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Series Preview: Shriners Hospital College Classic

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The Red Raiders face a tough test this weekend at the annual classic in Houston

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

After winning the opening series over Milwaukee 3-1 and handling the Bearkats this past Wednesday, your Red Raider baseball team plays in their 1st of 5 professional ballparks this year with a 3 game set in Houston at the Shriners Hospital For Children College Classic, with the games being played at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. These will not be easy games. On the slate this weekend are the #6, #9, and #18 teams in the nation. The games are listed as being on TV via MLB Network, but will be blacked out in most viewing areas. Root Sports SW will be carrying the games live if you are lucky enough to get that station.

Game 1, Texas Tech vs #9 Houston (4-0)

The first game is set for a 12:00pm first pitch against a very good Houston Cougars squad. Ryan Moseley (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will face off against Andrew Lantrip (1-0, 0.00 ERA) in what will be the first in 10 of 13 games against ranked opponents. Tech last played Houston in 2014, losing 9-0, yet went 4-0 against the Cougars in 2012, including a win at this series. Houston swept Villanova last weekend, winning all 3 games by a combined score of 27-4 and then defeated McNeese St 14-1 this past Tuesday. Freshman Joe Davis leads the team with 11 RBIs, and senior Jacob Campbell has 10.

Game 2, Texas Tech vs #6 Louisiana-Lafayette (3-1)

Game 2 will be at Saturday at 12:00pm against the Ragin Cajuns with freshman Ty Harpenau (1-0, 1.80 ERA) facing Wyatt Marks (1-0, 1.42 ERA). This is the first meeting since 2009 for the Red Raiders and the Ragin Cajuns, and only the 6th meeting in their histories. Last weekend, the Ragin Cajuns hosted Sam Houston St, winning all 3 games (2-1, 6-2, and 13-3) before losing to in-state rival Louisiana Tech 6-2. Their offense is more balanced than Houston's, with no batter having more than 4 RBIs. However, Conrad Brenn currently has a .636 batting average and a .909 slugging percentage, with 7 hits this season in 11 at bats.

Game 3, Texas Tech vs #18 Arkansas (5-0)

The last game of the weekend will be an 11:00am first pitch against Arkansas, and junior Ty Damron (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to start. Arkansas has not yet announced a starter for this game. The Razorbacks have done well historically against Tech, but have only won once since the SWC disbanded. Arkansas has done well this season, winning all 5 games and scoring 41 (!!!!) runs in a 2-game series against Mississippi Valley St. as a team this year they are batting .377, and have scored 60 runs on 61 hits, with 7 home runs. Of their 5 starters this season, 3 have an ERA of over 3.50, while the other 2 have a 1.29 (Dominic Taccaloni) and a 0.00 (Weston Rogers). Hopefully the Razorbacks use their good starters on Friday and Saturday so Tech can keep up with the potent offense of Arkansas.