The rust shouldn't be a surprise, since he had not pitched in 11 days, but his command has gotten better. The right-hander struck out two more batters in the fifth, and he has retired seven of the last eight hitter's he has faced.

1:58 p.m. - A scoreless fourth inning on both sides, but Fritsch's struggles continued. He allowed a single, a walk, and a wild pitch to put two runners in scoring position, but Texas didn't capitalize. The Longhorns have now left nine runners on base through four innings.

1:45 p.m. - Texas plated two more runs against Fritsch in the bottom of the third. Connor Rowe led off with a triple and scored on a Michael Torres sacrifice fly. Then Travis Tucker reached on catcher's interference, and he was promptly doubled home by Brandon Belt.

Fritsch hit 96 mph a number of times in that inning, and he got Rupp to strike out on a filthy 79 mph slider, but he hasn't been able to locate consistently, and he's getting hit hard because of it.

Also, the run rule is in effect for all games [except the championship, I believe] after seven innings.

1:33 p.m. - Joey Hainsfurther led off the top of the third with a triple, and he scored on a groundout, making it 5-3. After Campbell walked, it looked like Baylor was getting another rally going, but he was caught stealing and Shaver Hansen struck out to end the threat.

Green isn't on top of his game today, as he is a bit wild and he's getting hit fairly hard, but he is getting by without too much damage.

1:24 p.m. - Fritsch isn't having any problems with velocity—his fastball was between 94 and 95 mph in the inning. But he did give up a two-run single to Keyes, giving the Texas right fielder three RBI in two at-bats. Texas leads 5-2 through two frames.

Texas has left the bases loaded in both innings, but they do have five runs.

1:16 p.m. - Logan Verrett is done after just 46 pitches and 1.1 innings. After giving up three runs in the first, he has loaded the bases with just one out in the second. Craig Fritsch is now in the game. He's 2-5 with a 6.02 ERA in 43.1 innings.

1:05 p.m. - Longhorns starter Cole Green comes back strong in the top of the second, striking out the side.

12:57 p.m. - Texas leaves the bases loaded in the top of the first, but not after a Cameron Rupp groundout tied the game and then a Kevin Keyes RBI single put Texas up 3-2 after one full inning.

Velocity isn't the problem for Verrett, who is throwing 91-94 mph, but he didn't get much help from his defense in the first and he wasn't throwing his slider for strikes.

12:48 p.m. - Texas answers on some questionable judgment from the Baylor defense. Kevin Lusson hit a dribbler to first base, and Dan Evatt chose to toss the ball home, but it wasn't close. Everyone was safe, and after a Verrett wild pitch, Texas now has runners on 2nd and 3rd with just one out.

12:42 p.m. - Cole Green is on the mound for the 'Horns versus Baylor hurler Logan Verrett. A Corpus Christi native, Verrett was one of the top freshman pitchers in the country for much of the season. But he struggled down the stretch and lost his job in the weekend rotation. This is his first start in a few weeks, and it'll be interesting to see how he fares. Baylor has already given up a 2-0 lead before he has taken the hill.

12:41 p.m. - Game two has begun, the top-seeded Texas Longhorns against the eight-seed Baylor Bears. The scoring has already started, with Baylor right fielder Aaron Miller hammering a two-run homer on the berm in right-center field.

Game 1: Kansas 4 - Kansas State 5


12:32 p.m. - The Wildcats are in great position, as they opened the 2009 Big 12 Tournament with a victory over the Kansas Jayhawks. The best part? KSU didn't use A.J. Morris, who was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year earlier this week.

"We weren't going to short rest A.J.," said K-State coach Brad Hill, whose ace threw a 127-pitch complete game last Friday. "At the same time, Lance [Hoge] was at 55 pitches on Saturday."

The Wildcats got a major boost from junior reliever Ryan Daniel, who fanned five in 2.2 scoreless innings. Daniel pitched against the Jayhawks last Saturday and allowed two runs in two frames.

Daniel says that outing, and the 17-7 run-rule loss to KSU on Sunday, was in the back of his mind today.

"As a pitcher, you can see that they can hit," he said. "It kind of stuck in the back of my mind and just determined me to hit every spot and lock in. They're a great hitting ballclub and they can make you pay for your mistakes."

