This weekend has a chance to be special for our 10th ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders who will be playing a three game series against our nemesis/chief sports rival/Public Enemy #1, the University of Texas Longhorns. I don’t care what the sport is, anytime Texas Tech is matched up with UT, our fandom meter jumps from “over-the-top for not a lot of good reasons” to “extremely over-the-top for some reasons that make sense but mainly not a lot of reasons that make sense”. Quite simply it’s “sports hate” and you know it’s true.
A little background. The Red Raiders are currently steamrolling through Big 12 play, with an 11-1 mark that has them in first place atop of the Big 12. Tech has won 10 of its last 11 games, and the bats have been en fuego. The pitching has been solid as a rock also; only giving up 33 runs in the last 11 games (averaging only 3 runs a game of course). The big dogs (Smith, Gutierrez, Neslony, Moseley) from the 2014 World Series team are still doing their thing while young pups like Tanner Gardner (.503 OBP) and Hayden Howard (1.91 ERA) are making huge contributions.
On the other side, the Longhorns are having a strange season to say the least. Their 7-5 Big 12 record is good enough for fourth place in the Big 12, but they have struggled in out of conference play to set their overall record back to 16-20.
Based off the stats, the Red Raiders are obviously the better ball-club this season, but this is baseball (never predictable) and (cliché alert) anything can truly happen, especially when you are playing your chief rival. Quite honestly, the Longhorns are floundering and what better place for them to right the ship than to take down the first place team in the Big 12?
While the Red Raiders as of now are projected to be a regional host in the first round of the NCAA tournament according to Baseball America, this is also an important weekend for the Tech fan base as well. With the unfortunate way the football season ended and the basketball team losing Tubby in terrible fashion, it’s about time that we have a great team to rally around on our home turf, which we get to do this weekend. We may (probably will) or may not get to see playoff baseball in our local area this year, so let’s get that playoff baseball atmosphere going this weekend. The Law better be bumpin’.
This is an important home series for the Red Raiders. While next weekend will be the biggest test that Tech has faced up to this point this season (@TCU), the Red Raiders need to take care of business against the Longhorns.