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Analyzing Texas Tech's Baseball Schedule

With the season less than two months away, we take a close look at Texas Tech's Baseball schedule and what to look forward to this upcoming season.

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Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Just a few weeks ago, Texas Tech released it's Baseball Schedule for the 2015 season and there were some noticeable games and interesting facts about the schedule. Tim Tadlock wanted to hard schedule for the 2015 squad to test their ability and prove to the nation that they're one of the best teams in the country. Here ate some noticeable facts about the schedule:

  • Tech will play 56 total games. 34 at Dan Law Field, 21 on the Road and 1 at a Neutral site
  • Tech will play 20 opponents this season, 8 from the Big XII, 7 that were in the NCAA tournament and 5 that won their conference in the regular or postseason
  • Texas Tech starts it's season on February 13th and Big XII play of March 20th.
  • Tech plays 13 weekend series that consist of 42 games. 7 are at Home (4 Big XII) and 6 are on the Road (4 Big XII)
  • Tech plays 14 games that are a part of weekday series or single game series. 10 are at Home, 3 on the Road and 1 at a Neutral site
  • Tech gets Kansas, Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor home this year. Having 3 of the conferences best teams at home (KU,OKST,TCU all made NCAA tourney) is an advantage. A favorable schedule for Tech.
  • Big XII tourney will take place from May 20th to May 24th

We're now going to take a look at that 2015 schedule and analysis each match-up for the Red Raiders and try to predict what their record will be this season. Let's get crackin:

  • San Francisco (Friday Feb. 13th-15th) - Texas Tech opens the 2015 season with a 4 game Home weekend series against the San Francisco Dons. The Dons play in the West Coast Conference and finished 8th in their conference out of 10, going 11-16 in their conference and 25-29 overall. They had two players make the WCC All-First Team in OF's Derek Atkinson (Sr.) and Bradley Zimmer (Sr.) last year. Their ace is LHP Christian Cecilio. They scored the 5th most runs in their conference and finished 8th in ERA and 1st in Fielding percentage. This game is not only significant because it's the season opener, but there will likely be some sort of College World Series Presentation.

  • Nevada (Tuesday Feb. 17th) - After a 4 game Series against San Francisco, Tech has a single game match-up against the Nevada Wolf Pack. The Wolf Pack finished 4th place out of 7 teams in the Mountain West Conference and finished with a 31-27 record overall and 15-15 record in the conference. Nevada has two players that are 3rd Team Pre-Season All Americans in 1B Austin Byler (Sr.) and OF Kewby Meyer (Sr.), and two 2nd team All Mountain West in OF Trenton Brooks (So.) and Colby Blueberg (Sr.). Nevada finished 4th in both batting and pitching in 2014. Tech will likely faced their 4th starter.

  • North Illinois (Friday, Feb. 20th-22nd) - Texas Tech plays another 4 game weekend series, this time against Northern Illinois. This weekend series is significant because it is that Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic, who pays tribute to the TTU SS who died of Leukemia at the age of 27. The Huskies play in the Mid-American Conference and finished 4th in the Western Division, 9th overall out of 12 total teams. They had a 7-11 record in their conference and a 13-27 overall record. North Illinois' best players are SS Justin Fletcher (Jr.), INF Brian Sisler (Jr.) and RP Ben Neumann (Sr.). The Huskies will also have a new coach this season, after their coach resigned in November. They finished 12th in run scored, 6th in ERA and 6th in Fielding Percentage.

  • @ Abilene Christian (Tuesday Feb. 24th) - After 9 games at home, the Red Raiders play their first road game against Abilene Christian. The Wildcats placed 13th out of 14 teams in their 1st year in the Southland Conference and posted a 6-18 record in their conference, 18-36 overall. Abilene Christian's best players look to be the sophomore duo INF/OF Brandon Grudzielanek (So.), INF Aaron Draper(So.) and Garrett deMeyere (Jr.). They were 11th in runs scored, last in ERA and 11th in Fielding Percentage. Texas Tech played against Abilene Christian twice last year. Early in the year, the Red Raiders beat the Wildcats 6-2 in 7 innings. The game was cut short due to an on-going dust storm. The 2nd time around, Texas Tech crushed ACU 19-2, scoring the 2nd most all season and having a season high 21 hits.

  • Sacramento State (Thursday Feb. 26th - Mar. 1st) - Texas Tech plays their first NCAA tournament team of the season in the Sacramento State, the regular season and postseason champions of the WAC Conference. They finished with a 21-6 conference record and a 40-24 overall record. Their best returning position player is OF Nathan Lukes (Jr.) with their ace being RHP Brennan Leitao (Sr.), who is a 3rd Team Pre-Season All American. LHP Sam Long (So.) is also a good pitcher for the Hornets. They scored the 2nd most runs in the WAC, had the lowest ERA and were 2nd in Fielding Percentage. This will be a true test for the Red Raiders.

