The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2018.05.29

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

Leading Off

This is going to be a pretty simple Morning Stake. It’s all golf and baseball at the moment and that’s not such a bad thing, especially for golf, which has soared to unbelievable heights in the NCAA Championships.

The men’s golf team finished 3rd in stroke play in the third day of the NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma. And this NCAA golf is something I’m just not familiar with because these guys aren’t done just yet. Since they finished within the top 8, they are now in the quarterfinals and will tee off at 7:00 a.m. today against Alabama. Best team advances. They’ve been playing out of their flipping minds. They struggled in the early part of yesterday’s round, but came back and was absolutely stellar on the back nine. Ivan Ramirez finished with the best individual performance in program history at an NCAA Championship round at (-5) yesterday (TexasTech):

“I couldn’t be more proud of every guy on this team,” Tech head coach Greg Sands said. “To fight back again like that for the second-straight day, on a course like this, and in front of the big OSU crowds following us all day, was incredible. It’s a dream come true to coach in match play. In 2010, we were extremely happy to make match play, and I’m not sure we were completely ready to go, but I think this group could do something special. They’ll be ready to play.”

If you want to watch, The Golf Channel will begin their coverage at 10:00 p.m.

Texas Tech Baseball

In an interesting turn of events, Texas Tech was awarded the 9th seed yesterday, which is just one spot out of national seed contention, so they were pretty danged close despite what happened late in the year (TexasTech. This is a pretty good baseball team, one that’s primarily built on a few strong arms and some terrific hitting (albeit it can be inconsistent). I think we all see the flaws with this team, they are pretty evident, but as of right now, this is a top 9 team in the nation and the Red Raiders will be the host.

1. Texas Tech
2. Louisville
3. Kent State
4. New Mexicos State

The biggest hurdle is the No. 2 seed Louisville, where Texas Tech split the series early in the near, while I think that Texas Tech should handle Kent State and New Mexico State relatively easily, this is a top-heavy regional. And if you’d like to get to know Louisville, check out the Courier-Journal’s reasons why the Cardinals could (and could not) win:

Why they could win: The Cardinals are playing their best baseball at the right time, having won 14 of their last 17 games. Of those three losses, two reached extra innings and the other was by one run. Louisville reached the championship of the ACC Tournament this past weekend for the first time in program history. During the tourney, outfielder Josh Stowers was 7-for-17 with two home runs and 10 RBIs while second baseman Devin Mann was 8-for-17 with two home runs and eight RBIs.

Why they could not: This is the first Louisville team since 2012 that will play an NCAA Tournament opening regional somewhere other than Jim Patterson Stadium. The Cards finished outside the top 16 seeds, and prior to a strong finish to the regular season, they were at risk at one point of not making the field of 64.

We’ve talked about how RPI is such a huge part of the equation, and that appeared to be the case for Texas Tech too, but check out D1Baseball’s Aaron Fitt’s comments about Northeastern getting an at-large bid over Kentucky, Illinois, Arizona, or UCF:

And yes, that should carry some weight. But Northeastern’s RPI is inflated because it traveled to Texas Tech and got pummeled in a four-game series, and because it traveled to Auburn and lost two of three (and got no-hit in the process by Casey Mize). The Huskies finished just 3-9 against the top 50 in the RPI and did not win a series all year against a team that made a regional. They lost their series against the CAA’s other two best teams, College of Charleston and UNC Wilmington. Counting the conference tournament, Northeastern went 2-4 against UNCW. So where’s the meat? The Huskies won the league because they won their series against all the CAA teams outside the top 100 in the RPI, including sweeps of No. 242 William & Mary and No. 273 Towson.

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