The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | Texas Tech Baseball to Omaha Edition

Your daily dose to all things Texas Tech athletics (and Texas Tech baseball headed to the College World Series).

Texas Tech Baseball

What a ding dong year for Texas Tech. It’s really just absurd to think about how this team has progressed during the year and had you asked me if Texas Tech would be headed to the College World Series, I would have told you not just no, but an emphatic no.

Of course, it’s an even year, so it makes sense that Texas Tech is headed to the CWS, having gone in 2014, 2016 and 2018. it feels weird to stretch your legs and consider that Texas Tech is an elite baseball team. And women’s tennis, and men’s golf, and men’s basketball, and track and field, and meat judging, and cheer and pom, and I’m sure that I’m missing something else.

Stretch your legs and know that Texas Tech is one of the elite baseball programs in the nation. That’s exactly what Texas Tech is, an elite program. The Gabe Holt home run to start the scoring was absolutely tremendous, although having him play in right field without a ton of experience judging fly balls is worrisome, but that’s the thing though. This team is really far from perfect, it’s one that’s just so strange in some respects, particularly in the pitching area. But here’s the thing, as imperfect as it is, it is still a team that’s in the CWS.

Every pitcher that pitched (except for Jose Quezada), gave this team just enough. Davis Martin made it through 3, but into the 4th inning and after a lead off double, Ty Harpenau came in and absolutely shut Duke down. A free pass in the 7th led to John McMillon arriving and just throwing smoke.

And maybe the most fitting thing that happened was Dylan Dusek getting the final inning all to himself, he’s been a part of two College World Series in a way, having been a big part of the 2014 run, but injured all of 2016.

It was three home runs that led the way, the aforementioned Gabe Holt homer in the 3rd, then a Michael Davis two-run home run that scored Zach Rheams as well, and then to finish things off, Brian Klein hit a solo shot in the 7th inning. Holt and Jung tagged on some insurance runs in the eighth, but Texas Tech was just that much better and they’ve got a trip to Omaha to plan. And in case you were wondering, Texas Tech plays Florida on Sunday, June 17th at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN2.

One last thing, which I’ll just leave this here, and this is from Michael Davis and reporter Baillie Burmaster caught Davis just sitting in the outfield turf, by himself, just taking it all in.

Texas Tech Basketball

Zhaire Smith is getting more and more looks and since we’re getting closer to the actual NBA Draft, let’s get some mock drafts out of the way.

SportingNews focuses on some projections and this is some pretty good stuff:

Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith is a beneficiary of the first idea, as he moved up from No. 24 on our March board to No. 8 on this one. Here’s the quick elevator pitch for him as an NBA prospect.

The 19-year-old averaged 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game last season. Only 107 freshmen (min. 20 games played) have hit those benchmarks in the last 25 years. Just 10 of them were 6-5 or shorter. Of that subset, four played high major college basketball: longtime overseas pro Charles O’Bannon, future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, last year’s No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz and Smith.

Prior research from Layne Vashro, a current analyst for the Nuggets, suggests certain statistical areas (namely rebounding, steals and blocks) are things prospects are unlikely to suddenly get better at in the NBA, so prospects who are good at those things theoretically should have more upside as they’re more likely to improve at their other skills than high-scoring prospects are to get better at rebounding, stealing and blocking.

And this BleacherReport mock draft has Zhaire going #14 to the Denver Nuggets. Oh, and SB Nation’s Tom Ziller has a haiku mock draft that only goes to the lottery, so no Zhaire pick, but c’mon, it’s a haiku mock draft.

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