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Red Raider Hardball :: Texas Tech Wins Season Opener, 8-3

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Date Start Time Texas Tech
Starting Pitcher
Opponent
Starting Pitcher
Result
2.19.10 4:00 p.m. Chad Bettis
(1-0)
Malcom Thomas-Jacksonville St.
(0-1)
W: 8-3
2.20.10 4:00 p.m. Bobby Doran
(0-0, 0.00)
Alan Oaks-Michigan
(0-0, 0.00)
-
2.21.10 11:00 p.m. Louis Head
(0-0, 0.00)
Matt Miller-Michigan
(0-0, 0.00)
-
2.21.10 2:00 p.m. TBA
(0-0, 0.00)
TBA-Jacksonville St.
(0-0, 0.00)
-
Outfield:
LF - Michael Reed (Sr.); CF - Taylor Ashby (Sr.); RF - Barrett Barnes (Fr.)
Infield:
SS - Joey Kenworthy (Sr.)     2ND - Garrett Totten (So.);
3RD - Nick Popescu (Jr.)                                  1ST - Stephen Hagen (Jr.)
C - Jeremy Mayo (So.)
DH - Scott LeJeune (So.)

*Click on the score for boxscore. Texas Tech series preview (pdf).

The Game: How about that. A true freshman and the best player on your team leading the way to an 8-3 win over Jacksonville St. It didn't appear as if P Chad Bettis had his best stuff (7.0 IP; 4 H; 1 ER; 2 BB; 4 SO) as he had relatively low strikeout numbers, but he did force 14 ground outs on the day. You'll hear almost every pitching coach teach, "pitch to contact," and apparently, that's what Bettis did yesterday and relied on his defense.

Out of the pen, P Brennan Stewart (So.) struggled a bit, allowing 2 earned runs off of 6 hits in 1.2 innings (1.2 IP; 6 H; 2 ER; 0 BB; 1 SO), but Stewart is coming off of elbow surgery that kept him out all of 2009 except for 2 games. I'm guessing that Spencer saw an opportunity with a fairly large lead to get a player some live pitches and I'm okay with that. New closer, P Jay Johnson, pitched the final at bat, forcing a fly-out to end the game.

But perhaps the star of the game was true freshman RF Barrett Barnes, who had a single in his first collegiate at bat, a homerun in his second collegiate at bat and ended the day with 6 RBI on 3 hits (3-4; 6 RBI; 2 SB; 2 HR). If Texas Tech receives this sort of production from it's #3 hitter in the lineup, then this could be a very good offensive lineup. I shouldn't forget SS Joey Kenworthy who helped set the table for Barnes, getting on base 3 times (2-3; 3 R; 1 BB).

Recaps: LAJ's George Watson recaps yesterday's win and had this to say about Barnes' hitting ability:

Barnes showed right off why he was one of the prized recruits in the 2009 class and why he was able to earn a starting role in his first season. He ripped an RBI single to left in his first at-bat as a Red Raider, and followed that up two innings later with his first home run, a two-run blast that he wrapped around the right-field foul pole. He put Tech (1-0) up 8-0 in the third by crushing the ball over the bullpen in left with two outs.

Head coach Dan Spencer had this to say about the win:

"The win is the important thing. I thought (Chad) Bettis threw great. I thought we were interested early, offensively, for about four innings and then their soft left-handed pitcher really gave us some trouble because we didn't make the adjustments we needed to make. I thought we might have gotten a little complacent and thought the game was over. I just reminded them, in college baseball, you play nine innings and as well as we played defensively and with great pitching the truth is they (JSU) get one more hit and they potentially have the tying run at the plate. That's how fine the line is. So we just have to stay in the game and concentrate more, offensively, the whole game, and we will be fine."