Texas Tech baseball begins today, rejoice! The Red Raiders begin their season at RIP Griffin Park playing host to the Milwaukee Panthers for a four game series.
Friday - 2 p.m. Starting pitcher Ryan Moseley
Saturday - Game 1: 12 p.m. Starting pitcher Ty Harpenau - Game 2: 4 p.m. Starting pitcher Ty Damron
Sunday - 12 p.m. Starting pitcher Erikson Lanning
The first thing I notice about this rotation is that half of the starters are freshman. Lanning and Harpenau are both in their first collegiate season of baseball. Secondly I notice Dylan Dusek's absence. After his Freshman All-American season in 2014 Dusek experienced some regression last season. His ERA nearly doubled and his starts dropped from 14 to 7 last year. If Dusek can find his freshman form again, this team looks a heck of a lot different. Tech's rotation is split evenly with two right-handed pitchers and two southpaws.
While the Red Raider's rotation is dominated by youth, the lineup is dominated by experienced players. Leading the offensive charge this year again will be senior Eric Gutierrez and junior Stephen Smith. Look for Tyler Neslony to have a big opening series, the last few batting practices I've seen from him he looked locked in.
On the other side Milwaukee lost two of their most talented pitchers and two of their most dominant offensive players from last year. The Panthers offensive attack will be spearheaded by redshirt senior outfielder Luke Meeteer. As a junior Meeteer hit .321 with a .404 on base percentage in his 59 starts.
Milwaukee's pitching staff will be anchored by senior Brian Keller. In his junior year Keller lead the team in innings with 97.2 and his 3.50 ERA was sixth in the Horizon League.
If Tech wants to make a strong statement to start this season like they did last year realistically they need to sweep this series. This is a solid team with a lot of upside. If the freshman can pitch well in their first start or the offense can cover their mistakes I see Tech coming away with the sweep. What I do know for sure is that it's great to have baseball back in Lubbock.