The baseball boys are back in town after a successful opening series in Starkville. These Red Raiders entered the season ranked 14 by NCAA.com’s official preseason rankings and now sit one spot away from the top 10 as the 11th best team in the country. Tech’s opening game against Western Illinois ended in a 15-1 route of the Bulldogs.
Davis Martin pitched 6 innings in the first game with 7 Ks and one earned run on his ledger. Relieving him in the seventh inning was Ty Harpenau who struck out three in his two shutout innings.
Leading the way offensively was first baseman Hunter Hargrove which some genius (me) predicted in the season preview podcast. Hargrove went 4-5 with a walk, two doubles, a homer, and 4 RBI. Second baseman Michael Davis also had a big day at the plate notching 3 hits and a walk.
Later that same day Tech squared off against the reigning SEC Champions in their home and came out with a 5-2 victory. Southpaw Steven Gingery took the mound in game two and punched out 8 SEC Bulldogs in 7 innings while holding the home team to only one run.
At the dish, third baseman Josh Jung notched two hits and drove in two of Tech’s five runs with one of his two hits going for extra bases. Speaking of extra bases, short stop Orlando Garcia hit a homer in the opener and a 2 RBI triple in the second game showing off his power early in the season.
Game three starting pitcher Ryan Shetter lasted 6 innings against Western Illinois allowing two runs on 4 hits and no walks with 6 punch outs to boot.
Texas Tech ran wild on the bases, with five players stealing six bags without getting caught. In the two hole, 2B Michael Davis tallied 3 hits, 3 RBI and his first home run of the season. Leadoff hitter Grant Little put up two hits, one of which was a double. The non-bulldogs would win 13-5.
Sunday’s closing contest pitted the two 2016 Omaha travelers against one another again. Erikson Lanning started the game but was unable to finish the third inning. The sophomore southpaw pitched 2.1 innings with 3 earned runs on his ledger on four hits and a walk. All the runs came in the third inning with a 4-0 lead.
Coming on in relief was Jose Quezada who lasted 1.2 innings and allowed 3 earned runs of his own. Parker Mushinski was the one pitcher to work at least a full inning and not allow a run.
The Red Raiders scored four times off the started in the first inning and would drive out the starting pitcher after four. Once the reliever Riley Self came in he was nearly untouchable.
Self pitched 5 innings, allowing only one hit, a Hargrove 8th inning homer, and let only one other Red Raider reach base on a walk. Grant Little was the lone Tech player with more than one hit, he went 2-5 with a run and a strikeout.
Overall this weekend turned out well for Texas Tech. With so many offensive weapons graduating or being drafted, this offensive output should encourage fans that this season will bear more resemblance to 2016 than 2015.