MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS WEEK:
That was quite the weekend for Texas Tech Baseball! The Red Raiders absolutely steamrolled the Oklahoma State Cowboys 12-4 on Friday, 10-2 on Saturday, and 5-2 on Sunday. Tech pitchers combined for 46 strikeouts on the weekend with strong starting performances from Micah Dallas, Caleb Kilian, and Bryce Bonnin as well as exceptional relief outings from Dave Haveman, Ryan Sublette, Taylor Floyd, Hunter Dobbins, John McMillon, and Clayton Beeter. Honestly, Texas Tech did not have a single pitcher struggle this weekend against a strong and powerful OSU lineup.
Offensively Josh Jung hit home runs in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday and was named the Big 12 Player of the Week for the third time. He went .583, 2HR, 2 2B, 8RBI, 7BB over the week to earn the honor. Dylan Neuse and Cameron Warren also hit no-doubters on the weekend while also coming up with clutch hits. Neuse with a bases-clearing triple put him at six three-baggers on the season and 6th in the country in that category, he also had a 3-run HR on Sunday. Cameron Warren had a solo shot of his own and along with Gabe Holt always seemed to hit in the right place at the right time for RBI singles when needed.
With the sweep, Tech knocked Oklahoma State out of the Big 12 lead and booked their second Big 12 series victory in a row over the conference leader. The Red Raiders now own second place in the Big 12 outright and sit 1.5 games back of the Baylor Bears with two conference series remaining. Tech will hit the road for a weekend stint in Norman against the Oklahoma Sooners after facing the UTRGV Vaqueros on Tuesday and Wednesday in Lubbock.
Tech made strong moves back up in the rankings and their RPI moved up fives spots to #12. They’re in a very strong position to host but need to continue working and winning to rise back up to for the opportunity to grab one of the Top 8 National Seeds when the time comes. Some help from previous opponents making late-season noise can still help boost the Red Raiders’ strength of schedule and their RPI. Oregon is yet to face Oregon State and UCLA, Michigan finishes their season on the road at Nebraska, and Oklahoma State will also be facing Oregon State in Corvallis. The Red Raiders have a good resume overall with Top 25 sweeps over Michigan and the Cowboys, and a record of 12-9 against RPI Top 50 teams and 21-11 against RPI Top 100. Oklahoma’s RPI is currently 35 and TCU sits at 92, UTRGV is close to the Top 100 at 105. From here on out it’s all about wins, records, and the mystical world of RPI and SoS numbers.
A few things about the rankings:
DO THEY ALL MATTER?
No, absolutely not, most of them are worthless and only exist because a baseball/statistics nerd decided to make them. Some are an attempt by various outlets to keep RPI live rather than updated weekly by the NCAA. Many are wholly subjective in the case of those from various news outlets or composites of many rankings affected by outliers. Some also update at odd times, like on Friday.
DOES THAT MEAN I WON’T INCLUDE THEM?
Also, absolutely not. I’m going to include every ranking, RPI, composite, and strength of schedule I can find. It doesn’t matter how “legit” they are, I’m going to put them on the list. I like seeing them change and move fluidly over time. It’s also nice to see that even some of the top recognized lists are subject to knee-jerk reactions.
WHY INCLUDE IT IF IT DOESN’T MATTER?
Because we count everything in baseball.