Baseball

TTU 2019: Lanning is the New Dusek

Lanning has taken a Dusek like career path to becoming the Friday night starter. Plus notes from the Texas series and a look around the Big 12.

Dylan Dusek always was a fan favorite for the Red Raiders. The left handed pitcher defeated cancer when he was a kid, and defeated Miami and College of Charleston on the way to Texas Tech’s first CWS. He went 8 IP, a WHIP of 0.88 and zero runs against the Hurricanes, and went 5 IP, a WHIP of 0.80 and zero runs against the Cougars.

But then he hit some speed bumps. After posting an unreal 1.94 ERA as a starter his freshman year, he had an ERA of 3.82 and missed the postseason. He would miss the whole season in 2016 with an injury, and miss his location in 2017 with a 7,47 ERA. But he bounced back in 2018 with a 2.18 as part of the DuShetter combo and ended his career with a good outing in Omaha against the No. 1 team in the country.

Lanning, thus far, seems to be on a similar path to Dusek. Although he didn’t have fight disease as a kid, and his stats weren’t really that great his freshman campaign, he did have one of the most memorable pitching performances in team history. In a winner take all in the 2016 Super Regional against East Carolina, Lanning went 7 IP with a WHIP of 0.57 and six strikeouts.

He had a solid 2017 season, posting a 3.12 ERA, but typically didn’t last more than three innings and wasn’t used during the postseason. His starts decreased from 11 to seven as well. Last year, he made two starts, but didn’t pitch past February due to an injury. Now, he’s back and has been pitching lights out as the Red Raiders best starter.

Thus far, Lanning has a 1.71 ERA with a 8.0 K/BB ratio and a WHIP of 1.19. If we include only his starts this year, Lanning has an ERA of 0.94 with a 7.0 K/BB ratio and a WHIP of 0.94. He has only given up three extra base hits as a starter, all of which were doubles.

Texas Tech needed some starts to step up after Gingery, Martin, Dusek and Shetter all were drafted last year, and it looks like the Red Raiders has filled one of their holes well with Lanning. Here are the ladders and chutes from the past weekend:

Ladders:

  • Caleb Kilian – What a bounce back start for Kilian. After starting off the season rough with a 9.19 ERA, the junior from Flower Mound went a career high 7 IP with a four strikeouts and allowed just one hit, two walks and zero runs. He out-dueled the Texas starter and had perhaps his best performance of his career.
  • Erikson Lanning – Yet another great outing from Lanning for the Red Raiders. This time, he went 5 IP with a WHIP of 0.60 and just one earned run. He had nine outs on 24 pitches and 12 outs on 32 pitches. Very efficient. Once again, he out-dueled Texas’ ace, who gave up three runs in 5 IP on 100 pitches.
  • Mason Montgomery – Montgomery had yet another good start. His ERA may seem a tad high, but if you take away his mid-week relief start it’s actually quite good, especially for a freshman who is your third starter. Montgomery went 5 IP with a WHIP of 1.20, four strikeouts and one earned run, which was due to Tadlock perhaps leaving him in too long. Good outing once again.
  • Cody Masters – Masters needs to be in the line-up the rest of the way. I thought he should’ve started to begin the year, but I’m glad he’s starting now and coming up big. He had an RBI single in Game 1 to make it 3-0, and had a huge two RBI single in Game 2 to give Texas Tech some insurance runs.
  • Micah Dallas – Although the Red Raiders lost the game, Dallas was outstanding the kept the game within a run for Texas Tech. He threw a perfect 2.1 innings with three strikeouts. I think Dallas should start at some point.
  • Clayton Beeter – He may have gave us a heart attack in the bottom of the ninth of Game 2, but Beeter kept his perfect 0.00 ERA in tact. He had his longest outing of his career with 2 IP, four strikeouts and three walks. I’m sure part of the reason why he struggled in the last inning was due to the fact he longest outing prior to that was just an inning.
  • Dylan Neuse – Neuse is an on base machine and he continued to do that this weekend in Austin. He went .455/.571/.455 with three runs scored and a stolen base. Didn’t have any huge hits or any amazing plays, but he got on base to put pressure on the pitchers.

