Baseball

First Base Files: Pre-Season Update

We are only 32 days away from Texas Tech Baseball Opening Day! At least, that’s according to the countdown clock on my desktop at work. I hope you’re all starting to hear the chugging of the hype train rolling this way because this team is getting plenty of preseason notice. In years past some outlets ranked the Red Raiders in the teens until deep into the NCAA tournament, but this year is a different story. In the coming weeks, Michael LaBarre and I will be posting a dive into who this 2019 squad is, as well as a look at this season’s schedule.

But for now, a few tidbits to recap what’s been going on. The news is beginning to roll in more and more quickly, which means we’re getting close!

Preseason Rankings

D1baseball.com released their Preseason Top 25 this morning (Monday, January 14) and it was Tech’s highest ranking so far. The Big 12 was well-represented with five teams in the top 25, surpassed only by the SEC with eight.

D1Baseball
TTU: #3

Perfect Game
TTU: #5

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper
TTU: #4

All Americans

Several Red Raiders have been getting preseason All-America looks, and they’re not all named Josh Jung.

Gabe Holt – The sophomore right fielder was named a Second Team Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Holt, a draft-eligible sophomore from Bonaire, Georgia, became Texas Tech’s first Consensus Freshman All-American last summer after racking up honors from the five major outlets: D1Baseball.com, National College Baseball Writers Association, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, and Perfect Game. Holt was also named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, as voted on by Big 12 baseball coaches.

Caleb Killian – The junior hurler was also named a Second Team Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Killian was a draft-eligible sophomore last season and was taken 595th overall in the 20th round by the Baltimore Orioles. However, Killian opted to remain at Texas Tech for his junior season. After moving from the bullpen to Tech’s most reliable starter in 2018, Killian is poised to be the ace of the Texas Tech rotation in 2019 leading a mostly young and unproven group.

Josh Jung – The junior third Baseman has been named a First Team Preseason All-American by both Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Jung is projected by many outlets as a Top 10 or better MLB draft pick in 2019. Jung’s work ethic and dedication to improving his game are practically legendary at this point and I’m sure we’ll see the fruits of his offseason labor.

Season Tickets

For the fifth straight year, Texas Tech Baseball season tickets are sold out. This is a fantastic problem to have for the Red Raiders but I do have a personal complaint. I’d love to see some of the General Admission seating at least improved to reserved. The GA section becomes a bit of a melting pot of non-baseball fans when the late season and NCAA Tournament rolls around. For those of us that are all-season fans it’s already annoying to put up with that group, I don’t really want to have to fight them for my seats too. I guess my point is that plenty of us in GA are season ticket holders too so take care of us a little bit. GA isn’t my choice, there’s just no longer an opportunity to upgrade my tickets, so I’d love the chance to reserve my own seat. That’s just my two cents.

Frisco Classic

I know I included this in the Summer & Fall Update but I’m still excited about it and I want you to consider going. The 2019 Frisco College Baseball Classic will be held at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, TX, home of the Frisco RoughRiders. Tickets are very reasonably priced with a weekend pass starting as low as $40. The teams will be Texas Tech, Mississippi State, Nebraska, and Sam Houston State. They bill this as the #BestOutsideofOmaha and I think it’s probably going to be a good time full of good baseball.

Mississippi State and Texas Tech were both 2018 College World Series participants, Nebraska was a 2017 Regional team and the Big 10 Regular Season Champions, and Sam Houston State was a 2017 Super-Regional team that eliminated Texas Tech in the Lubbock Regional. Personally, I have great respect for Bearkat head coach Matt Deggs, and Lance/Jay – we’re coming for you buddy. The tournament is Friday, March 1 – Sunday, March 3. Texas Tech will play Nebraska on Friday night at 7 p.m., Mississippi State Saturday at 6 p.m., and SHSU Sunday at 3 p.m.

2019 Baseball Tailgate Dinner

OmahArlington 2021

Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball.com dropped this nugget on a Saturday morning while I was watching Gold Rush. An absolutely killer lineup of teams will play a tourney in the new Rangers ballpark in 2021.

I’m going to go ahead and claim this name now before anyone else steals it, this is going to be a helluva tournament. I know 2021 is a little way down the road, but it’s never too early to get excited about something like this.

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