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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe :: 03.22.10

Spring Practice:  That's right, at 3:00 p.m. today spring practice begins.  This is from LAJ's Don Williams' Sunday article regarding practice dates.  For those of you who are in Lubbock, I think all practices are open to the public, so if you want to stop by and give us all an update, I think that you might reach epic status.

March practices: 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 and 31.
April practices: 1, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14 and 16.
Practice times: 3 p.m. each day
Spring game: 1 p.m. April 17

Focus on the Field:'s Olin Buchanan has a nice preview of the team.  Nothing earth shattering, although I thought that Buchanan's player on the hot-seat seems a bit odd:

LB Tyrone Sonier: In his two previous seasons, Sonier has made just six total tackles. There is a new coaching staff and Tuberville's trademark is strong defense. A starting linebacker job is up for grabs. If Sonier doesn't grab it, he'll be in danger of becoming a career backup.

Don't get me wrong, I think Sonier needs to step it up, but I thought that Sonier would be behind Duncan at an inside linebacker spot. 

More Legal Stuff:  DT's Alex Ybarra writes that the legal teams of Leach vs. Texas Tech were a little busy (go click on his story, he was here during spring break, he deserves the click-through) and I got a giggle out of this:

After the James depositions — Leach sat in the room with Craig James but not Adam James — Grigg hosted a press conference on March 6, which was followed up by another one later that day from Liggett’s house.

Grigg spoke of evidence indicating Leach did not believe that Adam James had a concussion.

"He asked Mr. Pincock, ‘Did you see him vomit? Do you have a sample of the vomit? This is a bunch of BS.’ Those kind of things, not believing anything," Grigg said.

Liggett said Leach’s legal team "categorically" denies that assertion and there is no "credible" evidence to suggest it.

Game Tomorrow
Mississippi Rebels (20-10, 9-7)  vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (19-15, 4-12)
Time:  8:00 p.m.
Location: Smith Coliseum : Oxford, MS
Television:  ESPN2
DTN Preview:  Tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. :: Open Game Day Thread:  7:00 p.m.
Post Game Thoughts:  Jacksonville Dolphins 64, Texas Tech Red Raiders 69


Staying Defensive:  LAJ's Courtney Linehan writes that this team is trying to stay defensive as they work their way through the NIT. Here's head coach Pat Knight:

Knight said he’s thought all season that Tech would eventually pull out a close win because of its solid defensive performance, but it took Sunday’s 69-64 win to prove it.

"I thought so, I was hoping so, but I didn’t know," he said after the game. "At times we had some rough halves in games this year, but overall defensively I think we’re much improved."

Advancing to the Third Round:  DT's Alex Ybarra writes about the team's win on Saturday, but the team is now focusing on the Rebels.  Here's SF Mike Singletary

"I think this team is focused," Singletary said. "I think we’re focused on the team that we got coming up next. We know they’re a good team. We watched them play yesterday.

"They’re athletic. They play well together, so we’re gonna have our hands full."

Texas Tech (9-12, 1-2) vs. Texas A&M (15-4, 2-1)
Location: Olsen Field : College Station, TX
Radio: Affiliates
Date Start Time Texas Tech
Starting Pitcher
Texas A&M
Starting Pitcher
3.19.10 6:35 p.m. John Neely
L, 0-1
Barrett Loux
W, 3-1
L: 3-6
3.20.10 2:05 p.m. Jay Johnson
L, 1-3
Michael Wacha
W, 3-0
L: 4-5
3.21.10 1:05 p.m. Chad Bettis
W, 3-2
Clayton Ehlert
L, 1-2
W: 13-7
LF - Michael Reed (Sr.); CF - Taylor Ashby (Sr.); RF - JaModrick McGruder (Fr.)
SS - Joey Kenworthy (Sr.)     2ND - Garrett Totten (So.);
3RD - Justin Berry (So.)                                  1ST - Barrett Barnes (Fr.)
C - Jeremy Mayo (So.)
DH - Scott LeJeune (So.)

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

The Game: Overall, a very good and absolutely vital win.  Starter Chad Bettis (8.0 IP; 11 H; 7 R; 3 ER; 4 BB; 7 SO) and his line doesn't look good, but he put this team on his back and willed them to a win.  Note that of the 7 runs scored, only 3 were earned.  Ben Flora (0.1 IP; 2 H; 0 R) and Colt Farrar (0.2 IP; 0 H; 0 R; 1 BB; 0 SO) closed out the game and I would imagine that Flora and Farrar are moving into closing roles for this team.  Also note that 2B Jamodrick McGruder (3-5; 2 R) continues to hit the ball (he's been one of the few players to do so all series long) getting on base while SS Joey Kenworthy (1-4; 2 R; 3 RBI) helped drive McGruder home.  But it was fellow freshman 1B Barrett Barnes (3-5; 3 R; 4 RBI) led the offense along with LF Scott LeJeune (2-4; 3 RBI).

Game Recap:  LAJ's George Watson writes that Barnes stepped up big time:

For three weeks, Texas Tech head coach Dan Spencer has been looking for someone in the middle of his lineup to step up with a big hit in a crucial moment.

Finally, Barrett Barnes filled the need.

The freshman clean-up hitter crushed a triple to center field with the bases loaded keying a six-run fifth inning, and the Red Raiders took out weeks of offensive frustration with a 13-7 defeat of No. 23 Texas A&M in the Big 12 Conference series finale at Olsen Field.

"I was just really locked in on a two-seam fastball," said Barnes, who finished 3 for 5 and has now hit safely in four of his last seven at-bats since breaking an 0-for-15 slump on Saturday. "I got a good pitch to hit and just happened to hit it good. We’ve all been a little tense and chasing a lot of pitches and we usually don’t chase pitches. Getting a good lead is what we needed. We all calmed down and let the game play itself."

As always, a good read for a recap.