Baseball

TTU BSB 2019: The Red Raiders Are Mastering The Comeback

We take a look at why Texas Tech trailing a lot this year isn’t as bad as it seems. Plus a look at what weekend’s games and what happened around the Big 12.

Before Big 12 play begins tomorrow in Austin, I’m sure some of us are concerned a little bit about how the season that started. Record wise, it’s actually one of Tadlock’s better seasons. But there’s been times this year where the offense, defense or pitching has disappeared.

Because of this, we’ve seen something we aren’t used to seeing in recent years; the Red Raiders playing from behind. In 10 of 14 games played this far, Texas Tech trailed. But despite that, they came back and won eight of them.

Some of them were just small one run deficits that disappeared the next half inning, while others were as big as eight runs. Much like we’ve seen from the basketball team a lot this year, the baseball team doesn’t quite in adversity.

Now obviously, that’s some cause for concern, as better competition (like the teams in Frisco) may take advantage of that inconsistency and run away with the lead and eventual win. But that fact that we’ve seen plenty of times this season that Tech is able to come back from behind may be a positive sign.

In the Tadlock era, the Red Raiders have trailed in 15 NCAA tournament games. They’ve won five of them. Three of those leads were by one run, and the other two were by two and three runs. But the concerning record is that they’ve trailed in all but one College World Series game and have walked away with just two victories (thanks Florida).

Luckily, the Red Raider have gotten better at coming back. Last year, three out of their six NCAA tournament wins were from behind. This includes falling behind twice against Duke (including a 3 run deficit in the sixth) and had their first victory down a run in the CWS.

When you face good teams, typically you are destined to fall behind at some point. Oregon State won last year’s CWS and trailed in seven games. They won five of them. In 2016, Coastal Carolina trailed eight times and won five of those games.  In 2015, Virginia trailed in nine games and won seven of them.

Some people may feel a little uneasy with the way the start of the season is going, but the fact that the Red Raiders are starting to get better at the comeback is a positive sign from last year’s tournament run and this year’s start of the season.

Ladders:

  • Cam Warren – What a week for the senior. Warren started the week with a go-ahead Grand Slam with one out left against San Diego State, then seemed unstoppable against Wichita State. Warren had a slash line of .500/.619/1.063 with eight runs scored, 13 RBIs and three home runs. He won national hitter of the week for a reason.
  • Dylan Neuse – Neuse didn’t have quite a good of week as Warren, but Neuse continues to be a huge addition for the Red Raiders. The JUCO transfer went .450/.542/1.050 with 10 runs, nine RBIs and two stolen bases. That was good enough to win Big 12 newcomer of the week.
  • Brian Klein – What a hitter Klein has become. The junior had some big hits last year, but he’s been unbelievable offensively so far this season. This past week, Klein hit ,556/.654/.778 with nine runs and five RBIs. He leading the team in AVG and is second in OBP.
  • Cody Masters – I thought Masters was going to start this year, but it appears with a few spot up for grabs, the sophomore is getting a chance to shine. The outfitter has played some DH and put up good numbers, which includes Saturday when he hit his first two career home runs. Masters went .333/.412/.800 with five runs and six RBIs.
  • Dru Baker’s Bat – Baker started off the season with the RBIs, but didn’t have a very good slash line. However, Baker has come on strong as of late and has a higher OPS then Josh Jung or Gabe Holt so far this season. The freshman went .467/.652/.800 with six runs and eight RBIs.
  • Ryan Sublette – We’re starting to see Sublette put some good outing together and show what he can do when he’s on. Sublette had three appearances where he went 2 IP with two K’s and zero runs. His WHIP still was a little high (2.00), but good to see him be effective.
  • Micah Dallas – Dallas has been hyped a lot after fall by myself and others, and we’re finally seeing what he is capable of. Dallas went 4 IP with seven strikeouts, a WHIP of 1.00 and just one run allowed.
  • Dane Haveman – Haveman continues to be lights out. He lowed his ERA to a microscopic 0.90 with three appearances that combined for 2.2 IP with six strikeouts, four hits, zero walks and zero earned runs.
  • Erikson Lanning – Lanning has been the best starter for the Red Raiders this season. Montgomery has an ERA of 3.86 as a starter, but Lanning has an unbelievable 0.63 ERA as a starter. In fact, he had his worst start last weekend with 4.1 IP, three strikeouts, seven hits and an earned run.
  • Clayton Beeter – Beeter is one of three pitchers on the roster to have no given up a run this season. He’s pitched 4.2 IP with nine strikeouts, just three base runners and has a team leading .067 BAVG. Last week he pitched 2 IP with four strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.00.

