Texas Tech (22-19, 8-7) vs. Kansas (24-14, 5-6-1)
Location: Hoglund Ballpark : Lawrence, KS
|Date||Start Time||Texas Tech
|4.23.10||7:00 p.m.||Brett Bruening
|4.24.10||6:00 p.m.||Bobby Doran
LF - Michael Reed (Sr.); CF - Taylor Ashby (Sr.); RF - Scott LeJeune (So.)
SS - Joey Kenworthy (Sr.) 2ND - Jamodrick McGruder (Fr.);
3RD - Nick Popescu (Jr.) 1ST - Barrett Barnes (Fr.)
C - Jeremy Mayo (Jr.)
DH - Kevin Whitehead (So.)
*Click on the score for boxscore. Texas Tech series preview (pdf).
Red Raiders Look to Win 4th Straight Series: I'm shocked that I even wrote that subject line and never would have guessed that I would have done that a month ago. I thought that this team was essentially sunk, but every time I think that, they pull themselves up and somehow figure out a way to pull out a conference win. There's only three teams that have a winning conference record in the Big 12 and the Longhorns are far and away leading the conference, but there are a ton of teams that are currently underachieving. DT's Adam Coleman previews the series:
"I hope they do and I hope they respect it and understand what kind of work, and what you have to do to get to third at this point in the year, and what you have to do to stay there or move up," Spencer said. "I think they do on all counts. I think they’re an adjusted club as far as understanding the Big 12 and week-to-week and everything."
Possibly for the first time in a while, Tech (22-19, 8-7 in Big 12 play) could enter a Big 12 series with a target on its back. The Jayhawks (24-14-1, 5-6-1) will be looking to pick up a few wins this weekend, sitting fifth in the conference.
Barnes' High School Surgery Motivation: LAJ's George Watson writes that RB/1B Barrett Barnes' biggest motivation is the elbow surgery he had in high school where he learned to appreciate the simple fact of playing the game:
"(Being great) has been a goal, of course, and I’ve worked hard at it since I came off my surgery," Barnes said. "It’s a reward for the hard work I’ve put in to be successful. The surgery was really a big turning point in my career and showed me it can be gone any day and I could lose it tomorrow and never play again. So I come out and work hard and play every game like it’s my last, and I think that’s been a big help so far in my college experience."
And just in case you were asking how good Barnes has been, Watson reminds you:
Going into this weekend’s series at Kansas, the 18-year-old Barnes is second on the team in batting (.338 average), RBIs (41) and stolen bases (11) and leads the team in home runs (9) and runs scored (49). He ranks fourth in the Big 12 in homers, sixth in RBIs and third in total bases (905). His .605 slugging percentage ranks eighth in the league.
Johnson Scouting Profile: Again, MLB Bonus Baby's Andy Seiler writes about Jay Johnson, a projected 6th to 10th round pick:
As a reliever, Johnson could sit in the 92-94 range, but he has little control of where it's going. He throws from a low three-quarters to true sidearm slot, and though it adds to his deception, he can sometimes get inconsistent release points. His best pitch, even with a solid fastball, is a potentially plus slider that sweeps across the plate. He also struggles to control that pitch, but he gets most of his swings and misses with it. If Johnson has some success in the final weeks of the season in the starting rotation, he could climb up boards as he has been so far this spring, though most teams see him as a power left-handed reliever that could potentially be effective against both righties and lefties.