The Kansas State Wildcats, having earned their first baseball championship in Big 12 conference history, will enjoy the fruits of their labors this week in assuming the top seed of the league tournament this Wednesday through Saturday. They will be paired with the #8 Texas Tech Red Raiders in the first game of the tournament.
The Wildcats (39-16, 16-8) finished well ahead of second seed Oklahoma State (13-10) while finishing first in the league and fourth in the nation in batting average. They will face a Texas Tech team they swept at home during the regular season, winning 6-5, 15-2, and 12-2 (8 innings). Also in K-State’s division of the bracket are #4 Oklahoma and #5 Baylor.
On the other side of the bracket, #2 Oklahoma State faces #7 TCU and #3 West Virginia will take on #6 Kansas. The winner of each bracket will engage in a best of three playoff, with the league champion to be crowned on Sunday, May 26. The tournament champion will win an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, although with K-State’s overall record and top 25 national ranking, the Wildcats should be assured a bid regardless of the tournament’s outcome.
The Wildcat baseball team made history for several reasons this year, not the least of which being it took home a conference crown for the first time since 1933. They also helped K-State take home a triple crown in securing the regular season football, basketball, and football championships (the only other team to do this in Big 12 history was Texas).
Following conference realignment last year the Big 12 moved to an eight team format, and the Texas Longhorns were the odd man out this year. Texas finished the season 7-17 and ninth in league play, good enough for last in the league and outside the tournament. Iowa State does not field a college baseball squad.