12:01 p.m. - Allen continued his dominance of the KU hitters to close it out in the ninth, getting two strikeouts and a popout to shortstop to end it.

K-State wins, 5-4. Kansas finishes with 15 hits and 12 runners left on base.

11:49 a.m. - An ill-advised dive in center may prove to be the difference in the game. With two outs and a man on first, K-State catcher Rob Vaughn hit a sinking liner into CF. Jason Brunansky dove and missed the ball by inches, and it scooted past him, allowing Jordan Cruz to score. K-State takes a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth.

11:40 a.m. - Nothing doing for Kansas in the top of the eighth. Some excellent pitching by K-State reliever James Allen to record the game's first 1-2-3 inning since the bottom of the fifth.

11:33 a.m. - Blankenship got a strikeout of Nick Martini and a groundout by Justin Bloxom to limit the damage. We've got a 4-4 tie through seven innings.

11:31 a.m. - Defense appears to be the undoing for the Jayhawks right now. A couple of errors and a Carter Jurica single has tied the game at four with just one out in the bottom of the seventh. K-State still has men on first and second.

11:22 a.m. - James Allen came in the game as KSU's sixth pitcher of the game. He struck out Preston Land for the second out, but gave up a two-run single to James Stanfield, giving the Jayhawks a 4-3 lead at the seventh-inning stretch. KU has 14 hits in the game, and it was only a matter of time before they got the big hit.

11:12 a.m. - Thompson followed with a single to load the bases with nobody out. Then left fielder Casey Lytle grounded a ball back to pitcher Ryan Daniel. It was a perfect opportunity for a 1-2-3 double play, but Daniel threw the ball high and they were only able to get the out at third. Still 3-2 with the bases loaded and one out.

11:09 a.m. - KU catcher Buck Afenir, who is hitting about .360 on the season, just came through with an RBI single to make it 3-2 in the top of the seventh. There is still nobody out, and Kansas has runners on first and second for All-Big 12 third baseman Tony Thompson, who leads the league with 74 runs batted in.

10:58 a.m. - Murray struggled, giving up a double and a walk after the last update. It's now 3-1 KSU and Travis Blankenship is on to pitch for the Jayhawks. He struck out Jordan Cruz to end the threat. 3-1 after six.

10:50 a.m. - Kansas State has rallied back against Hall, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Colton Murray is now in the game for KU with a man on second and two outs. KSU has a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth.

10:10 a.m. - Our first pitching change of the day. Evan Marshall coming in for the Wildcats with men on first and second and one out in the top of the fifth.

10:03 a.m. - KU leadoff hitter David Narodowski leads off the top of the fifth with his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot into the left field bleachers. That's KU's seventh hit in four-plus innings, but just their first run. 1-0 Jayhawks.

9:56 a.m. - Hoge responds by getting out of a big jam of his own in the top of the fourth. The Jayhawks began the inning with a leadoff double from Tony Thompson and a single by Casey Lytle, but a shallow flyout, a strikeout, and a routine ground ball ended the frame. Still scoreless through 3.5 innings.

9:45 a.m. - Hall got out of his first real jam in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Adam Muenster singled and stole both second and third base, but the southpaw was able to get Carter Jurica on a swinging strikeout. Still scoreless through three innings.

9:25 a.m. - As you would expect for a 9:00 a.m. contest between the two Kansas clubs, there are about as many scouts in the stands as fans thus far. Looks like there are a good 25-30 scouts in attendance for this game. You can bet they'll be around for the third game, when (presumably) A&M's Brooks Raley goes up against Missouri's Kyle Gibson.

Also, if you want to watch these games, they are being streamed for free at Big12Sports.com.

9:21 a.m. - Just got situated in the press box. We've got Kansas and Kansas State going at it in game one. Left-hander Lance Hoge is on the mound for K-State, which is interesting since it means they're saving ace A.J. Morris for tomorrow. Another southpaw, Shaeffer Hall, is going for the Jayhawks. The score is currently knotted at zero in the bottom of the second, but Kansas is getting some good hacks against Hoge.


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