NORMAN — The start of the Big 12 Conference baseball tournament has been delayed until Thursday and the format has been changed to pool play.
The conference made the decision Tuesday in light of the ongoing relief efforts from the tornado that swept through Moore Monday afternoon.
“We debated canceling the tournament in deference to the devastating tragedy in Moore, but were encouraged by Oklahoma City leaders and the Oklahoma City All-Sports Association to go forward," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. "We believe the tournament can serve as a testament to the strong Oklahoma spirit and to the resiliency of the Oklahoma people."
Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett supported the Big 12’s decision.
"We are very appreciative of the consideration by the participating teams and the Big 12 Conference," Cornett said in statement. "We encouraged and supported the decision to play the championship in a format comfortable to the Big 12."
The opening games remain the same as previously scheduled, only pushed back to Thursday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.
Pool one features No. 1 seed Kansas State, No. 4 seed Oklahoma, No. 5 seed Baylor and No. 8 seed Texas Tech.
OU will face the Bears at 9 a.m. Thursday. The Wildcats and Red Raiders will play at 12:30 p.m.
The Sooners face the Red Raiders at 9 a.m. Friday. Kansas State and Baylor will meet at 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, the Bears and Red Raiders meet at 9 a.m. The Sooners and Wildcats will follow at 12:30 p.m.
The winner of pool one will face the winner of pool two in Sunday’s 1 p.m. championship game. The winner of each pool will be the team with the best record in pool play. Tiebreakers will be decided by head-to-head play.
Second-seeded Oklahoma State, third-seeded West Virginia, sixth-seeded Kansas and seventh-seeded TCU are in pool two.
The Mountaineers face the Jayhawks at 4 p.m. Thursday. The Cowboys and Horned Frogs wrap up Thursday’s action at 7:30 p.m.
TCU and West Virginia meet at 4 p.m. Friday, followed by OSU and Kansas at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the Cowboys face West Virginia at 4 p.m., and the Jayhawks and Horned Frogs wrap up pool play at 7:30 p.m.