Willis alum picks up second Big 12 pitching award of season

Texas Tech baseball player Brandon Birdsell.

Texas Tech baseball player Brandon Birdsell.

Brandon Brieger / Texas Tech Athletics

For the second time this season, Willis alum Brandon Birdsell was selected the top pitcher in the Big 12.

On Monday, Birdsell was selected as the conference’s top pitcher — alongside Oklahoma State’s Justin Campbell — after a solid outing against West Virginia.

The Texas Tech junior righthander pitched eight innings for a 12-2 victory over the Mountaineers in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday.

Both runs allowed were unearned for Birdsell as he struck out nine and allowed four hits. It was the longest outing in his career at Texas Tech.

Birdsell pitched the second complete game of the season for the Red Raiders and that came shortly after teammate Andrew Morris went the distance in first game of the doubleheader against West Virginia.

After missing most of last season due to injury, Birdsell has bounced back nicely with a 6-2 record. Birdsell has logged 54 innings with a Big 12-best 2.17 ERA. Opponents are batting .191 against him and his 82 strikeouts are second in the conference.

Birdsell, a 2018 graduate of Willis, also won Big 12 Pitcher of the Week back on March 14.


Josh Ekness (The Woodlands) went the first three innings for Lamar Tuesday night in a 4-1 win over Houston. Ekness struck out two and allowed a walk while not allowing a hit or a run. Ekness has made six starts and appeared in 10 games for the Cardinals. He has 12 earned runs in 161/3 innings.

John Spikerman (Lake Creek) has appeared in nine games with five starts for Oklahoma so far during his freshman season. The former Lion is batting .273 with a double and nine runs scored.

Devin Fontenot (The Woodlands) has logged 171/3 innings so far during his senior year at LSU. He has allowed just three earned runs in six appearances in the month of April. Fontenot has a 3.57 ERA with 21 strikeouts. He has a win and a save.


Western Kentucky senior Kenlie Barrett (The Woodlands) finished third on her team and 28th overall at the Conference USA Tournament last week in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Barrett shot a 245 (86-79-80) for the three-round tournament.

Remington Isaac (Montgomery) finished 43rd playing for Kansas State at the Big 12 Conference Tournament last week at Houston Oaks in Hockley. Isaac’s middle round of 78 was her best 18 holes of the tournament.


Tori Garza (New Caney) announced Tuesday that she has officially transferred to Tulane. The former standout for the Eagles and the Montgomery County Player of the Year in 2021 played at Oklahoma State this past season. Garza appeared in 12 games and played 49 minutes for a Cowgirls team that went 9-20 and made a coaching change at the end of the season. Garza scored 15 points and grabbed two rebounds.


Former Montgomery County Player of the Year Zion Childress (New Caney) announced on Twitter on Monday that he was entering the transfer portal. The top county player of 2019 spent two seasons on the secondary at Texas State. Childress had 71 tackles (41 total) with two forced fumbles and an interception last fall. Childress has already picked up offers from Missouri and Kansas.