Preview and Game Thread: Kansas vs. Texas Tech

The Texas Tech Red Raiders host the Kansas Jayhawks in a critical series for the Red Raiders as they hope to make the postseason.

Kansas vs. Texas Tech
Series Details:

Dates: Friday, March 27th – Sunday, March 29th
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (16-9, 1-2)
Bad Guys: Kansas Jayhawks (9-15, 0-0)
Location: Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park | Lubbock, TX
TV/Stream: FCS Pacific
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App

The official site game notes can be found here (PDF).  This is a series that Texas Tech needs to win, maybe even sweep, because TCU is coming up next weekend. Kansas is 1-5 away from Lawrence and the Red Raiders are 13-3 at home. Yeah, it’s critical. Kansas is a hot-hitting team, averaging .284, just like Texas Tech, and are essentially getting on base at a .372 clip, which is also darned near the same as Texas Tech and Kansas and Texas Tech are within a few points of each other in terms of their slugging percentages. Where Kansas struggles is on the mound, where their team ERA is 6.17, the only team above 5.00, while Texas Tech sits at 3.23. I don’t remember where I read this, but Texas Tech’s biggest area to improve? Fielding percentage. The Red Raiders have 35 errors, which is second to last in the Big 12. Unforced errors are killing this team. Let’s get that fixed right here.

Probable Starters:

Game 1: Friday, March 27th @ 6:30 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: RHP Ryan Moseley (2-2, 3.12)
Kansas Starting Pitcher: LHP Ben Krauth (4-2, 5.45)
Final Score & Box Score:

*I actually updated this yesterday, but I guess the internet ate my post.  Long, story short, it wasn’t good and Moseley is struggling to do much of anything right now.  The offense missed a ton of opportunities and didn’t knock home any runs with runners in scoring position.

Game 2: Saturday, March 28th @ 2:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: LHP Cameron Smith (2-2, 3.51)
Kansas Starting Pitcher: LHP Blake Weiman (0-3, 7.83)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 9, Kansas 3 (recap and box score)

Well, this was a much better result, and it’s becoming clear that Cameron Smith is this team’s best starter right now. Smith went 7 innings, notching the win, scattering 8 hits, giving up 2 runs, 1 earned, walking 3 and striking out 5. Dalton Brown pitched the final two frames without much fanfare, allowing a run and that’s about it.

The offense started off on the right foot as Stephen Smith continued to lead off, which I think is great, and Cory Raley hit 5th, but the key to the offense was that batters 6, 7 and 8 all hit, making the lineup dangerous from top to bottom. Smith walked to start off the game and ended up scoring eventually off of a Eric Gutierrez single. Raley drove in Gut and then Tim Proudfoot doubled, scoring Raley and then it was Quinn Carpenter’s turn who singled, scoring Proudfoot.

It was four runs in the first and Texas Tech never looked back. Tyler Neslony, Gutierrez, Carpenter and Orlando Garcia all had 2-hit games. I think this is also the second straight game that Garcia started, so that’s something to watch out for moving forward.

Game 3: Sunday, March 29th @ 1:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: TBA
Kansas Starting Pitcher: TBA
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 3, Kansas 2 (recap and box score)

This was better, but still a bit concerning. Kansas is not a good pitching team, not by a longshot and the Jayhawk pitchers held Texas Tech to a couple of runs through most of the game. I think you’ll see this lineup, with Stephen Smith hitting leadoff, for a while and we’ll see where it goes. Also of note, I think that Orlando Garcia started every game this weekend at third base. Dylan Dusek is still not starting, I think because of blisters, and so Ty Darmon got the start and pitched well, allowing 1 run in 4 innings of work, walking 4 and striking out 1. Corey Taylor came in and allowed a run in relief going 4.2 innings, allowing 5 hits, a run, walking 2 and striking out 3. Dominic Moreno notched his 4th save of the year.

Anthony Lyons, who pinch hit for Zach Davis, drove home Eric Gutierrez in the 8th inning and that just about is the entire offense. Tyler Neslony drove in a run in the 5th inning and Garcia scored on a bases loaded walk.


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