Preview & Series Thread: Frisco Classic

It’s a big weekend.

Series Details

Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-1, 0-0)
Bad Guys: Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-5, 0-0); Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-1, 0-0); Sam Houston State Bearkats (5-2, 0-0)
When to Watch: Friday, March 1st – Sunday, March 3rd
Where to Watch: Dr. Pepper Ballpark | Frisco, Texas
How to Watch: FLOLIVE.TV
How to Listen: 97.3 FM | Affiliates | TuneIn App
Game Notes: Preview | PDF
Live Stats: SideArm Stats

Texas Tech hits the road for the first time this season, taking on a trio of teams, Nebraksa, then Mississippi State, and ending with Sam Houston State. The only two ranked teams are Texas Tech at #3 and Mississippi State at #12, according to D1 Baseball.

Records are always a bit deceiving so for comparison purposes, I thought I’d run down who has played who. Nebraska won 3 of 4 against UC Riverside, three of these games were high-scoring games. The Cornhuskers then had to face #7 Oregon State and lost all four games in relatively convincing fashion. Mississippi State started with a 3 game series against Youngstown State and beat the Penguins handily in all 3 games. A mid-week win against UAB and then won 2 of 3 from Southern Miss last weekend to then have convincing wins over Jackson State and Southeastern Louisiana. SHSU played in a tournament to start the season, beating Manhattan and Stetson with a close loss to Virginia Tech. The Bearkats then won all 3 games against Louisiana and then lost a mid-week game against Texas. There was another game that was canceled because of fog against TCU.

As you may recall, Texas Tech took 2 of 3 against Oregon, then swept Kentucky over the weekend with a mid-week win over New Mexico State.

RELATED: Previewing the Frisco Baseball Classic | Dinger Derby Podcast | Best Tech Athletics Weekend | 23 Personnel Podcast – 069 (Nice)

Last weekend, we knew who was going to start and according to the preview (linked above) the only starter that we know of is Erikson Lanning, although I think it’s pretty safe to think that RHP Caleb Kilian (0-1, 10.57) will get the nod on Saturday and LHP Mason Montgomery (1-0, 5.00) on Sunday.

News, News, News, News

D1Baseball’s Aaron Fitt – Frisco Primer: Texas Tech, MSU Headline Field (Excellent look at the field in Frisco)

Omaha World-Herald’s Evan Bland – Husker baseball looking to commit fewer errors at this weekend’s Frisco Classic:

The Huskers have 14 errors through eight games this season, good for a .949 fielding percentage that ranks 249th out of 292 Division I teams nationally. They never finished worse than 37th under eighth-year coach Darin Erstad until ending 149th a season ago.

Why the dip? It doesn’t help that the only grounders and popups Nebraska has taken all season have been immediately before games in California and Arizona the last two weeks. While every diamond in Lincoln is buried under snow, infielders are making throws inside the Hawks Center knowing the distance to first base is only an approximation of the real dimensions. Even in warmer climates, poor weather has limited players to just one full pregame practice in eight contests.

Clarion Ledger’s Tyler Horka – Bulldogs bring balanced Mississippi State baseball team to Frisco Classic:

A pair of Mississippi State Bulldogs said two contrasting things Wednesday night.

After a 12-0 victory over Southeastern Louisiana, sophomore third baseman Justin Foscue said Mississippi State is going to put up more power numbers than normal this season. Head coach Chris Lemonis stepped to the table and essentially said not so fast, Mr. Foscue.

“I do think we have a good offense, but I don’t think we’re going to get 12 every night,” Lemonis said.

He’s right, of course. There have been three games this season in which Mississippi State has scored four runs or fewer. One of those was a shutout loss to Southern Miss. But the Bulldogs have scored eight runs or more in the six other games they’ve played. In total, they’ve averaged 8.9 runs per game.

That’s not 12 per night, like Lemonis said, but it’s still a nice average. It’ll be mighty impressive if that number stays high after this weekend’s games. Mississippi State (8-1) plays Sam Houston State (5-2), No. 4 Texas Tech (6-1) and Nebraska (3-5) at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. The action starts against Sam Houston State at 3 p.m. Friday.