Chutes:

  • Tanner O’Tremba – O’Tremba started out strong on the year, but has faded as of late and now looks like he’s losing at-bats to Masters. The freshman went .200 with two walks and three runs scored.
  • Caleb Kilian – For some reason, Kilian just has been unable to figure it out so far this year. He struggled again on Saturday with 4.1 IP, six earned runs, and a WHIP of 2.68. I wonder if we could see Bonnin or Dallas or someone else here is Kilian continues this trend.
  • Taylor Floyd – Floyd has been up and down so far this season. He had a strong first couple weeks, but has struggled the past couple weeks. In two appearances, Floyd went 1.2 IP with three earned runs and allowed five hits and two walks.
  • Ryan Keesee – Some rough couple appearances for Keesee . He allowed a hit, a walk and an earned one while recording zero outs this past week.

Tidbits:

  • Josh Jung was running home in Friday’s game against Wichita State and pulled up just before crossing home plate. He continued to play, but was removed late in the game. He missed the next two with a quad strain and is questionable with that injury this weekend. Tadlock said in the presser Friday night that he didn’t think it was serious but is concerned.
  • Gabe Holt extended his on-base streak to 29 games after Sunday’s game. The record is 53, which is still a long ways away. I mentioned the stolen base record earlier in the year, but the injury and only stealing four bases since then has put that record out of reach.

Big 12 Standings:

Well, Big 12 play is finally upon us. And after the first four weeks of the season…I have no idea what is going to happen. A week and a half ago, it appeared that TCU and Texas had the upper hand. Now, Texas Tech and Oklahoma looks the strongest, and that Kansas may be the best team no one is talking about.

This upcoming weekend, Big 12 play officially begins. That being said, the only conference game going on is when the Red Raiders travel to Austin to face the Longhorns. However, that could be a key series that decided the Big 12 title.

Conference Record Overall Record
Oklahoma 0-0 14-3
Kansas 0-0 13-3
Texas Tech 0-0 11-3
Baylor 0-0 11-4
Texas 0-0 13-6
Oklahoma State 0-0 10-5
West Virginia 0-0 10-6
TCU 0-0 9-6
Kansas State 0-0 8-8

Big 12 Results:

  • Baylor vs Nebraska – If you want a positive sign for the Red Raiders, the Bear dropped two of three games at home against Nebraska, one of the teams Texas Tech lost to in Baylor. That lowers Baylor’s winning percentage and makes Tech’s loss look better. Baylor also defeated Abilene Christian.
  • Kansas at Snowbird Classic – The Jayhawks went 5-0 at Snowbird Classic this past week. They outscored their opponents 36-20 in the classic, and improved their record to 13-3, the second best record in the Big 12. Jaxx Groshans is a player of the year candidate with a .415/.549/.906 slash line with eight home runs, 22 RBIs and 18 runs.
  • Kansas State vs Old Dominion – Well, we might still have plenty of questions about Big 12 baseball, but what hasn’t changed is that the Wildcats are going to likely finish at the bottom of the Big 12. Kansas State lost a weekend series to Old Dominion, who is supposed to finish near the bottom of Conference USA. They also took two games from Northern Illinois.
  • Oklahoma at Rice – The Sooners are good this year. They are probably one of the favorites to win the Big 12. This past weekend, they traveled to Rice and took two out of three to a good Owl team that defeated Baylor and mercy ruled TCU. They also whipped up on UTA as well.
  • Oklahoma State at Dodger Stadium Classic – The Cowboys started off last week with a win against Wichita State before they traveled to Los Angeles for the Dodger Stadium Classic. While there, they defeated USC and a good Michigan team, while falling to PAC-12 favorite UCLA. They began this week with a win over MVC favorite Missouri State.
  • TCU at Long Beach State – I’m confused on what the Horn Frogs are. They were picked to finish third in the Big 12, and looked really good the first couple weeks before posting a .500 record the past week and a half. That being said, they’ve faced some good team. TCU took two out of three from a Long Beach State team that could win the Big West, and loss to a San Diego team that could make the NCAA tournament.
  • Texas at Stanford – Texas sweep No. 2 LSU a couple weeks ago and looked like a force that was hard to stop. Then they traveled to Stanford and got their butts kicked by the Cardinal, losing three out of four games. Although remember, Stanford was the No. 2 team in the nation last year and is still one of the favorites to win the Pac-12. The Longhorns came back and whipped a good Texas Southern team 17-3.
  • West Virginia vs Kent State – The Mountaineers are putting together a good resume thus far. They loss two out of three to the defending national champs, but had a strong showing against a great team on the road. This past weekend, they swept a Kent State team that was in the Lubbock Regional last year and is the favorite in the MAC. They also split a pair at Morehead State.
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