2023 College Baseball Showdown

College Baseball Showdown Takeaways: Mizzou Baseball Shows SEC Strength

College Baseball Showdown Takeaways: Mizzou Baseball Shows SEC Strength

Missouri Baseball and TCU Baseball played the best game of the 2023 College Baseball Showdown Sunday and were the teams of the weekend at Globe Life Field.

Feb 20, 2023 by Joe Harrington
Replay: Missouri Vs. TCU

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The third College Baseball Showdown is in the books as three teams from the Big 12 faced three teams from the SEC during College Baseball’s Opening Day weekend.

While the SEC entered the season as the top conference, the Big 12, and, well TCU, held its own against the SEC and its three teams, Arkansas, Missouri and Vanderbilt.

Missouri, though, may have shown just how deep the conference will be in 2023. After finishing second-to-last in 2022, the Tigers retooled the roster and went a surprising 2-1 over the weekend.

Overall, the SEC went 6-3 with each team picking up two wins.

But the Big 12 got their knocks in. 

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TCU bashed Arkansas en route to a 2-1 showing. Oklahoma State nearly rallied back from a huge deficit on Saturday against Vanderbilt. While Texas went 0-3 at the College Baseball Showdown, the only team to do so, but, the Longhorns nearly won the first two games of the weekend. 

Here are six takeaways from the 2023 College Baseball Showdown.

Mizzou Baseball Won The Weekend At The 2023 College Baseball Showdown

No team had a better weekend than Missouri, and few could say they had a better weekend in college baseball.

The Tigers, the clear sixth-best team in the event according to polls, 2022 record and overall program resume, not only beat both Texas and TCU in the best games of the three-day slate, they also were impressive in their only loss of the weekend. 

Missouri left-hander Tony Neubeck struck out nine Oklahoma State batters in Game 1.

In Game 2 against Texas, Arkansas transfer Dylan Leach, with the hogs being called during the at-bat, hit the walk-off double. 

And then against TCU, who up to that point had been the clear best team of the event, rallied from 6-2 to win 9-8 in the final game of the event. Ty Wilmsmeyer, a senior who started every game for Missouri in 2022, had four hits against TCU. 

Missouri was picked to finish last in the SEC East. The Tigers just beat No. 15 TCU and, according to some polls, a ranked Texas team. 

TCU Baseball Looks College World Series Ready

The College World Series is months away, but the TCU Horned Frogs made Arlington look like Omaha in their first two games. 

The Horned Frogs beat Vanderbilt 11-4 on the first day of the College Baseball Showdown, then scored a whopping 18 runs in an 18-6 win over Arkansas, who was the highest-ranked team in Arlington. 

Brayden Taylor started the season considered one of the best prospects in college baseball and was the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year. He looked the part in Arlington. Taylor had four hits against Arkansas, including a double, and against Vanderbilt he hit his first home run. He added another RBI against Missouri. 

TCU and Oklahoma State entered the season as the Big 12 frontrunners, but it was TCU who looked the part against Vanderbilt and Arkansas’ top pitchers. 

Highlights: Arkansas Vs. TCU

Arkansas Baseball Had A Saturday Night To Forget, But Hagen Smith Looked Dominant 

Arkansas was ranked as high as No. 4 in some polls, but the Razorbacks got all they could handle against Texas on Friday and then were trounced on Saturday night.

On Sunday, Hogs looked like the No. 1 team in the country, with Jared Wegner flirting with the cycle for the second-straight game as the Arkansas Razorbacks blasted Oklahoma State 18-1. The game lasted just seven innings.

Wegner’s weekend was eye-opening, but he was All-BIG East in 2022. The biggest development may have been the start by Hagen Smith.

Smith, one of Arkansas’ top returning pitchers who made his debut as the Friday starter, walked just two Texas batters and struck out eight while allowing one hit and no runs against the Longhorns in 5.0 innings.  

Vanderbilt Baseball's Magic Number Of 11 

The Commodores, the second-highest ranked team at the College Baseball Showdown, lost 11-4 to start the season against TCU but bounced back on Saturday. 

However, Saturday’s win didn’t have the best taste. Vanderbilt led 9-1 at one point and 11-2 in the fourth inning. Oklahoma State scored six runs in the eighth inning to nearly rally and beat Vanderbilt before losing 11-9. After the game, Tim Corbin delayed a postgame interview while he chatted with his team. 

The chat helped. 

Vanderbilt led Texas by nearly double digit runs before fans had time to settle in for Sunday’s game against Texas, scoring eight runs in the second inning. 

After scoring 11 runs the night before and allowing 11 runs on Friday, Vanderbilt had 11 hits on Sunday in a 12-2 win over Texas. 

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The Cowboys were ranked as high as No. 12 in some polls, but they didn’t look like it. 

Especially against lefties. 

Missouri’s Neubeck struck out nine Cowboys. On Saturday, Vanderbilt’s big lefty Hunter Owen added six more strikeouts. 

OSU did figure out lefties at one point Saturday, when they tagged Ryan Ginter with five hits and five runs. 

But on Sunday, another southpaw, this time Hunter Hollan for Arkansas, added five more strike outs in the 18-1 Arkansas win. 

While it may seem that pitching is the issue for OSU, given the Cowboys allowed 34 runs in three days, the offensive showing is alarming given that the Cowboys were expected to have one of the best lineups in college baseball. 

If there’s a team that can learn from Arlington the most and reach the College World Series, it’s probably OSU. 

And then there’s Texas Baseball. 

The Longhorns nearly pulled off the upset against Arkansas with their ace Lucas Gordon dealing on Friday (5.0 innings, 6 Ks, 2 hits, 0 ER), but a rough seventh inning put Texas down 3-0. The Longhorns scored two runs in the next frame, but Arkansas’ pitching, the strength of the team entering the season, was too much. 

Texas found itself in a big hole against Missouri on Saturday but tied the game at 5-5 in the seventh, however they ultimately couldn’t overcome two errors and 14 Missouri hits.

The errors were a new problem for a team that was one of the best fielding clubs of 2022. The Longhorns committed four errors in one inning against Vanderbilt on Sunday and ended up with five for the game. 

Eight errors on the weekend won’t cut it for the Longhorns. 

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With its best starters on the mound, TCU was the most dominant team of the weekend. 

No team went 3-0 at the College Baseball Showdown, but TCU’s only loss came in the 10th inning late on Sunday night. They handed Vanderbilt an 11-4 loss and routed Arkansas 18-6.

Brayden Taylor was terrific all weekend, which was to be expected. 

Highlights: TCU Vs. Vanderbilt

College Baseball Showdown Scores

College Baseball Showdown Day 1: 

  • Oklahoma State 5, Missouri 3
  • TCU 11, Vanderbilt 4
  • Arkansas 3, Texas 2

College Baseball Showdown Day 2: 

  • Vanderbilt 11, Oklahoma State 9
  • Missouri 6, Texas 5
  • TCU 18, Arkansas 6

College Baseball Showdown Day 3:

  • Vanderbilt 12, Texas 2
  • Arkansas 18, Oklahoma State 1
  • Missouri 9, TCU 8

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