AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two Texas Longhorns pitchers were named to the Big 12 Conference preseason all-conference baseball team Wednesday.
Voted on by conference coaches who couldn’t vote for their own players, left-handed pitcher Lucas Gordon and right-handed pitcher Tanner Witt were tabbed as selections.
MORE THAN THE SCORE: Stay up to date on sports stories like these, and sign up for our More than the Score sports newsletter at kxan.com/newsletters
Witt, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow, was terrific when he was able to throw last season. He made two starts, winning both, and had a 1.64 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 11 innings before needing season-ending surgery. The redshirt sophomore was great out of the Longhorns bullpen in his freshman year, appearing in 28 games while compiling 73 strikeouts in 56 innings. He recorded five wins, five saves and was a Freshman All-American.
Gordon moved into the weekend rotation after Witt went down with his injury and turned into one of their most dependable arms on the mound. He pitched 85.2 innings with 77 strikeouts and 3.05 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .224 batting average. He made eight starts in Big 12 play with a 5-0 record and 3.02 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 44.2 innings.
Oklahoma State transfer pitcher Juaron Watts-Brown was named the league’s preseason pitcher of the year and newcomer of the year. Watts-Brown, who played at Long Beach State last year, was a Freshman All-American with a 3.68 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 73.1 innings. He also threw a no-hitter against UC-Riverside on May 8 last season.
TCU infielder Brayden Taylor was tabbed as the preseason player of the year after hitting .314 with 13 home runs and 50 RBIs last year. He reached base safely in 52 of the Horned Frogs’ 59 games last year.
TCU’s Anthony Silva was named the preseason freshman of the year.
The preseason poll voted on by conference coaches will be released Thursday.