  • Northern Colorado (Monday Mar. 2nd) - This game wasn't originally scheduled, but after California canceled their double header against Texas Tech, the game against Northern Colorado was added to the schedule. Like Sacramento State, they played in the WAC Conference, but unlike the Hornets, the Bears finished last in their conference. They had a 4-23 conference record and 10-43 record overall. They finished last in scoring, dead last in ERA and 4th in Fielding Percentage.

  • @ #17 Cal State Fullerton (Friday Mar. 6th-8th) - Texas Tech has their first true road test of the 2015 season, going to Fullerton, CA to face another NCAA Tournament team in Cal State Fullerton. The Titans finished 4th in the Big West conference with a 14-10 record in the conference and 34-24 record overall. They have a Preseason 1st Team All-American in RHP Thomas Eshelman (Jr.), Preseason 2nd Team All-American in RHP Justin Graza (Jr.), along with 1B Tanner Pinkston (Jr.). Cal State Fullerton finished 5th out of 9 teams in runs scores, 5th in pitching and 5th in fielding. I'll be a tough match-up and look into what this Red Raider team is made of.

  • New Mexico State (Tuesday Mar. 10th-11th) - The Red Raiders come back to Lubbock to face a team they are very familiar with; the New Mexico State Aggies. They finished 7th in the WAC last season, sporting a 8-16 record in the conference and 23-31 record overall. The Aggies have a good 1-2 punch in INF Derek Umphres (Jr.) and Michael Paulson (Sr.), along with two good pitchers in RHP Billy Conrad (Sr.) and LHP Robert Kraft (Jr.). New Mexico State finished 1st in Runs, 8th in ERA and 9th in Fielding Percentage. Texas Tech played New Mexico State 4 times last year and swept the Aggies. The first game was tight, and the 3rd game was taken into extra innings (Eric Guterrez tied the game in the 9th inning and Alec Humprhys scored in the 12th). Tech dominated NMST in the 2nd and 4th game.

  • @ San Diego State (Friday Mar. 13th-15th) - Texas Tech heads back to California for a weekend series against another NCAA tournament team, this time San Diego State. The Aztecs finished 3rd in their conference, but won the Mountain West Conference postseason tourney. They finished with a 17-13 conference record and 42-21 overall record. Their best players are Tyler Francis (Jr), who is a Preseason 3rd team All American, Bubba Derby (Jr.), who is a 1st team All MWC, and RHP Mark Seyler (Jr.) They finished 2nd in runs scored, 2nd in ERA and 1st in Fielding percentage. This will be a fun series to look forward to.

  • Oral Roberts (Tuesday Mar. 17th-18th) - Texas Tech then heads home to face another opponent from last season in Oral Roberts. The Golden Eagles finished 9th in the Southland Conference last year, going 15-15 in the conference and 30-26 overall. However, they will be going back to The Summit conference this year (they left after the 2012 season). Their best players are INF Matt Brandy (Sr.) and RHP Guillermo Trujillo (Jr.), and their top reliever looks to be RHP Jacob McDavid (Sr.). They finished 10th in their conference in runs, 4th in ERA and 1st in fielding. Not a strong offensive team, but they have some good pitchers. Last year, Texas Tech swept Oral Roberts in a 3 game series. Ryan Long gave Tech 3 RBIs in a 3-2 victory, Tech dominated ORU in a 7-2 victory, and Cameron Smith helped Tech get a 4-1 series ending win.

  • @ Oklahoma (Friday Mar. 20th-22nd) - Texas Tech starts off it's Big XII play on the road again, this time against an Oklahoma team. The Sooners finished 8th place out of 9 team in the Big XII conference after a strong 2013 season, with a 8-16 conference record and 30-28 overall record. That's what happens when you lose a guy like Tim Tadlock. The Sooners had the 5th best recruiting class in the Big XII this past year, so they should improve their record from the previous season. Their best player is Sheldon Neuse (So.), who last year as a freshmen lead the Sonners in every major category. I remember him playing in the 3-hole and proving himself in Lubbock last year. Other good players are RHP Jake Elltott (So.) and OF Craig Aikin (Jr.). The Sooners were 5th in runs scored, 8th in ERA and last in Fielding Percentage. Last year Tech swept Oklahoma in Lubbock. Tech dominated OU in that series, with the final game ending in 7 innings. However, OU got revenge in the Big XII tourney, beating the Red Raiders on a walk-off in the elimination game.

