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2014 Big 12 Baseball Season Review
July 24, 2014
• For the first time in league history, four Big 12 teams finished the regular season ranked in the top 10 of all four national polls. Texas earned its highest finish since the 2009 season with a No. 3 spot in three polls, while TCU finished fifth in all four. The Red Raiders ranked as high as eighth, while Oklahoma State checked in at No. 10 on all four lists – the highest final ranking for the Cowboys since 1999.
• The Big 12 has had three or more teams in the top 25 of the final rankings every year since 1997. This is the sixth time that four or more teams finished in the top 25 of each of the final national rankings. On the year, six of the league’s nine squads appeared in the national rankings over the course of the season.
• The Big 12 finished with the second-best conference RPI in the nation for the third time in league history (2007 & 2005). Six teams (67 percent) finished in the top 50 with four league teams in the top 20 for just the third time. Notable turnarounds from 2013 RPI: TCU 7th from 106th; Texas Tech 12th from 102nd; Texas 3rd from 74th; West Virginia 38th from 81st.
• Kansas, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech represented the Big 12 in the NCAA Championship field. The Cowboys and Horned Frogs served as regional hosts. The Big 12 has earned five or more NCAA berths in all but three years since the league’s inception in 1997. The Big 12’s five selections tied for the third-most by one conference.
• The Big 12 advanced 80 percent of its NCAA postseason teams to the Super Regional field and was represented in the CWS with one-third of its baseball-playing institutions. Sixty percent of its NCAA tournament teams advanced to Omaha (3-of-5).
• All four Super Regional teams served as hosts with the Big 12 comprising one-fourth of the field of 16. Since the format began in 1999, it marked just the second time that one conference has had four teams serve as Super Regional hosts in the same year. The ACC also had four teams in 2013.
• It was the first time in league history that the conference has sent four teams to the Super Regional field. The league had never had more than three teams in the same year with a trio appearing only in 2005 and 1999 - the first year of Super Regional play in the NCAA postseason.
• The Big 12 sent three teams to the College World Series field for just the second time in conference history (2005 - Baylor, Nebraska, Texas). It was the 12th time a conference has sent three or more teams to the CWS in the same year. The three teams combined for a 4-6 record at the event. It also marked the fifth time the league has sent multiple members to Omaha (1999, 2002, ‘05, ‘11) with a total of 18 CWS appearances all-time.

• The Big 12 was one of five conferences with more than two teams appearing in the NCAA Championship field of 64. Of those five conferences, the Big 12 was the only one that advanced more than 30 percent of its qualifiers to Super Regionals and was the only league that had more than two teams representing (Big 12 4 of 5 - 80%, ACC 2 of 7 - 29%, Big West 1 of 4 - 25%, SEC 2 of 10 - 20%, Pac-12 1 of 5 - 20%).
• Big 12 teams went 23-13 in NCAA postseason play this season. The league went 6-3 in Super Regional action – matching the most wins since the 2005 season (6-2). This year’s .765 (13-4) winning percentage in regional contests was the second-best mark all-time for the league, which went 8-2 (.800) in the opening round in 2013.
• The Big 12 has had at least three teams with 40 or more wins in each season since 1997 as Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech reached the 40-win mark this year. It is the first time four squads have finished with 40+ victories since the 2007 season.
• Oklahoma State, which won 16 consecutive Big Eight crowns before the Big 12’s first season in 1997, claimed the 2014 regular season title. It was the first Big 12 regular season title for the Cowboys, who won the conference’s postseason championship in 2004. This season, OSU won seven-straight Big 12 series and led the league in conference ERA. The Cowboys totaled 28 come-from-behind wins. OSU head coach Josh Holliday earned Big 12 Coach of the Year honors. Holliday is 89-37 over two seasons at OSU.
• TCU claimed the Big 12 postseason championship in Oklahoma City. It is the first Big 12 crown for the Horned Frogs in any sport since joining the league two seasons ago. The title helped the Frogs earn the No. 7 national seed in the NCAA postseason, their first national seed in program history. TCU’s 48 wins were the second-most in school history. TCU is one of just 10 programs nationally to reach the CWS at least twice in the last five seasons. After starting the season 15-12, TCU went 33-6 to finish the season, including winning 18 of 19 from April 1-May 10.
• Kansas ended the season with a nine-game winning streak in Big 12 games after three straight series sweeps. The Jayhawks recorded their highest finish in the Big 12 standings at third place and tying for the most conference wins in one season with a 15-9 record (2009). The nine-game streak is tied for the sixth longest in league history.
• TCU’s 2.22 ERA led the nation while Texas’ mark of 2.25 ranked fourth. The Big 12 was the only conference with multiple teams in the nation’s top 10. This is the third time a league squad has finished the season ranked first nationally in ERA (2010 – Texas and 2000 – Nebraska). The Horned Frogs ranked third in the nation in shutouts while Texas ranked fifth. TCU and UT are two of three schools to finish in the top 5 in ERA and shutouts.
• The Big 12 totaled 42 draft selections in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft with Kansas, TCU and West Virginia leading all teams with six picks each. In 18 years, the league has recorded 854 selections. TCU junior lefthander Brandon Finnegan was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the 17th overall pick, becoming the 37th Big 12 player to be drafted in the first round.
