The Texas Tech baseball team wasn’t supposed to win 45 games last year.
But anchored by budding star pitchers Davis Martin and Stephen Gingery along with talented freshmen hitters Josh Jung, Grant Little, John McMillon and Michael Berglund, this team roared to a 45-17 record and their own regional in Lubbock.
While the team ultimately got eliminated by Sam Houston State, the fans in Lubbock knew there was something special about this team, and the countdown to the season began the second after Tech’s final out against the Bearkats.
That countdown had dwindled to just 37 days before the Red Raiders step onto the field for Opening Day again, and this is about the time baseball publications start releasing their top-25 rankings. Perfect Game is one of the more respected baseball media outlets and the site holds Tech in high regard, ranking the Red Raiders as the No. 4 team in the nation in their preseason poll:
- Oregon State
- Texas Tech
- Florida State
- North Carolina
- Ole Miss
- NC State
- Texas A&M
- Cal State Fullerton
- Sam Houston State
- Mississippi State
Tech coach Tim Tadlock isn’t afraid of scheduling top-25 opponents, either. The Red Raiders will play No. 8 Kentucky, No. 6 Arkansas and No. 14 Louisville, in addition to its rigorous conference schedule that includes No. 3 TCU, No. 18 Oklahoma and No. 23 Texas. Tech also will face the always-difficult Dallas Baptist Patriots twice this season, rounding out one of the toughest schedules in the nation.
This really could be the year, folks. Buy your season tickets. Students, fill up the student section. 2018 feels like it’s going to be special at Rip Griffin Park.