Chutes:

  • Bottom of the Order – The last three batters combined for 2-24 over the first two games in Austin, which includes leaving seven batters on base, including four in scoring position. That being said, O’Tremba got hot the final game and Fuflord got on base twice, but it was too late at that point. All together, the trio left 10 batters on base and six in scoring position.
  • Runners In Scoring Position – This actually needs it’s own category. I may be a little off on this, but Texas Tech was roughly 6-42 with RISP this weekend in Austin. That’s just pitiful. That’s about a .143 batting AVG. Some hitters didn’t have bad days, but everyone of them got an out with a runner in scoring position.
  • Josh Jung – It was a rough weekend for Jung. Sure, some of it had to do with the injure quad that’s been bothering him, but he just couldn’t get it going. Before his ninth inning homer, he was .250/.455/ .375 with two runners left on base, both of which were in scoring position. He also had a key error that would have ended the inning in Game 1 of the series, but instead resulted in two runs and gave Texas the lead instead of Texas Tech. He also missed a throw from Fulford in Game 3 that brought in a run.
  • Dane Haveman – First off, I don’t blame the first loss on Haveman. He’s been money all year and the bloop single and two errors didn’t help him. But with that being said, he did have trouble with command, with his two outs being a bunt back to the pitcher and a sac fly. He went 0.2 IP with a WHIP of 3.00, one earned run and two unearned runs.
  • John McMillon – McMillon has been on and off this season. Unfortunately. we was a little off this weekend. He entered the the sixth inning of Sunday’s game with no outs, a runner on first and a 1-0 lead. He ended the inning with an earned run, an unearned run, a WHIP of 4.00 and a 3-1 deficit.

Tidbits:

  • I think the first three loses of the year you can say the opponent won the game, but the conference opener against Texas, it was more the Red Raiders lost it. In the sixth inning, Texas really had a solid hit, but then followed it up by a bunt back to the pitcher, a bloop single, a walk, a fly out (followed by an error) and then an error. Texas Tech had that game but gave it away. Very frustrating loss.
  • That being said, if we’re being fair, Texas made a bone head decision that basically gave Tech a huge advantage in the second game. Analytics say that a pitchers BAVG goes up a lot after going through the order twice, so usually leaving a pitcher in that long is risky. However, UT manger David Pierce left Henley in to go through the order a fourth time. That’s just stupid. He walked the first two batters before going to the bullpen. At that point, it was too late. Dumb mistake.
  • Speaking of that eighth inning, Tadlock called for a risky double steal with two runners one and two outs. Tech hadn’t scored in 13 innings and needed some action. Holt slid in safe, Neuse jogged into second, and the Red Raiders had two runners in scoring position with no outs. Hard not to score in that case.
  • Gabe Holt’s one base streak reached 32 games after the weekend. He had a single in the first game, a double late in the second game, and beat the shift with a base hit in the third game.
  • I thought Tadlock called a relatively good series despite the outcome. Not much he could do about the errors Friday. Although Haveman was a little off, he definitely should have been out of the inning with at most one run allowed. I didn’t care for the relievers he used in Game 3. McMillon and Wilson can be really good when they’re on, but they struggle at times. Surprised he didn’t use Taylor Floyd at all, and I wonder why Freeman has only seen 4.1 IP so far this year.

Big 12 Standings:

I was making plans for the upcoming week and working on some basketball stuff, so I’m not going to do an in depth Big 12 baseball update. Here’s the standings:

Conference Record Overall Record
Texas 2-1 15-7
Texas Tech 1-2 12-5
Oklahoma 0-0 16-4
Baylor 0-0 13-5
Kansas 0-0 13-6
Oklahoma State 0-0 12-6
TCU 0-0 12-6
West Virginia 0-0 12-7
Kansas State 0-0 10-9

 

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