Preview and Series Thread: Texas Tech vs. West Virginia

#29 Texas Tech Red Raiders are in Morgantown to take on West Virginia for the last conference series of the year. Preview after the jump.

Texas Tech vs. West Virginia

Photo via Charles Henry @ Flickr

Series Details:

Dates: Thursday, May 14th – Saturday, May 16th
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (29-20, 12-9)
Bad Guys: West Virginia Mountaineers (25-24, 7-12)
Location: Monongalia County Ballpark | Morgantown, WV
Game Notes: PDF
TV/Stream: None
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App

I think that the Texas Tech Red Raiders have an uphill battle to get into the NCAA Tournament, but it starts here, in Morgantown, and it will end with having a fantastic showing at the Big 12 Conference Tournament. The funny thing in looking at these stats, the stats for West Virginia and Texas Tech are ridiculously similar and makes it appear that these may be two evenly matched teams. Texas Tech can, and should have an advantage if Dylan Dusek and Corey Taylor return after having some time off by taking finals. If Taylor and Dusek have had time to heal, then I very much like Texas Tech’s chances to sweep if they can get past Friday night, which looks to be the toughest match-up. And even if Taylor and Dusek can’t start, seeing Dominic Moreno start in Austin and get a huge win gives me some confidence that Texas Tech has a significant advantage. It starts here gentlemen.

Texas Tech West Virginia
Avg 0.277 0.267
OBP 0.368 0.342
Slug 0.409 0.417
ERA 3.36 3.92
OAvg 0.260 0.257
SO/9 7.53 7.51
BB/9 3.93 3.96

Probable Starters:

Game 1: Friday, May 14th @ 5:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: RHP Ryan Moseley (4-5, 3.18)
West Virginia Starting Pitcher: RHP Chad Donato (6-5, 2.83)
Final Score & Box Score: West Virginia 6, Texas Tech 4 (recap and box score)

Well, this stinks. Ryan Moseley started and he couldn’t do much of anything, allowing 5 runs, 3 earned, in 2.2 innings, walking 3 and striking out just 1. Moseley threw 68 pitches in those 2.2 innings and the bad things started in the first inning as Moseley allowed a sacrifice fly RBI scoring a run, then in the second inning, with two outs, WVU did a ton of damage with a hit by pitch, a walk and a couple of singles to score two runs. In the third inning, it was even worse and included an error by freshman Michael Davis. Dylan Dusek came in and pitched for Moseley and was really good with Corey Taylor finishing out the game. That’s sorta bad because two key pitchers have already pitched, especially Taylor.

The offense managed only 8 hits and Cory Raley, Stephen Smith and Tyler Neslony all had two-hit games and Stephen Smith hit his 10th home run in the 6th and an Eric Gutierrez hit his 3rd home run of the year in the second.

Game 2: Saturday, May 15th @ 5:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: LHP Cameron Smith (6-3, 2.64)
West Virginia Starting Pitcher: TBA
Final Score & Box Score: West Virginia 8, Texas Tech 2 (recap and box score)

Well, I think that after yesterday, I was sure that Texas Tech would not make the NCAA Tournament, even if there’s a terrific run in the Big 12 Tournament, but I think this is the nail in the coffin.

The normally reliable Cameron Smith was not reliable, giving up 4 runs in 4.1 innings, all earned, walking 2 and striking out 6. The rest of the bullpen took some lumps as well, with Dominic Moreno allowing a run in 0.2 innings (he allowed inherited runners to score), Parker Mushinski allowing 2 runs in an inning and Dalton Brown allowing a run in his 1 inning. Texas Tech only managed 6 hits on offense, two of them coming from Cory Raley, who went 2-4 and homered in the first at bat of the game and Stephen Smith went 2-4. Texas Tech left 13 on base, including Eric Gutierrez flying out in the 5th with the bases loaded.

Game 3: Sunday, May 16th @ 12:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: TBA
West Virginia Starting Pitcher: TBA
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 8, West Virginia 2 (recap box score)

At least one win was salvaged. Ty Damron got the start, going 5 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned, walking 2 and striking out 1. The two runs were scored in the second inning, that started out with a throwing error Tanner Gardner. Matt Withrow pitched 3 innings, allowing 2 hits and no runs while Dominic Moreno was excellent in finishing the game.

Texas Tech did their damage in the third inning, with an Orlando Garcia single, a stolen base and then a bunt single to move Garcia to third. Cory Raley singles and scores Garcia. Gardner doubled, scoring Raley and Gardner was picked off. Stephen Smith reached on a fielding error and Tyler Neslony doubled to right, scoring Smith, with an Eric Gutierrez single to push the 5th run of the inning, scoring Neslony. Neslony went 3-5 on the day, with 2 RBI and Gardner went 1-2 with 2 RBI, while Raley was 2-4 with 2 RBI.

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