• With 13 Big 12 wins this season, Texas head coach Augie Garrido finished the season with 300 career conference wins and is the only coach in the Big 12 to reach the mark. Garrido, the winningest coach in college baseball history with 1,920 career victories, has a 769-368-2 (.675) record in 18 seasons at Texas.
• Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock was named the College Baseball Hall of Fame Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year as well as the ABCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year. In 2014, Tadlock guided TTU to its first NCAA Regional and Super Regional win en route to the program’s first appearance in the College World Series. The Red Raiders experienced the biggest turnaround in school history with 19 more victories than the previous season.
• Baylor head coach Steve Smith recorded win No. 700 this season while TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle captured win No. 500. Kansas head coach Ritch Price picked up his 1,000th win between all three levels he has coached as well as his 600th Division I win.
• The Horned Frog pitching staff combined for a Big 12 record 14 shutouts on the year, surpassing the previous single-season high of 13 set by Texas in 2011.
• UT’s Mark Payton set the Big 12 record for reached base with a streak of 101 games over the 2013-14 seasons. Payton reached base in 62 consecutive games this season, also the Big 12 single-season record, after finishing 2013 with a streak of 39 games.
• Nationally, Texas ranked in the top 10 in five statistical categories, including first in sacrifice bunts, second in double plays, fourth in ERA, fifth in shutouts and eighth in walks. Oklahoma State finished the season ranked second in walks, third in sac bunts and eighth in home runs, while Texas Tech ranked sixth nationally in doubles, double plays and fielding percentage.
• Individually, TCU’s Brandon Finnegan finished the season with the third-highest strikeout total nationally (134). The Big 12 has had a pitcher finish in the top 10 on the national leaderboard for strikeouts for seven straight seasons.

• Baylor’s Josh Michalec set the Big 12 single-season saves record with 21 on the season passing the previous record of 20 held by Oklahoma’s Jeff Bajenaru in 1999.
• K-State’s Ross Kivett and West Virginia’s Billy Fleming both hit for the cycle this season, marking the fifth time multiple players have hit for the cycle in the same season. Overall, 16 players have recorded a cycle in Big 12 history.
• Texas’ Dillon Peters and Morgan Cooper combined to throw the 15th no-hitter in league history on May 16, 2014, at Kansas State. It marked the first no-no in the Big 12 since the 2012 season and the first for Texas since 2009. It also was the fifth team no-hitter in league history.
• In the series finale vs. Texas, WVU batters did not strike out once against the Longhorns’ pitching staff. The last time UT did not strike out an opponent in a game was on May 3, 2008, vs. Baylor. The 2014 contest vs. WVU marked just the third time in the last 10 years that UT has not recorded a strikeout with April 23, 2006, vs. Nebraska being the other occasion.
• In a non-conference midweek Bedlam contest, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State played 18 innings and nearly six hours. In the Fort Worth Regional, TCU and Sam Houston State played 22 innings. It was the second-longest postseason game in NCAA history, three innings shy of matching the longest contest of 25 innings set in 2012 by Texas and Boston College.
• Oklahoma State’s Zach Fish became the second Cowboy to earn the Big 12 Player of the Year honor. Fish was among six Oklahoma State players to earn All-Big 12 First Team honors – a program record.
• TCU’s Preston Morrison was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. Morrison will return in 2015 for his senior season with a career ERA of 1.41 (third-best all time) and three complete games during two years in the conference. Morrison is the first player to lead the league in ERA for two straight seasons.
• On the Big 12 career charts, Ross Kivett finished his career in the top 10 for hits (10th) and stolen bases (5th). He is the only Wildcat on the Big 12 top 10 career hits chart. Mark Payton’s 19 career triples at Texas places him in second on the Big 12 career chart and his 148 walks are fifth all-time.
• Brendan McCurry’s 27 career saves ranks as the most in OSU program history and tied for ninth on the Big 12 career charts. His 19 saves this season were an Oklahoma State single-season record. McCurry, the NCBWA District VI Co-Player of the Year, was one of three finalists for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher of the Year honor and one of five finalists for the NCBWA’s Stopper of the Year.
• KU’s Frank Duncan finished his career with seven complete games and 360.1 innings pitched, which ranks eighth on the Big 12 career chart.
• West Virginia’s Bobby Boyd and Ryan McBroom led the league in multi-hit games and multi-RBI games, respectively. The Mountaineers topped the conference in batting average, while Boyd claimed the league’s batting title.
• Oklahoma State’s Brendan McCurry along with TCU’s Brandon Finnegan and Preston Morrison combined for 11 All-America selections as each student-athlete earned recognition on the ABCA, Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger and NCBWA teams. OSU’s Zach Fish was honored on three of the lists while TCU’s Riley Ferrell (NCBWA) and Texas’ Mark Payton (Baseball America) also garnered All-America honors. The Big 12 totaled 25 All-America selections across the various teams.
• TCU starting pitcher Tyler Alexander earned freshman All-America accolades from Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger and the NCBWA, while Oklahoma’s Sheldon Neuse claimed a pair of honors. Stephen Villines (Kansas), Dylan Dusek (Texas Tech) and Stephen Smith (Texas Tech) were also named freshman All-Americans.
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