There shouldn’t be too many secrets among the baseball teams gathered for the NCAA tournament’s Stillwater regional, which will start Friday.

Top-seeded Oklahoma State (42-16) and second-seeded Wichita State (44-15) both are longtime national powers and familiar foes that have developed a not-always-friendly rivalry during the last three decades. The Cowboys and Shockers have met 79 times, including 13 times in the postseason.

No. 3 seed Texas Christian (43-17) is no stranger to Wichita State, having been swept earlier this season in a three-game series against the Shockers. And although they haven’t met since 2004, TCU and Oklahoma State have played numerous common foes.


There shouldn’t be too many secrets among the baseball teams gathered for the NCAA tournament’s Stillwater regional, which will start Friday.

Top-seeded Oklahoma State (42-16) and second-seeded Wichita State (44-15) both are longtime national powers and familiar foes that have developed a not-always-friendly rivalry during the last three decades. The Cowboys and Shockers have met 79 times, including 13 times in the postseason.

No. 3 seed Texas Christian (43-17) is no stranger to Wichita State, having been swept earlier this season in a three-game series against the Shockers. And although they haven’t met since 2004, TCU and Oklahoma State have played numerous common foes.

About the only mystery is fourth-seeded Western Kentucky (32-25). The Hilltoppers won the Sun Belt Conference tournament title but have only played their first-round opponent, Oklahoma State, once, losing 6-3 in 1995.

Mountain West Conference champion TCU will play Wichita State in the regional opener, followed by the Western Kentucky-Oklahoma State game. The winner of the double-elimination regional will be determined either Sunday night or Monday.

The Stillwater regional winner will advance to a super regional to play the winner of a regional hosted by Florida State that also includes Florida, Tulane and Bucknell.

Oklahoma State is hosting an NCAA regional for the 10th time, but for the first time since 1997.

“It’s really fun to stay here and play in front of our own crowd and our own people,” sophomore pitcher Tyler Lyons said. “It’s good for us and our fans. We hope to use it to our advantage.”

Oklahoma State led the Big 12 Conference in team batting at .330 and topped the league in six other offensive categories, while the Cowboys’ team ERA of 3.80 was the league’s lowest.

Three different players — Rebel Ridling, Matt Hague and Jordy Mercer — have at least 51 RBIs. Ridling is tops on the team with 65 and has hit 18 home runs.

Plenty of Wichita State fans also figure to make the two-hour drive south to Stillwater for the regional. The Missouri Valley Conference champion Shockers are hitting .316 as a team, led by third baseman Conor Gillaspie, who is hitting .421 with 10 home runs and 77 RBIs.

The Shockers have won six straight games, outscoring their opponents by a combined 84-21 and hitting .437 as a team during that stretch. Gillaspie has had 18 RBIs during the winning streak, while teammate Andy Dirks has extended his hitting streak to 26 games.

TCU and Wichita State last met in March in Wichita, with the Shockers winning 5-1, 3-2 and 5-1. Wichita State is 7-1 all-time against the Horned Frogs.

TCU has won 14 of its last 15 games. The only loss during that stretch came in the Mountain West tournament to New Mexico, and TCU avenged it by beating the Lobos twice to win the title.

Clint Arnold leads the Horned Frogs with a .388 average, while Chris Ellington is hitting .335 with a team-high 52 RBIs. TCU’s top pitcher is Tyler Lockwood (7-1, 2.21). If he starts against Wichita State, he’ll likely face Rob Musgrave (10-1, 1.96).

Oklahoma State’s probable starter against Western Kentucky is left-hander Andrew Oliver (7-2, 2.20). He’ll face a lineup that includes Chad Cregar, who is hitting .353 with 20 home runs and 78 RBIs, numbers that caught the attention of Oklahoma State coach Frank Anderson.

“I don’t care where you’re playing, that’s a huge accomplishment,” Anderson said.

Western Kentucky’s likely first-day starter is Matt Ridings (10-2, 3.63). The Hilltoppers are making their third NCAA tournament appearance, compared to 36 for Oklahoma State, 26 for Wichita State (all under coach Gene Stephenson) and seven for TCU, including the last five years in a row.