The Red Raiders traveled to San Diego to take on the Aztecs in a 3-game series over the weekend. They didn't start the series strong losing 9-0 in the opener, but they bounced back strong winning 11-0 on Saturday. In the final game of the series yesterday, the Red Raiders won 6-3 behind Eric Gutierrez's 2 for 4, 2 RBI outing and strong pitching by the bullpen. Here are my 3 takeaways from the series.
1) LOB - I talked about what a poor job the Red Raiders did leaving runners on base versus New Mexico State in the preview to this series. Well sure enough they turned it around. They left 13 runners on base over the course of the 3-game series, which is a marked improvement from the 29 left on base versus New Mexico State in their 2-game series. This was due to better hitting with runners in scoring position. The Red Raiders batted a whopping .400 in that department.
2) Oh what a relief it is -The relief pitching in this series was outstanding. They pitched a combined 10 innings over the 3 games, giving up only 3 earned runs and 4 runs total. All 3 of the earned runs came in the series' opener in the 6th inning off of Quinn Carpenter. Over the course of the next 2 games, the relief pitchers gave up 1 unearned run over 7 innings.
3) Big 12 Play - Conference play is right around the corner. The Red Raiders open with Oklahoma on the road this weekend after they finish up with a quick 2-game midweek series with Oral Roberts that starts tomorrow. TCU is the favorite headed into conference play. They started strong, sweeping Baylor this weekend. Don't look past the Red Raiders though. They are clearly in the mix for the conference title. After a disappointing football and basketball season, Red Raider fans are hungry for a great baseball season and with the TCU series in Lubbock, the Red Raiders could give their fans just that.
Look for our Big 12 Baseball Preview on Wednesday. Conner dives deep into the conference contenders and pretenders as well as gives you his thoughts on the Red Raiders chances to win the conference.