Baseball

Preview and Super Regional Thread: East Carolina vs. Texas Tech

The Texas Tech Red Raiders host the East Carolina Pirates in the Lubbock Super Regional. We preview the series and this is your open thread for the weekend.

Super Regional Details:

Dates: Friday, June 10th – Sunday, June 12th
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (44-17, 15-5)
Bad Guys: East Carolina Pirates (37-21-1, 16-8-1)
Location: Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park | Lubbock, Texas
Game Notes: Preview | PDF
TV/Stream: ESPNU (Possibly ESPN2 on Sunday)
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates

East Carolina made it to Lubbock by taking down defending National Champions, Virginia, in the Charlottesville Regional, which was a huge undertaking. The Pirates have better pitching overall, which could be a result of where the Pirates play, but those are still great numbers. The Friday night starter, Kruczynski, is going to be a heck of a challenge for Texas Tech. Opponents are hitting .244 off of Kruczynski and struck out 89 while only walking 22. Freshman OF Dwanya Williams-Sutton is the best hitter on the team, .359 with 5 home runs and 27 RBI. C Travis Watkins hits .323 with 5 homers and 37 RBI.

Texas Tech is going to have to be patient against East Carolina and as we’ve discussed, the lineup from top to bottom is exceptional. Texas Tech has 6 players hitting above .300, including Eric Gutierrez, Hunter Hargrove, Tyler Neslony, Tanner Gardner, Stephen Smith and Cory Raley. Not many teams can say that. Davis will have to be terrific if Kruczynski is as good as advertised and after a tough game prior to the Lubbock Regionals, but bounced back and had a terrific outing against Fairfield. East Carolina will be a tougher out.

* Baseball America has a terrific preview of the series with commentary from an opposing coach of each team:

“I think they’ve done it with a whole cast of characters this year. There’s not just one guy that can beat you. They can beat you one through nine in their lineup. It’s just been a different guy on different days for them. They pitch well. They just don’t give up the big innings. They’re real efficient in what they do. Their pitching plan is really good. They don’t elevate many balls in the zone. They’re going to establish their fastball early and keep it down. They’ll mix it very well. They don’t allow you to sit there and bang away at it.

The whole thing is worth your time.

* D1Baseball also has a preview, but there’s a typo in stating that it’s in College Station.

* LAJ’s Krista Pirtle writes about how Texas Tech wants to get back to the College World Series and East Carolina is a solid team:

Tyler Floyd remembers how Red Raider fans expected Texas Tech to automatically advance to Omaha because the Cougars were a lower seed. The senior catcher sees a similarity in Tech fans now.

“This is similar to when we played College of Charleston two years ago,” senior catcher Tyler Floyd said. “Now look at them (Cougars). They’re in the top 25. It’s a similar situation with this East Carolina team. They’re pretty solid.”

The Pirates earned their 28th trip to the NCAA Tournament this season, which is the most by any team without advancing to the College World Series.

* LAJ’s Pirtle also writes about freshman pitcher Davis Martin, who has shined very early and often for this team:

“He’s one of those guys that’s always had the confidence and understood that, believes in himself and what he can do,” Tech pitching coach Ray Hayward said. “He has confidence in his ability and in his stuff. That’s what you have to have here. (He) came in thinking this is where I belong.”

Stats

TEXAS TECH
EAST CAROLINA
Avg .295 .291
OBP .400 .377
SLG .452 .399
ERA 4.26 3.40
OAvg .261 .248
SO/9 6.75 7.35
BB/9 3.87 3.40
FLD% .974 .971

Probable Starters:

Game 1: Friday, June 10th @ 7:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: RHP Davis Martin (9-0, 2.31)
East Carolina Starting Pitcher: LHP Evan Kruczynski (7-1, 1.86)
Final Score & Box Score: East Carolina 8, Texas Tech 6 (recap | box score)

This game was back and forth for the better part of the game, but East Carolina opened up a can in the 5th inning as they started with two hard-hit singles against Davis Martin, then Martin hit a batter and then, Travis Watkins unloaded one of his two home runs, this one being a grand slam. Martin was terrible for that one inning, but he didn’t have the best command and got out of some jams pretty much in every inning. The Texas Tech offense would attempt to come back, scoring 3 in the 7th inning to bring the game to the final score, but that wasn’t enough.

Davis Martin pitched 4.1 innings, allowing 9 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned, striking out 2 and walking 1. Parker Mushinski didn’t record an out, while Dalton Brown gave up an additional 2 runs in 1.1 innings, allowing 2 hits. Jacob Patterson was able to finish off the game in 3.1 innings of work allowing just 2 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3. Tanner Gardner was 3-5, Tyler Neslony was 2-5, scoring 3 runs and had 3 RBI. Michael Davis was 2-4 with an scored run and an RBI.

Texas Tech is going to need to put some pressure on East Carolina offensively. This game 2 is an elimination game.

Game 2: Saturday, June 11th @ 2:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: LHP Steven Gingery (4-2, 3.38)
East Carolina Starting Pitcher: RHP Jimmy Boyd (7-5, 2.90)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 3, East Carolina 1 (recap | box score)

4:56. That’s how long it took to play this game. I wasn’t able to watch, nervously followed on Twitter pretty much the entire game. This was not a game of offense, but of pitching and defense. Steven Gingery pitched 5 innings, allowing just 5 hits, 1 run, walking 2 and striking out 5 and that was the only run allowed by the Texas Tech pitching staff all game long. Hayden Howard went the next 2.2 frames, allowing 4 hits, walking 1 and striking out 1, while Ryan Moseley got the final out of that inning, while giving up a hit. But perhaps the star of the show was Robert Dugger. Dugger pitched the final 5 frames and earned the win, moving to 6-0 on the year, allowed just 2 hits, 2 walks and struck out 5. You’d have to imagine that Dugger, Gingery and Davis Martin are all not available for today’s game.

As an aside, East Carolina burned through 5 pitchers yesterday. Texas Tech used Moseley yesterday, but he only threw 14 pitches. Still, you don’t think he’d start today and he was slated to start. Ty Damron probably gets the nod unless Tadlock goes with someone completely different. Maybe Ryan Shetter or Erikson Lanning?

The other big performer was Eric Gutierrez, who singled home Orlando Garcia and Tyler Floyd, Floyd getting on base by being walked while Garcia singled. Not a big day for the offense, only 7 hits managed all game long.

And there was apparently some controversy in the 9th inning, when it appeared that Floyd scored the winning run at the plate, but the ump called Floyd out.

Game 3: Saturday, June 12th @ 2:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: RHP Ryan Moseley (6-4, 5.44)
East Carolina Starting Pitcher: LHP Jacob Wolfe (6-3, 2.66)
Final Score & Box Score:

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