Hello and welcome to the Regional Edition of First Pitch! In this installment, I will be diving into the Lubbock Regional and what the Red Raiders need to do to win and move on to the Super Regional round of the NCAA tournament. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Experience favors the Red Raiders
Remember that really tough non-conference schedule? This actually turned into a blessing in disguise as two of the Red Raider’s non-conference opponents, Louisville and New Mexico State are playing in this regional and the Red Raiders even get to open up against New Mexico State, a team they defeated two times and even shut out 12-0 during the first week of the season. The Red Raiders also split a series against Louisville in March.
Who will be pitching?
The Red Raiders used an interesting strategy in the Big 12 tournament, using their weekday pitchers in the first game of that series so that their weekend pitchers will be well rested for the weekend games. I do not believe that Coach Tadlock will use this strategy this weekend as it is a win or go home situation. This team is well rested and I think that Ryan Shetter or Davis Martin will start game one of the weekend. I also think that Caleb Kilian will start game two and whoever didn’t start game one will start game three.
Offense will be key
This offensive lineup has remained the same throughout the season after Zach Rheams and Brian Klein took the reins of their respective positions. This offense hasn’t been that consistent throughout the season and the Big 12 tournament was no different. The team only scored 12 runs in three games. This offense’s leaders, All-Americans Josh Jung and Grant Little have stepped up throughout the season and have kept this team in games. Other players such as Zach Rheams and Cody Farhat will need to get some key hits this weekend.
I trust Coach Tadlock, and I believe that all Tech fans should too. He will have this team ready to go and when they decide to turn it on, they will. I have been convinced of this since the sweep of Oklahoma State. This team will be able to win this regional if they can get a good start against New Mexico State tomorrow.
How do you think this team will do this weekend? Do you think they can win their first game against New Mexico State? Let us know in the comment section below!