For much of the Big 12 Conference’s 25 years of existence, Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City has been the backdrop for the league’s baseball tournament.
But when TCU defeated Oklahoma State in Sunday’s championship game, the stadium’s long run as tournament host came to an end, at least for the foreseeable future.
Next spring, the Big 12 will begin hosting its baseball tournament at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, giving student-athletes an opportunity to compete in Major League Baseball’s newest venue. But WVU head coach Randy Mazey admitted Friday that he has always had a soft spot for Oklahoma City.
“Every time we come here, we usually play pretty well,” Mazey said. “We’re super competitive. Just kind of like a golfer who sometimes shoots a better round on his favorite course.”
Since joining the Big 12 in 2013, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark has been a home away from home for Mazey and the Mountaineers. The Big 12 Championship has been determined there every spring, with the exception of 2015 when it was held in Tulsa and 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancelation of all competition in college baseball.
The Mountaineers reached the Big 12 semifinals four times in a row from 2016-19, playing in the championship game twice in that span. They also took down top seed Texas last week in the second round as an 8-seed, marking one of the biggest victories in program history.
There’s just something about the venue and the tournament, Mazey said, that consistently brings out the best in his Mountaineers.
“This has been a good field to us, a good place for us to play,” Mazey said. “I think we always play with confidence here.”
Since 1997, the Big 12 has conducted its baseball tournament in Oklahoma City 21 times. The tournament was played in Arlington in 2002 and 2004 and in Tulsa in 2015.
West Virginia was eliminated from the Big 12 Championship Friday, falling to Oklahoma State and Texas in successive games and ending its streak of consecutive appearances in the semifinals.
The Horned Frogs defeated the Cowboys 10-7 in Sunday’s championship game. Before first pitch, the Big 12 announced that the game had sold out.