  • New Mexico (Tuesday Mar. 24th) - After playing a weekend series in Norman, Texas Tech comes home to face the Mountain West regular season Champions in New Mexico. The Lobos finished 1st in their conference, with a 20-10 conference record and 37-20-1 overall record. However, they missed the NCAA tournament. Their best players are 1st Team MWC SS Sam Haggerty (Jr.), MWC Freshmen of the Year Danny Collier (So.) and LHP Colton Thomson (Sr.). New Mexico was 1st (out of 7 teams) in runs, 5th in ERA and 5th in Fielding Percentage. Texas Tech played New Mexico 3 times last year, once at home, neutral ground and away. Tech was 2-0 in games at home and neutral ground, beating them 9-3 the first time and 6-3 the second time.

  • Kansas (Friday Mar. 27th-29th) - Your Red Raiders play another tournament team in the Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas finished 3rd in the Big XII last year, posting a 15-9 conference record and 35-26 overall record. The Jayhawks best players are 2nd Team All Big XII INF Colby Wright (Jr.), 2nd Team All Big XII OF Conner McKay (Sr.) and RHP Jon Hander (So.). Kansas lost a lot of their pitching staff, so it'll be interesting to see how their pitching is this year. Last year Kansas finished 3rd in runs, 5th in ERA and 6th in Fielding Percentage. Last year, Texas Tech headed to Lawrence and got swept by the Jayhawks, losing badly in the first game and losing a few runs in the later two games. I don't think we'll get swept again this season, especially with the home crowd behind us.

  • @ New Mexico (Tuesday Mar. 31st) -  Texas Tech plays New Mexico again for a game, except this time heading to Albuquerque to face the Lobos. Last season, Texas Tech went to New Mexico to face the Lobos and lost 4-3. This will be another test for the Red Raiders.

  • #2 TCU (Thursday April 2nd-4th) - This is the home series everyone highlighted next year; a rematch against College World Series attendee TCU. The reason why this series starts on Thursday and ends on Saturday is because Easter is that Sunday. The Horn Frogs finished 2nd in the Big XII regular season, but were able to win the Big XII tourney. They finished with a 17-7 conference record and 48-18 overall record. Their best player is RHP Preston Morrison (Sr.), who forwent the MLB draft to stay for his senior year of school. He is a Pre-Season 1st Team All American and will likely be a 1st round pick in 2015. I personally love watching him, he'll give Tech trouble this year. Their other good players are Pre-Season 1st Team All American RHP Riley Ferrell (Jr.) and INF Derek Odell (Sr.) .Boomer White (Jr.), their best offensive weapon, transferred to Texas A&M. TCU finished 4th in runs scored, 1st in ERA and 2nd in Fielding Percentage. Last year, Tech beat TCU 2 out of 3 games in Fort Worth, with all them being blowouts. The Horn Frogs beat the Red Raiders barley in a neutral site game in April and squeezed by Tech 3-2 in the CWS. Should be an interesting series.

  • @ Oral Roberts (Tuesday April 7th) - Tech will have already played Oral Roberts twice at home, but now they go on the road to face the Golden Eagles. Last season, when Tech traveled to Tulsa, they had some problems with Oral Roberts. The game went into the 12th inning before the Red Raiders scored 3 runs in route to a 4-1 win. This completed the 4 game season sweep against the Golden Eagles.

  • Baylor (Friday April 10th-12th) - After traveling to Tulsa, Tech heads home to face their 4th Big XII opponent, this time in Baylor. The Bears finished 7th in the conference last year, with an 8-15 in the conference record and 26-31 overall record. Their best players are All Big XII Honorable Mention OF Adam Toth (Sr.), All Big XII Freshman LHP Daniel Castano (So.) and RHP Austin Stone (Jr.). Baylor ranked dead last in runs, 7th in ERA and 8th in Fielding Percentage. The Bears need a lot of help getting runs in, as they were 50 runs behind the next team on the list (WVU). Last year, Baylor beat Tech 2 out of 3 games in Waco, winning two close contest and then losing control in the 9th inning and falling 7-1 to Tech. The Red Raiders won't let Baylor win the series again this year.

  • @ Kansas State (Friday April 17th-19th) - Texas Tech gets the week off before heading up to Manhattan to face Kansas State. The Wildcats finished last (9th) in the Big XII last year,  finishing with a 5-19 conference record and 25-30 overall record. A step back from 2013, when they won the conference. However, UT, TCU and TTU finished last in the Big XII in 2013 and they all went on to play in the CWS. So strange things can happen. Their best players are 21st round draft pick 1B Shane Conlon (Sr.), RHP Levi MaVorhis (Jr.) and All Big XII Freshmen DH Tanner DeVinny (So.). They finished 6th in runs scored, last in ERA and 7th in Fielding Percentage. The Red Raiders swept the Wildcats last year in Lubbock, wining by an average of 3 runs. Kansas State will be looking for revenge this year.

