Baseball

Preview and Series Thread: Kansas State vs. Texas Tech

The Wildcats are in town.

Series Details

Dates: Friday, April 13th – Sunday, April 15th
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (26-8, 5-4)
Bad Guys: Kansas State Wildcats (15-18, 2-7)
Location: Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park | Lubbock, Texas
Game Notes: Preview | PDF
TV/Stream: Friday (FSSW+); Sunday (FSSW)
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates
Live Stats: SideArm Stats

It’s time to feast. Kansas State has lost six straight, including being swept by Oklahoma State last weekend. If Texas Tech intends on making a move up the Big 12 standings, it starts now. Statistically, Texas Tech is a better team, by a decent margin and this really shouldn’t be a series that should be in doubt. As pointed out in our STP chat, it’s a blackout tonight, but it’s also Friday the 13th, so maybe that’s apropos. I’d also add that there’s really nothing else out there in terms of news other than the two items listed below. There’s no video from the official site of the press conference that was held earlier this week and that’s a bit frustrating. Not sure why that’s happening, but this has happened the last couple of weeks.

News, News, News, News

No. 6 Texas Tech to focus on fundamentals against Kansas State (via Daily Toreador’s Jack Densmore):

After coming off a 6-5 loss to Dallas Baptist on Tuesday, April 10, Tech coach Tim Tadlock said the biggest take away from Tuesday and Sunday’s games against Kansas on was the team needed to go back to playing fundamental baseball.

“Really just the momentum change with defense,” Tadlock said. “I mean really the old saying about starting pitching can kind of change the momentum of the game. It’s the same thing with the glove. You got out and you make the routine play, play sound fundamentally, you keep the momentum in our dugout, if there is such a thing, and you don’t give them a chance.”

Baseball’s losing skid could end at Texas Tech (via The Collegian’s Julia Jorns):

K-State was swept by Oklahoma State over the weekend where both the lack of consistent pitching and timely hitting were factors. On Tuesday night, K-State could not pull out a win against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. It was a back-and-forth offensive night for both teams where Nebraska ultimately won 11-9.

Since 2016, K-State has won only one of six games played against Texas Tech. The one win came in Manhattan during the 2017 season. The Wildcats won 5-3 against the Red Raiders last season where senior Justin Heskett earned the victory by going six innings and giving up six hits and three earned runs. Heskett threw 91 pitches while issuing only one walk and recording a strikeout.

Team Stats

Texas Tech Red Raiders Kansas State Wildcats
avg .305 .275
slg% .496 .399
ob% .428 .379
ERA 3.55 5.59
Oavg .206 .292
SO/9 9.30 6.93
BB/9 5.03 4.39
fld% .975 .967

Key Hitter Stats

Key Texas Tech Hitters avg slg% ob% fld%
OF Grant Little .395 .661 .500 1.000
INF Cameron Warren .349 .587 .468 .989
INF Gabe Holt .366 .537 .482 .950
INF Josh Jung .351 .575 .457 .944
OF Cody Farhat .293 .434 .445 .962
INF Michael Davis .263 .500 .362 .962
Key Kansas State Hitters avg slg% ob% fld%
Will Brennan .375 .463 .472 .964
TK McWhertor .326 .380 .382 1.000
Cameron Thompson .299 .418 .390 .964
Brett Owen .290 .348 .375 .959
Trent McMaster .274 .389 .360 .992
Drew Mount .263 .542 .414 .975

Probable Starters

Game Texas Tech Starting Pitchers Kansas State Starting Pitchers
Friday, April 13th, @ 6:30 pm (FSSW+) RHP Davis Martin (5-2, 2.63) RHP Justin Heskett (2-4, 5.23)
Saturday, April 14th, @ 2:00 pm RHP Caleb Kilian (4-1, 0.89) RHP Caleb Littlejim (2-0, 5.87)
Sunday, April 15th, @ 1:00 pm (FSSW) RHP John McMillon (4-1, 2.97) RHP Kasey Ford (4-2, 4.29)

Game Recaps:

Game 1 – Friday, April 13th @ 6:30 p.m. (FSSW+)
Final Score: Texas Tech 21 (27-8, 6-4), Kansas State 4 (15-19, 2-8)
Box Score: Recap | Box Score

Records were broken.

The Red Raiders (27-8, 6-4) scored multiple runs in each of the first five innings against the Wildcats (15-19, 2-8), finishing the night with 21 on 20 hits. It tied the most runs scored in a Big 12 contest by a Tech squad, matching the mark of 21 set against TCU (April 30, 2017) and at Kansas (April 25, 2010).

It was one of three school records tied by the Red Raiders on Friday, as sophomore outfielder Grant Little matched the school record for RBI in a game with nine on Friday night. Little finished the night with four hits, two homers, two runs scored & a walk. He tied John Grimes (March 23, 1984) and Mike Bewley (March 21, 1975) with the only nine-RBI performances in Texas Tech history.

Davis Martin (W, 6-2) pitched his 5 innings on 81 pitches with 7 strikeouts and 2 walks. I think that’s all that matters. John Henry Gonzalez wasn’t great, he’s obviously still working through some things, goign 2.1 innings, allowing 3 hits and 2 runs, walking 4 and striking out 6. They’re either missing bats or taking a free pass. Connor Queen pitched 1.2 innings, allowing 2 runs, on 3 walks and 2 strikeouts.

The aforementioned Grant Little went 4-5 with 9 freaking RBI with 2 home runs, including a grand slam. Josh Jung also went 4-5 with just 1 RBI, but scored 3 runs. Zach Rheams went 2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI and your friend Cody Farhat went 2-6 with 2 RBI and a homer.

Game 2 – Saturday, April 14th @ 2:00 p.m.
Final Score: Texas Tech 26 (28-8, 7-4), Kansas State 6 (15-20, 2-9)
Box Score: Recap | Box Score

Records were broken.

The Red Raiders (28-8, 7-4) scored a season-high 26 runs in the middle game against the Wildcats (15-20, 2-9), using 23 hits, also a 2018-best, to do so. Tech’s 26 runs were the most in a conference game by a Red Raider unit in school history, and marked the first time to score more than 20 runs in back-to-back Big 12 games.

Caleb Kilian (W, 5-1) went his 5 innings, but he struggled a bit, throwing 102 pitches to get there, but he still only allowed 2 runs, walked 4 and struck out 5 and was good enough. I was albe to stick around and watch Caleb Freeman and he’ll throw some heat, but he’s a bit inconsistent around the plate. I didn’t get to watch any of Richard Gilbert or Parker Kelly. Michael Davis was on fire, going 5 for 5 with 5 RBI and scoring 5 runs. Pretty cool if you’re nto numerology. Brian Klien and Josh Jung each went 4 for 6, scoring 4 rusn and 2 RBI each. Grant Little went 3-5 with 4 RBI and Cam Warren went 1-5 with a grand slam and 5 RBI.

Game 3 – Sunday, April 13th @ 1:00 p.m. (FSSW)
Final Score: Texas Tech 9 (29-8, 8-4), Kansas State (15-21, 2-10)
Box Score: Recap | Box Score

This earned the sweep for the Red Raiders, making things a bit dicey in the 8th. John McMillon got the start, but only went 4 innings, allowing 3 runs, 5 walks and striking out 8 on 85 pitches. Dylan Dusek (W, 3-0) had a perfect 3 innings and struck in relief and Ryan Shetter is the one struggled a bit in the 8th, allowing 3 runs and Ty Harpenau closed things out, getting his 2nd save of the year. Cody Farhat had a 3-run home run in the 4th and had 3 RBI and Cam Warren has a 2-run home run in the 7th inning.

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