LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 8 Texas Tech baseball team secured the top seed and will square off with Kansas State in the upcoming Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City.
The Red Raiders (36-15, 16-8) will take on the Wildcats (25-31, 8-16) on Wednesday, May 22, at 12:30 p.m., in the second game of the tournament at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
It’s the third time in four years the Red Raiders have earned the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. Tech did it in back-to-back years in 2016-17, putting together a 16-8 conference record in 2017 and a 19-5 conference mark in 2016. On Saturday, the Red Raiders clinched the seventh overall championship in program history with an 8-4 victory over TCU on senior day in front of a sold out Rip Griffin Park.
Tech wrapped up conference play at 16-8, winning 10 of its last 11 league contests. The Red Raiders won six of its eight Big 12 series, including four consecutively to capture the title. Tech posted sweeps of No. 16 Oklahoma State at home and of Oklahoma on the road, respectively. It’s the first time since 2009-11 a Big 12 team has won three regular season crowns within four years.
In their prior meeting earlier this season, Tech took 2-of-3 against K-State in Manhattan. Rainy conditions Friday forced the teams into a doubleheader Saturday that Tech swept by scores of 11-4 and 4-3. The Wildcats salvaged the finale on Sunday behind three runs in the seventh to hand Tech a 5-4 loss.
Wednesday will be the fifth time the two teams have met at the conference tournament, splitting the first four matchups 2-2. The last meeting came in 2016 as Tech opened their stay in OKC with an 8-5 win.
Tech has only won the tournament title once, coming in 1998. Tech defeated No. 18 Oklahoma (5-1) and No. 16 Baylor (11-4) in the first two rounds, before falling to No. 11 Texas A&M (11-7). The Red Raiders followed up by eliminating Oklahoma, 4-3, then took down the Aggies, 14-7, in the championship game.