Preview and Series Thread: Shriners College Classic

No. 23 Texas Tech takes on three ranked teams in Houston this weekend as they participate in the Shriners College Classic.

Series Details:

Dates: Friday, February 26th – Sunday, February 28th
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-1, 0-0)
Bad Guys: No. 9 Houston Cougars (4-0, 0-0); No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns (3-1, 0-0); No. 18 Arkansas Razorbacks (4-0, 0-0)
Location: Minute Maid Park | Houston, TX
Game Notes: PDF
TV/Stream: Root Sports Southwest — All three games; MLB Network — vs. Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas (in states outside of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana or New Mexico); COX Sports — All three games.
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates

Texas Tech will take on three quality teams this weekend in Houston: the Houston Cougars, the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns and the Arkansas Razorbacks. All three teams are ranked and all three teams have lost a combined 1 game thus far in the season. This series is known as the Shriners Hospitals For Children College Classic.

Offensively, Texas Tech has been terrific, Eric Gutierrez, Stephen Smith and Tanner Gardner are all hitting above .500 in the season and as a team, Texas Tech is hitting .355, slugging .483 and getting on base at a clip of .458. A few interesting notes is that Kholeton Sanchez, who hasn’t managed a hit, got 2 starts at catcher over incumbent Tyler Floyd. The idea is to spell Floyd a lot more than what they did last year when there was no capable back-up. At third base, Ryan Long is hitting the ball well after not hitting really at all last year. That’s going to help out an already solid offense. The back-end of the lineup is still struggling to find the ball as Michael Davis and Orlando Garcia are hitting about .230 and Tyler Neslony is hitting .222, but you’d expect him to break out of that slump.

On the mound, Texas Tech will trot out Ryan Moseley to start the series, followed by freshman Ty Harpenau, who pitched really well in his first game out of the shoot. Ty Damron gets the final game. Moseley and Damron need to improve on that strikeout to walk ratio, 4:3 this early in the season, while Harpenau had a terrific debut, striking out 7 in just 5 innings while walking just 1. I don’t think Tadlock has really determined some of those bullpen roles just yet, haven’t really had a save situation, so that will be interesting to watch for this series.

Probable Starters:

Game 1 vs. Houston: Friday, February 26th @ 12:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: RHP Ryan Moseley (0-0, 1.80)
Houston Starting Pitcher: RHP Andrew Lantrip (1-0, 0.00)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 3, Houston 2 (Recap | Box Score)

A fantastic game, terrific pitching by Texas Tech and just enough offense to get by one of the top team sof the nation in Houston. Ryan Moseley got the start, going 5 innings, giving up 3 hits, 1 run, walking none and striking out 3. Moseley had been a bit of trouble off and on through the game, but Hayden Howard, a JUCO from Seward C.C., came in and pitched 3 innings, giving up 2 hits, 1 run, walking 1 and striking out 4, while earning the win. Freshman Martin Davis, from San Angelo, earned his 2nd save, pitching the final frame, giving up a walk and striking out 1.

Houston struck first, scoring 1 in the first, but Stephen Smith launced a home run in the 3rd inning, evening things up. Texas Tech would score 2 more in the 6th inning behind a Ryan Long single with 2 on and 2 out, scoring Eric Gutierrez and Tyler Neslony. Texas Tech only managed 7 hits, but it was just enough.

Game 2 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette: Saturday, February 27th @ 12:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: RHP Ty Harpenau (1-0, 1.80)
Louisiana-Lafayette Starting Pitcher: RHP Wyatt Marks (1-0, 1.42)
Final Score & Box Score: Texas Tech 5, Louisiana 3 (Recap | Box Score)

Rack it up. Another top 25 win for Texas Tech, this time, taking down Louisiana-Lafayete, 5-3 on Saturday afternoon. Freshman Ty Harpenau got the start going 5 innings, giving up 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks and striking out 2. That’s not necessarily a win, but it’s a quality start and that’s terrific from a true freshman. In relief, Robert Dugger pitched 2.2 innings, giving up 3 hits and a run, while striking out 3. Dugger actually pitched well for 2 of those innings and had trouble in his third inning. Parker Mushinski came in and faced a batter, hit said batter and was yanked for Chandler Eden, who struck out the lone batter he faced. Freshman Ryan Shetter pitched the 9th and 10th innings, giving up 2 hits and striking out 1. Just in case you’re keeping track, that’s two true freshmen, Harpenau and Shetter, and two JUCO arms, Dugger and Eden, who are making the impact on the pitching end of things.

Texas Tech scored their first run of the game on a Cory Raley ground out that scored Ryan Long, who had singled to start the inning and was moved around the diamond by a Michael Davis single. That was the first run of the game for either team, Louisiana would tie it up in the 4th inning and in the 6th inning, both teams would score, Texas Tech scored on an Orlando Garcia home run.

Louisiana would go ahead in the 7th inning and Texas Tech would not score until the 9th inning, Tyler Neslony would start the inning with a double and Zach Davis bunted to third base, singling. Davis stole second, Ryan Long walked and Tyler Floyd scored Neslony on a fielder’s choice tying the game.

In the 10th inning, Texas Tech would score 2 runs on a Long double. And the crazy thing is that those 2 runs were scored on an Eric Gutierrez single where he advanced to third base on a ground out and Davis scored from first on that Long double. Frm first.

Game 3 vs. Arkansas: Sunday, February 28th @ 11:00 am
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: LHP Ty Damron (1-0, 0.00)
Arkansas Starting Pitcher: TBA
Final Score & Box Score: Arkansas 10, Texas Tech 6 (Recap | Box Score)

I thought for sure that this was going to be a great game for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders scored 5 in the first inning and Ty Damron looked to be in control, but by the time the third inning rolled around, Arkansas scored 4 of those runs, and then tacked on another 3 in the 4th inning. Part of that 5 run inning was the result of an error, but the inning got away from Damron, 4 hits, a wild pitch. Hayden Howard relieved Damron and then Howard had a rough 4th inning, including a 2 run home run.

The offense was pretty much that 1st inning, a Cory Raley single started the game and it was just an avalance of things. Orlando Garcia was then hit by a pitch, Tyler Neslony doubled, Michael Davis doubled and Texas Tech was batting at the top of the order again with Raley singling again.

Overall, Texas Tech was 2-1 for this series and beat the No. 9 Houston Cougars and No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns. That’s a great weekend.


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