Team Stats

avg .321 .283 .279 .269
slg% .510 .333 .453 .447
ob% .430 .369 .356 .363
ERA 4.43 6.45 1.69 4.17
Oavg .279 .288 .173 .248
SO/9 7.58 9.13 12.66 8.40
BB/9 2.86 3.63 2.95 3.33
fld% .982 .949 .992 .964

Key Hitter Stats

Key Texas Tech Hitters avg slg% ob% fld%
INF Josh Jung .333 .444 .486 .958
OF/INF Gabe Holt .333 .400 .565 1.000
1B Cameron Warren .292 .625 .357 1.000
INF Brian Klein .387 .452 .400 .958
INF/OF Dylan Neuse .407 .852 .515 1.000
C Braxton Fulford .389 .722 .476 1.000
Key Nebraska Hitters avg slg% ob% fld%
OF Aaron Palensky .333 .394 .395 1.000
INF/OF Jaxon Hallmark .310 .379 .364 1.000
OF Mojo Hagge .308 .346 .471 .000
INF Angelo Altavilla .303 .364 .385 .921
INF Spencer Schwellenbach .297 .297 .381 1.000
INF Cam Chick .185 .185 .281 .789
Key Mississippi State Hitters avg slg% ob% fld%
INF Jordan Westburg .382 .529 .523 1.000
OF Jake Mangum .342 .474 .432 1.000
INF/OF Tanner Allen .324 .647 .415 .000
C Dustin Skelton .308 .538 .333 1.000
INF Justin Foscue .306 .667 .366 .926
OF Elijah MacNamee .267 .467 .410 1.000
Key Sam Houston State Hitters avg slg% ob% fld%
C Gavin Johnson .409 .682 .458 .978
OF Colton Cowser .357 .571 .406 1.000
OF Clayton Harp .344 .625 .344 1.000
INF Reese Johnson .250 .375 .400 .938
INF Hunter Hearn .214 .536 .258 1.000
INF Jack Rogers .200 .280 .290 1.000

Probable Starters

Game Texas Tech Starting Pitchers Nebraska Starting Pitchers
Friday, March 1st, @ 7:00 pm (FLOLIVE.TV) LHP Erikson Lanning (0-0, 2.70) RHP Matt Waldron (1-0, 3.38)
Game Texas Tech Starting Pitchers Mississippi State Starting Pitchers
Saturday, March 2nd, @ 4:00 pm (FLOLIVE.TV) TBA TBA
Game Texas Tech Starting Pitchers Sam Houston State Starting Pitchers
Sunday, March 3rd, @ 3:00 pm (FLOLIVE.TV) TBA TBA

Game Recaps

Game 1 – Friday, March 1st @ 7:00 p.m. (FLOLIVE.TV)
Final Score: – Nebraska 2, Texas Tech 1
Links:Recap | Box Score

This was your classic pitching duel, with several strikeouts and inducing double plays throughout the contest. Unfortunately, that means the Red Raider bats didn’t do so well, and it was the death of them in their 2-1 defeat against Nebraska to kick-off the Frisco Classic.

Erikson Lanning started the game for the Red Raiders and probably had his second best outing of his career (the first being the game clinching win in the 2016 Super Regionals). The junior left handed pitcher went five innings, struck out a career high seven batters, and allowed no runs. He maybe could’ve gone another inning, but since he was recovering from injury, it was probably best to pull him.

As far as the bats go, really only two guys got it going. Josh Jung hustled for the lone extra base hit, and Klein, who reached base three times, brought him home to give Tech a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Other than that, it was a bunch of strikeouts and weak grounders for the most part. Holt reached base twice, but was also uncharacteristically picked off at first base.

Taylor Floyd entered the game in the sixth and looked good through the first four outs. But he ran into trouble with one out in the seventh and allowed four straight base runners, including two doubles to give Nebraska a 2-1 lead.

Tech had a chance to tie the game in the eighth, after Marusak pinch ran for Klein and stole second, but Neuse struck out on a full count to strand the runner. The Red Raiders had a runner on second with two outs again the ninth after Tanner O’Tremba reached on an error by the center fielder and stole second, but a fly out to center field ended the game.

It was cold (low 40s) and the air was wet and thick with humidity that we don’t see in Lubbock. The ball was not carrying at all and other than a deep bomb to left field that in most parks would have been a double (or a dinger) for Dylan Neuse, there were no hits challenging the outfield. All in all, it wasn’t a bad game for the Red Raiders, they were error-free and Lanning/Floyd/Haveman pitched well. Unfortunately, it was just one of those nights at the plate as the Red Raiders didn’t tally a hit after a Gabe Holt single in the 5th inning.

Game 2 – Saturday, March 2nd @ 4:00 p.m. (FLOLIVE.TV)
Final Score:

Game 3 – Sunday, March 3rd @ 3:00 p.m. (FLOLIVE)
Final Score:

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