Texas Tech opens up baseball season at home with the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic, hosting Northern Illinois, Northern Colorado and BYU.
It didn't dawn on me until I listened to the recent interview with head coach Tim Tadlock and Brandon Rawe going inside a little bit. I know that former head coach Dan Spencer was also a Red Raider, but it is clear that perhaps this vision of hiring Red Raiders is something that's been happening for a while. Hire your own. Tried it with Spencer and that didn't work out, but if you hire your own coaches, who have been successful in other places, then maybe that gives you the best shot at success.
And now, Tadlock is here. It is opening day for the baseball team and it is in Lubbock and the weather is supposed to be beautiful, but cool weekend in Lubbock. I'll be pinning this post at the top of the page for the weekend for those of you that want to follow along and I'll update this post as the games go along.
LAJ's George Watson talked with Tadlock and he's been hesitant to name his lineup other than his starting pitchers. So that's all we got. You talk about turning over a team, Tadlock has done that. Something like 25 new players. Here's Tadlock:
"We’ve got some ideas," Tadlock said prior to Wednesday’s practice. "As far as the lineup goes we’ll see how guys compete the next two days and then see where we’re at, see where our gut is on Friday a little bit. Sometimes you make changes during the middle of batting practice or when a guy walks into the lockerroom. We’re not locked into anything until Friday, but we’ve got an idea that we trust 35 guys in that lockerrooom, and we’ll put nine of them in there."
2/15/13 @ 6:00 pm vs. Northern Illinois | RHP Dominic Moreno vs. RHP Zach Badgley | Moreno is just a sophomore and he, not surprisingly played at Howard College last year. The same place as assistant J-Bob Thomas. As a true freshman, he was 5-1 with a 2.70 ERA and had a strikeout to walk ratio of about 4:1 and went 40 innings, 47 strikeouts and 12 walks.
Northern Illinois 0, Texas Tech 8 (Box Score | Official Site | LAJ) Tim Tadlock gets his first win of his career at Texas Tech behind a strong pitching performance from starting pitcher Dominic Moreno, who went six innings, with 5 hits, 11 strikeouts and 3 walks on 97 pitches. Reliever Nathan Bauder finished out the game, with 3 innings of work, 3 hits, 6 strikeouts and 1 walk to earn the save. Inconsistent pitching has been this team's issues for as long as I've been writing about Texas Tech baseball. I'm really crossing my fingers and hoping that Tadlock has that problem solved. I had to click on just about every player in the lineup to figure out who they were. I really don't know most of these players other that Burleson, Proudfoot and Randolph. Those are the players I remember from last year. Leading the way was one of those new players, RF Devon Conley, who sat out last year due to academic issues (I had no idea), with 3 hits, an RBI and scoring 2 runs. SS Tim Proudfoot had a hit and drove in two runs while the team had RBI's from CF Brett Bell, 2B Bryant Burleson, DH Blake Bass, 1B Eric Gutierrez (he's only 5'8"!), and Conley.
2/16/13 @ 2:00 pm vs. Northern Colorado | RHP Corey Taylor vs. TBA | Taylor is another JUCO guy, from Cisco JC. And he was pretty good as he was named as an honorable mention All-American and went 11-1 with a 1.39 ERA going 78 innings, allowing 70 hits, striking out 48 and walking 12.
2/16/13 @ 6 pm vs. BYU | RHP Trey Masek vs. TBA | Masek is an actually a returning player (I think there are 25 newcomers) and he's improved from his freshman to sophomore year, posting a 3.40 ER, pitching 53 innings, striking out 46 and allowing 20 walks. Masek is expected to be "the guy" this year.
BYU 1, Texas Tech 5 (Box Score | Official Site) This was the closest game of the weekend and starter Trey Masek wasn't as sharp as the other starters, but this was the toughest game most likely. Masek pitched 6 innings of shutout ball, with 8 strikeouts and 5 walks. Reliever Johnathon Tripp, another true freshman, went 3 innings, with 5 hits, 1 run, 1 ball and 4 strikeouts to get the save. 2B Bryant Burleson led the offensive charge with 2 hits and 2 RBI.
2/17/13 @ 1:00 pm vs. Northern Illinois | RHP Matt Withrow vs. RHP Alex Klonowski | I think that Withrow is a true freshman from Midland Christian and he was drafted in the 37th round by the Texas Rangers last year and the #7 high school prospect in Texas last year as a senior. That's about it.
Northern Illinois 0, Texas Tech 13 (Box Score | Official Site | LAJ) Starter Matt Withrow went 6 innings, giving up just 1 hit, walking 1 and striking out three. Tadlock decided to give some work to some bullpen parts and Andre Wheeler, Jonny Orozd and Jerad McCrummen all pitched 1 inning with McCrummen giving up the only hit and combined they struck out 4 and walked none. When you have 13 runs, sometimes I don't know where to start. C Jarrard Poteete went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI. LF Todd Ritchie went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI. SS Tim Proudfoot was 1 of 3 with 2 RBI and gets his first home run of the year.