  • Abilene Christian @ Midland (Tuesday April 21st) - After a 3 game series in the Little Apple, Tech heads to Midland to face Abilene Christian. Tech faced New Mexico here last year and won 6-3. This game gives Midland a taste of college baseball. So if you're around the area, take advantage of this opportunity

  • #5 Oklahoma State (Friday April 24th-26th) - Tech get their shot at another NCAA Tournament team and the Big XII regular season champs in Oklahoma State. The Cowboys finished 2014 with a 18-6 conference record and a 48-18 overall record. Their best players are all 1st Team All Big XII. They are C Gage Green (Sr.), INF Donnie Walton (Jr.) and RHP Jon Perrin (Sr.). However, they are losing the Big XII POY in Zach Fish and their two best pitchers. The Cowboys finished 1st in runs scored, 4th in ERA and 5th in Fielding Percentage. Last year, Red Raiders lost a close one to the Cowboys in game 1 before blowing them out of the (still)water in game 2. However, the Cowboys took a late lead in Game 3 and won the series. Tech will try to them back this time around.

  • Grand Canyon (Tuesday April 28th-29th) - The Red Raiders face a tough out of conference opponent in Grand Canyon in the middle of Big XII play. The Antelopes finished 2nd in their conference last year, sporting a 19-8 conference record and 30-23 overall record. Their best players are 1st Team WAC IF Chad De La Guerra (Sr.), 1st Team WAC OF David Walker (Sr.) and 1st Team WAC LHP Andrew Naderer (Jr.). They finished 4th in runs scored (out of 10), 2nd in ERA and 3rd in Fielding Percentage.

  • @ #7 Texas (Friday May 1st-3rd) - This was probably the best series last year (in my opinion), and this year, it's Texas' turn to host. The Longhorns finished 5th in the conference with a 13-11 conference record and 46-21 overall record. My favorite player on this team in C Tres Barrera (So.) who was an All Big XII Freshman last year and won the Home Run Contest. He was also Gutterriez' teammate in High School. Their other best players are INF Brooks Marlow (Sr.) and RHP Chad Hollingsworth (Jr.). Texas finished 7th in runs scored, 2nd in ERA and 4th in Fielding Percentage. Last year, the Longhorns demolished the Red Raiders in Game 1 and then fell hard to Tech in Game 2. In Game 3, UT had a 2 run lead before Tech tied it the 9th. They would win 5-2 in the 12th however. All games will be on Longhorn network.

  • @ West Virginia (Thursday May 14th-16th) - Tech ends it's season in Morgantown against West Virginia. Last season, the Mountaineers finished 6th in their conference with a 9-14 conference record and 28-26 overall record. Their best players are All Big XII Honorable Mention SS Taylor Munden (Sr.), Honorable Mention C Cameron O'Brien (Sr.) and Honorable Mention LHP Ross Vance (Jr.).They were 8th in runs scored, 6th in ERA and 3rd in Fielding Percentage. Last year, the Mountaineers got swept by the Red Raiders in 3 close games in Lubbock, including an 11 inning game.

I won't predict the record now, but it's going to be a tough road to get back to 40 wins again this year. However, this squad has the players to do so, and I believe they can accomplish that feat.

Here's some more news regrading players on the baseball team:

Texas Tech has 20 players make the Honor Roll:

Not only is this team good as baseball, they are also a smart group. Tech has 20 players make the Honor Roll this past semester, an impressive feat. Here are their names:

Tyler Floyd Heath Herrington Ryan Long Landon Darwin Patrick Mahomes II Johnathan Tripp Dylan Dusek Zach Davis Justin Bethard Corey Taylor
4.0 GPA 4.0 GPA 4.0 GPA 4.0 GPA 4.0 GPA Dean's List 3rd straight semester 4 out of 5 3rd year 2nd straight year
Dominic Moreno Jackson Lancaster Jacob Patteron Hunter Southerland Michael Daivs Orlando Garcia Nick Marshall Cory Raley Kholeton Sanchez Stephen Smith
Dean's List Dean's List Dean's List Dean's List

Congrats to those gentleman!

Eric Gutierrez named 1st Team Pre-Season All American:

Eric Gutierrez was named a 1st Team Pre-Season All-American for this upcoming year. He finished the Big XII 9th in hits, 1st in HRs, 1st in RBIs, 2nd in Slugging % and 1st in Total Bases. No body took a chance on Gutierrez in high school, until Tadlock offered him his lone D-1 scholarship after being hired. Now he's a Pre-Season All American and a draft prospect. Congrats to the one we call "Gute"

Texas Tech Starts off Season Ranked #9:

The Red Raiders start the 2014 season ranked #9 in the country. However, that's still only 4th in the Big XII, as TCU was #2, OKST was #5 and Texas was #7. Tech is in good position to fight for a #1 seed this year after getting arguably cheated out of a #1 seed last year. Go get'em Raiders.

Only a month and a half away before the start of the season!!!