Baseball

Preview and Series Thread: Texas vs. Texas Tech

A huge series between the Longhorns and the Red Raiders.

Series Details:

Dates: Friday, April 22nd – Sunday, April 24th
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (30-10, 11-1)
Bad Guys: Texas Longhorns (17-20, 7-5)
Location: Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park | Lubbock, Texas
Game Notes: Preview | PDF
TV/Stream: FOX Sports Southwest Plus
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates

Texas has not had the season that they probably hoped for, but they are 7-5 in conference and really, they’re a dangerous team. They’ve played a ton of good teams in non-conference play, including Stanford, California, and UCLA and had troubles with all three opponents. But since conference play started, they took two of three from TCU, dropped the series to Oklahoma, win the series against Kansas State and now they sit here to try to get the upset.

Texas Tech is on an incredibly hot streak, having won 10 of their last 11 games, that one loss coming to New Mexico on Wednesday in extra innings. Texas Tech has been incredibly hot and the biggest question, at least for me, is how long these freshmen arms can hold up over the course of the season. It seems that Davis Martin has gotten better with time and Steven Gingery has pitched really well after an early rough start. Ty Harpeneau is not getting the start on Sunday and he got the start last Sunday, but he only went 3 innings before being pulled. And it wasn’t a terrible outing, although he did walk 3 batters, it wasn’t terrible. I’ll be interested to see what Tadlock does on Sunday.

LAJ’s Krista Pirtle takes a look at the incredible offensive production that this team has had and notes that the offense is potent one through nine:

“That’s incredible,” Gutierrez said. “Just having good offense one through nine is good because if one guy has a bad day, there’s eight guys to pick him up. And you don’t even pay attention to that guy. It’s really good that we have that offensive. When we play other opponents, they know we’re going to hit. They know we’re going to score. They better bring their best.”

That offensive threat is consistent throughout the lineup.

Focusing on the numbers produced by the starters only throughout the season, the middle of the lineup (spots four through six) are responsible for 40.4 percent of Texas Tech’s runs. The top of the order (spots one through three) combine for 36.5 percent of those runs, while the bottom of the lineup (seven through nine) account for 23.1 percent.

The middle of the lineup makes up at least 41 percent of the Red Raiders’ hits and RBIs on the season, while the top of the order has 31.4 percent of Texas Tech’s hits and the bottom of the order has 31.3 percent of the team’s RBIs.

“Last year we were relying on two or three guys to get big hits,” Tyler Floyd said. “Now we’re getting big hits in the seven, eight hole if the top guys aren’t hitting, which isn’t that often it seems like. One through nine is really good.”

Stats

TEXAS TECH
TEXAS
Avg .305 .266
OBP .409 .348
SLG .466 .391
ERA 3.77 3.65
OAvg .254 .254
SO/9 6.89 7.57
BB/9 3.85 3.60
FLD% .975 .967

Probable Starters:

Game 1: Friday, April 22nd @ 6:30 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: RHP Davis Martin (5-0, 1.68)
Texas Starting Pitcher: RHP Morgan Cooper (2-2, 4.46)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 13, Texas 6 (recap | box score)

Things did not start out all that well. Texas Tech starter Davis Martin allowed 2 runs in the 2nd and 3 runs in the 3rd. As an aside, Martin seems unflappable as most true freshmen would just crumble and tap out. But not Martin. Martin went on a streak starting in the 5th inning by striking out the side in the 5th an 6th inning. Tadlock pulled martin after the 6th inning as the offense and Martin had battled back and gained the lead and with Martin striking out 6 in a row, plus the fact that Martin had pitched 103 pitches, Martin was done for the day. That’s a solid start. Robert Dugger pitched the next two frames, allowing just a hit, walking 1 and striking out 2, while Jacob Patterson pitched the final inning allowing a run, a walk and striking out 1.

The offense took some time to get going, but when they got going it rolled. The offense would score 2 in the 4th, 3 in the 5th, 1 in the 6th and 7 runs in the 7th inning. Tanner Gardner was 4-5 with 2 RBI, including a triple. Steven Smith was also 2-5 with a triple. Tyler Neslony was 2-5 with 5 RBI and Tyler Floyd was 2-5 with an RBI. And if you watch the highlights, which you should, because these guys are pumped and they want to win real bad. It’s clearly evident that this means something to them. The hitters relished in battling back.


Game 2: Saturday, April 23rd @ 2:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: LHP Steven Gingery (3-1, 2.87)
Texas Starting Pitcher: RHP Ty Culbreth (7-2, 2.67)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas 7, Texas Tech 4 (recap)

That was a tough one pal. Steven Gingery got the start and pitched 4.2 innings, allowing 4 hits, 3 runs, all earned, while walking 3 and striking out 4. The stinker was that Ryan Moseley, who has pitched better of late, gave up the lead in the 7th inning and Texas never looked back. Moseley, went 2.1 innings, allowing 6 hits, 3 runs, walking none and striking out 1. Ty Harpenau and Parker Mushinski finished out the game, but nothing really to report there.

The offense didn’t bang out as many runs as they did on Friday night, the only real damage coming in the third inning where they scored 3 runs. Stephen Smith was 1-3 with a home run, Cory Raley was 1-2 with an RBI, Tyler Neslony was 1-4 with an RBI as was Hunter Hargrove. Thought it was odd that Hargrove got in the game as I don’t remember him playing all that much and hadn’t started a game all year, but he got the start against Texas in a pretty big series.


Game 3: Sunday, April 23rd @ 2:00 am
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: TBA
Texas Starting Pitcher: RHP Kyle Johnston (2-1, 2.70)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas 17, Texas Tech 1 (box score)

Arse handed. I don’t know what to say about this game, but I was thinking how quickly can a game be called due to a run rule. Hayden Howard gave up 7 runs in 2 innings of work and Ryan Shetter gave up 5 runs in 1.1 innings, so there you go. The offense only managed 4 hits all day. Just need to put this series behind you, it’s the only series that Texas Tech has lost this year. Abilene Christian is up on Tuesday and Wednesday and the team will be at TCU this weekend. As an aside, TCU lost 2 of 3 to Oklahoma State.

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