Baseball

Preview and Series Thread: Kansas State vs. Texas Tech

The Red Raiders look to improve on their 5-1 conference record as they host Kansas State.

Series Details:

Dates: Friday, April 1st – Sunday, April 3rd
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (17-8, 5-1)
Bad Guys: Kansas State Wildcats (12-14, 0-3)
Location: Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park | Lubbock, Texas
Game Notes: Preview | PDF
TV/Stream: Friday – FOX Sports Southwest Plus | Saturday-Sunday – TexasTech.TV
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates

UPDATE: Friday’s game was postponed and the teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday. Game times and dates adjusted.

I’m quite frankly surprised at how close Texas Tech and Kansas State’s stats mirror each other. They’re pretty darn close on most statistical categories, with Tech being slightly better in most. Kansas State is +23 in run differential, while Texas Tech is +59 and that’s probably the biggest difference between the two teams. The thing to keep in mind is look at Kansas State’s strikeout numbers. 8.42 strikeouts per 9 innings is really good and that means that the Texas Tech pitchers are going to need to be patient, especially on Friday night where MaVorhis has 41 strikeouts to just 5 walks on the year. That’s flipping fantastic. The Wildcats have played one of the better teams in the conference in Oklahoma State and lost all three games last week, while Texas Tech swept Oklahoma last weekend and won two of three from Baylor.

LAJ’s Krista Pirtle previews the series and talked with head coach Tim Tadlock, who said that the Wildcats can prove to be a tough out:

“They’ve got a nice left-handed arm that goes on Saturday,” Tadlock said. “The guy on Friday, he’s been really tough. He was really tough on us here two years ago. Their pieces are there. They’ve got a nice bullpen. They’ve always played hard. They play the game the right way. There’s never been any easy ones against them.”

Stats

TEXAS TECH
KANSAS STATE
Avg .291 .287
OBP .399 .386
SLG .424 .390
ERA 4.00 4.91
OAvg .262 .264
SO/9 7.62 8.42
BB/9 3.67 3.74
FLD% .967 .966

Probable Starters:

Game 1: Saturday, April 2nd @ 1:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: RHP Davis Martin (3-0, 1.69)
Kansas State Starting Pitcher: RHP Levi MaVorhis (3-1, 2.67)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 10, Kansas State 3 (Recap | Box Score)

Lots of things went right here, including Texas Tech scoring 7 runs in the 2nd inning, an inning that included 7 hits, a walk and an error. Starter Davis Martin moved to 4-0 on the year, going 6 innings and allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, walking 1 and striking out 4, while Ryan Shetter earned his first save of the year for pitching the final 3 frames, allowing 6 hits and a run. Leadoff hitter Stephen Smith was 2-4 with 5 RBI and had Texas Tech’s lone home run on the day in the 6th inning. Michael Davis was 2-4, while freshman shortstop Trey Ochoa was 1-4 with 2 RBI and Tyler Floyd was also 2-4 on the day with an RBI. Offensively, Texas Tech scored 10 runs, but this game came down to Texas Tech knocking around the Kansas State starter in the 2nd. It was hit after hit after hit and Texas Tech took advantage of opportunity after opportunity.


Game 2: Saturday, April 2nd @ 5:00 pm (or 45 minutes after game 1)
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: LHP Steven Gingery (2-1, 3.38)
Kansas State Starting Pitcher: LHP Parker Rigler (2-4, 4.11)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 10, Kansas State 4 (Recap | Box Score)

This wasn’t one big inning, but rather Texas Tech scored runs in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th innings, led by Orlando Garcia who was 3-5 on the day including 2 home runs (he has 4 on the year) and Eric Gutierrez’s 4th home run on the day behind a 3-3 peformance that saw him knock in 4 RBI. Steven Gingery moved to 3-1 on the year behind 6 solid innings where he gave up only 4 hits, 1 run, walking 4 and striking out 3. Hayden Howard pitched the final 3 frames again, earning his second save, allowing 3 hits, 3 runs, walking 1 and striking out 1.

The Garcia home runs were really terrific. Long arms and just getting all of that ball both times, hitting it over the left field fence.


Game 3: Sunday, April 3rd @ 12:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: RHP Ty Harpenau (0-0, 6.75)
Kansas State Starting Pitcher: TBA
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 6, Kansas State 5 (Recap | Box Score)

A much closer game than the first two affiars, but Texas Tech got the win and the series sweep, the second Big 12 series sweep in a row as Texas Tech swept Oklahoma last week. Ty Harpenau got the start, going 4 innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 run, walking 4 and striking out 2. Those walks were problematic and a problem for the staff all day. Parker Mushinski pitched 0.2 innings, allowing a hit and 3 runs, all earned, while walking 2. That’s not a good stat line. Robert Dugger settled things down, pitching 3.2 innings, allowing 4 runs, 1 run, walking 1 and striking out 3. Ryan Moseley earned the save for pitching the final 0.2 inning.

Stepehn Smith continued to rip the ball off the cover as he homered twice, going 2-5 with 2 RBI. Cory Raley and Eric Gutierrez were each 2-4, while Orlando Garcia is starting to turn the corner as well, going 2-3 on the day with 2 RBI.

That’s a heck of a series for Texas Tech. The fun starts this week as Texas Tech travels to Florida State for a two game series and Oklahoma State on the weekend.

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