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Viva the Matadors Presents: First Pitch

Volume 1: Opening Week.

Bettmann Archive

Hello and welcome to First Pitch, a weekly column about the Texas Tech Red Raiders’ baseball team. Every week I will explore the ups and downs of the Red Raiders’ baseball team. This year will be a good one for this baseball team and I am excited for the opportunity to cover them. Let’s start with the best thing I saw this week.

Best Moment of the Week: The First Pitch (Literally)

Baseball is back Y’all, and I was there to capture the first pitch of the season from pitcher Davis Martin and yes, it was a beautiful sound.

Interesting Stat of the Week: Hit By Pitch

In Sunday’s 21-6 win against the Maine Black Bears, many of the Red Raider batters were hit by pitches. None more than Red Raider first baseman Cameron Warren who was hit by a pitch four times! According to some research that I did, no one in NCAA or MLB history has been hit more than three times in one game! Warren also leads the NCAA with 6 hits by a pitch this season, one more than the three players tied for second. Center fielder Cody Farhat and third baseman Josh Jung are tied for fifth on this list with 4 hits by a pitch this season. These are just 14 of the NCAA leading 22 times a Red Raider has been hit by a pitch this season.

Injury Report:

Steven Gingery - Torn UCL

It appears the ace of the Red Raider’s rotation is out for the season with a torn UCL. Gingery went 10-1 last season in 15 starts for the Red Raiders. He also led the team with 107 strikeouts and a 1.58 Earned Runs Average (ERA). He will need Tommy John surgery and could potentially miss the beginning of next season as well.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-TCU vs Texas Tech Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

How does Gingery’s injury affect the team?

This team will now need to find a new ace for the rotation. A leader that will take this staff and team to new heights. Although Gingery is the best arm on the team, I still believe the team will win the Big 12 and still has the potential to make it to the College World Series without Gingery. Here are my candidates to take charge of this pitching staff:

Davis Martin: (1-0) 1.80 E.R.A.

Martin got the start on Opening Day and was dominant in most of his five innings against the Maine Black Bears. He allowed only one run and struck out four on 78 pitches. He started this season out great for a Texas Tech team with no losses for far. He will lead the team onto the field this weekend against the UTSA Roadrunners. If we remember back to 2016, Davis Martin was the ace of this rotation as he went 10-1 with a 2.52 E.R.A. He has been the ace of this rotation in the past and I believe he can become the ace pitcher again.

Ryan Shetter: (1-0) 1.29 E.R.A.

Shetter also pitched on Opening Day, giving up one run in one inning of work. He had trouble controlling his pitches then as he gave up no hits and somehow gave up a run. In his start on Tuesday, Shetter was a completely different pitcher. He threw six innings of one-hit ball. He was dominant with his control and baffled all batters striking out 9 batters while walking none! Although he will not start in this weekend’s series against the UTSA Roadrunners, he could potentially turn into a weekend starter.

John McMillon: (1-0) 1.80 E.R.A.

McMillon’s first game as a starting pitcher went better than most expected as he only allowed one run over 5 innings. As some of you remember, he was only used a relief pitcher last year. He is also a good hitter, as he was the designated hitter on opening day. In his start against the Maine Black Bears, he struck out seven batters and walked four on 87 pitches. If McMillon can continue to successfully transition to a starting pitcher, he could become a dominant arm in the Big 12.

Upcoming Schedule:

There has been a change in the upcoming schedule change for the Red Raiders as their game on Friday night has been cancelled and the game on Saturday has now been moved to 8:00 P.M. due to field conditions. That series will also have a game on Sunday afternoon. They will also play a midweek game against the UTRGV on Tuesday in Edinburg, Texas. All of these games are winnable for the Red Raiders. Our offense should thrive against these teams, even on the road. Look for Gabe Holt to have another great weekend along with the rest of the team. There is a good possibility the Red Raiders could come into next week with a 9-0 record, the best in the Big 12.

That is all I have this week, thank you for reading what is one of many installments of First Pitch! If you have any suggestions or want something to be discussed on this column, please feel free to comment down below or hit me up on my Twitter @jacobharris_55. But in the meantime, enjoy a RBI single from Josh Jung!