OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma State and West Virginia became the first two teams to punch tickets to the 2019 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship semifinals.
In Game 7, No. 4 West Virginia picked up the first upset of the Championship with a 5-1 win over top-seeded Texas Tech. The second game featured the first shutout of the tournament, as No. 3 Oklahoma State upended No. 2 Baylor, 5-0.
For the first time in Championship history, the higher seeds won the first six games of the tournament - breaking the previous record of five in 2016.
Earlier on Thursday, No. 5-seed Kansas won 15-14 over K-State in 11 innings, while No. 6-seed TCU knocked off No. 7-seed Oklahoma, 15-3, in seven.
On Friday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, No. 1-seed Texas Tech plays No. 5 Kansas in a 3:15 p.m. CT elimination game. Following at 7 p.m. features No. 2-seed Baylor against No. 6 TCU.
Game 7: No. 4 West Virginia 5, No. 1 Texas Tech 1
No. 4-seed West Virginia outdueled No. 1 Texas Tech 5-1 Thursday evening behind Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Alek Manoah’s stellar outing in a premier pitching matchup in game seven of the 2019 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.
The junior Manoah was masterful, throwing eight innings and allowing just one run on four hits and one walk while striking out 10 batters for the Mountaineers. Texas Tech’s Caleb Killian was brilliant as well, going seven innings with nine strikeouts, giving up just two runs on two hits and walking one batter.
It was the Red Raiders who got on the board first thanks to a sacrifice fly by junior Brian Klein in the bottom of the third inning.
But West Virginia (36-18) responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, making it 2-1 Mountaineers after senior Darius Hill tripled in a run and later scored on a Marques Inman sac fly.
Texas Tech (37-16) threatened in the sixth and seventh innings, but WVU received two incredible diving catches by junior center fielder Brandon White that kept his side in front.
The Mountaineers pulled away in the top of the eighth after the Red Raiders went to the bullpen. Freshman Tevin Tucker drove in a run with a sacrifice fly mixed between a string of singles that saw White pick up an RBI for himself as well.
In the ninth, WVU tacked on an insurance run as senior Ivan Gonzalez doubled in a one to make it 5-1. Junior Sam Kessler finished it off for the Mountaineers with a clean bottom of the ninth to seal the victory.
Manoah (9-3) got the win, his league-leading ninth of the year, while Killian (8-3) was hit with the loss. This was the first time in the 2019 Championship that a lower seed has pulled the upset.
The Red Raiders will now face No. 5 Kansas in an elimination game Friday at 3:15 p.m. West Virginia improved to 2-0 and will await the winner of the Texas Tech-Kansas matchup for a Saturday morning contest at 9 a.m. CT.
Game 8: No. 3 Oklahoma State 5, No. 2 Baylor 0
No. 3-seed Oklahoma State shutout No. 2-seed Baylor with a 5-0 win in the final game of day two’s action at the 2019 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship behind a gem from junior Jensen Elliott.
Elliott went six scoreless innings and allowed just two hits with four strikeouts, shutting down the Bears offense before turning the ball over to junior Peyton Battenfield, who worked a clean three innings of relief, notching six strikeouts and earning a save, his second of the season.
The Cowboys (34-17) struck first in the top of the fourth inning as junior Trevor Boone singled in a pair of runs. OSU would add another three runs in the sixth, two coming off the bat of senior Colin Simpson who blasted a home run to dead center. The third run came via an RBI knock by junior Carson McCusker and the Cowboys never looked back.
Baylor (34-16) received a solid outing from sophomore Jimmy Winston who set a career high with seven strikeouts. He allowed five runs, four of which were earned, on six hits in 5.1 innings. Relievers Daniel Caruso and Tyler Thomas were also impressive, recording a combined eight strikeouts in 3.2 scoreless innings of work.
But the Bears offense struggled to find a rhythm, tallying just three hits on the night.
Elliott (9-3) notched the win, tying West Virginia’s Alek Manoah for the conference lead with nine, while Winston (5-2) was tabbed for the loss.
The Bears will return to action on Friday to face No. 6 TCU at 7 p.m. in an elimination game, while the Cowboys will await the winner for a Saturday tilt at 12:30 p.m. CT.