Baseball

Series Preview and Weekend Thread: TCU vs. Texas Tech

The Red Raiders host the top team in the Big 12.

Series Details

Dates: Friday, April 28th – Sunday, April 30th
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (34-11, 9-6)
Bad Guys: TCU Horned Frogs (30-9, 11-4)
Location: Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park | Lubbock, Texas
Game Notes: Preview | PDF
TV/Stream: Friday – FS1; Saturday – ESPNU; Sunday – ESPN2
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates
Live Stats: StatBroadcast

This is what we’ve all been waiting for all season. Texas Tech finally gets TCU at home, is a few games behind the Horned Frogs in the Big 12 standings and has a chance to take the lead in the Big 12 with a sweep. A sweep seems incredibly unlikely because TCU is good. Very good.

The most interesting thing about the Horned Frogs is that their starting pitching isn’t untouchable and that may be the most positive thing about this series. With that being said, TCU has swept Oklahoma State and Kansas State, while winning the series against Kansas and Baylor while losing the series against West Virginia. For whatever reason, my thought was that TCU would be darn near infallible this year because they just always seem to have such stellar pitching, but this year, it’s a bit different. TCU is without their ace, Jared Janczak, on Friday. Of course, I write this and I’m sure that I’ve jinxed the series and you can blame it all on me after Sunday if things go poorly. Oh, and TCU lost to SFA, yes that SFA, in a mid-week game. It happens to the best of them.

News, News, News, News

 LAJ’s Nicholas Talbot previews the series, but more importantly, details why head coach Tim Tadlock was suspended for two games, which was apparently for meandering around the stadium, hanging around a tent area near the third base line, and then was asked to move and went to the New Mexico ticket office and that’s where he stayed the rest of the game. Go read the whole account for details, but it seems crazy that Tadlock was suspended for that. Tadlock didn’t seem to be too upset, maybe because he didn’t want to be fined.

Here’s Tadlock on TCU:

“Their starting rotation even with Janczak down will be a handful and they have a beast in the middle of the lineup (Luken Baker) that has caused a lot of problems for Big 12 teams and he creates opportunities for some other guys,” Tadlock said. “Jim (Schlossnagle) does a great job for them.”

FWST’s Carlos Mendez writes about the game:

The Red Raiders used a starter-by-committee approach to their Friday opener last week against Oklahoma State.

“It’ll test your pitching depth, that’s for sure,” Schlossnagle said. “It remains to be seen. We had two good starts out of our three games this past weekend. Gingery might be the pitcher of the year in the league. They have a ton of guys that do a lot of good things.”

Stats

Key Texas Tech Hitters:

Key TCU State Hitters:

Team Stats:

Probable Starters:

Game 1: Friday, April 28th @ 7:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: LHP Erikson Lanning (2-0, 3.71)
TCU Starting Pitcher: LHP Nick Lodolo (4-1, 4.96)
Final Score & Box Score: TCU 4, Texas Tech 1 (Recap | Box Score)

This is going to sound a bit crazy, but of all of the results from a loss, I’ll sorta take this. The fear for me was that Texas Tech would get 2 innings from the starter, Erikson Lanning, and then the bullpen has to pitch a ton of innings on Friday night. Lanning went 4 innings, maybe 2 more than what they thought they might get and perhaps, just perhaps, this helps the team significantly moving forward for Saturday and Sunday. Lanning went 4 full innings giving up 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned, walking 2 and striking out 2. John McMillon hit at DH and also came in to pitch, going 2.1 innings and allowing 3 hits, 2 runs, both earned, walking 3 and striking out 3. Jacob Patterson and Caleb Freeman pitched the final 2.2 frames, not allowing any runs and allowing just 1 walk and striking out 2.

The problem for the Texas Tech offense is that they were going up against their Saturday starter, who is really good, Nick Lodolo, and Lodolo allowed just 4 hits all night. Hunter Hargrove had a sacrifice fly to center to score Grant Little and that was the extent of the offense.

The other key here is that Texas Tech got out of a lot of jams. TCU left 12 on base.

Game 2: Saturday, April 29th @ 3:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: LHP Steven Gingery (8-0, 1.49)
TCU Starting Pitcher: RHP Mitchell Traver (2-1, 4.09)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 6, TCU 4 (Recap | Box Score)

I was nervous as heck about this game. TCU won the firs game and with Gingery pitching, it pretty much became a must-win sort of situation to have a chance at the conference title. Gingery pitched 3 innings, allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts, but the game was called postponed to weather after the third inning and I thought there was no way that Texas Tech would have the bullpen to keep pace. Well, I was wrong. Caleb Killian ended up with the start on Sunday afternoon at 11:00 am and went 3.1 innings, allowing 2 runs, walking 2 and striking out 1, but earned the win to go to 4-0 on the year. Parker Mushinski was lights out in the final 2.2 frames, allowing 2 hits, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts.

Texas Tech was down 2-1 to start the game again, the only run coming off of a wild pitch, but when they started things back in the 4th inning, Michael Berglund scored on a wild pitch to tie things up. TCU then took the lead in the 5th, scoring 2 runs. Texas Tech would get one back on a John McMillon home run to deep center and in the 6th inning, down a run, Brian Klein would send a 3-run homer to right field.

Game 3: Sunday, April 30th @ 2:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: RHP Ryan Shetter (2-0, 3.45)
TCU Starting Pitcher: RHP Brian Howard (6-2, 4.47)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 21, TCU 3 (Recap | Box Score)

Not expecting this result.

20 hits. 4 home runs. 21 runs. Ryan Shetter was fantastic, moved to 3-0 on the year, allowing 6 hits, 2 runs, 5 walks and striking out 6 in 5 innings. Jacob Patterson pitched the final 2 innings, allowing just a run on 2 hits. You’re probably wondering why the Texas Tech pitchers went just 7 innings and that’s because Texas Tech run-ruled the Horned Frogs.

In just 7 innings, Grant Little, Ryan Long, Josh Jung and John McMillon each had a home run. Just a quick note here. Grant Little (3-6, 5 RBI, 1 HR), Josh Jung (2-4, 2 RBI, 1 HR), Brian Klein (2-5, 1 RBI), Michael Berglund (3-4, 2 RBI) and John McMillon (1-3, 1 RBI, 1 HR) are all freshmen. And the old guys were good too. Hunter Hargrove was 3-3 with 3 runs scored. Orlando Garcia was 2-4 with 3 RBI, and Cody Farhat was 2-4 with 2 RBI.

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