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Tech Baseball hopes to win series against West Virginia

Tech is just 5-4 in conference play this season.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Arkansas vs Texas Tech Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech baseball team is looking to increase their so-so record against the Big 12 so far this season with a series win against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Red Raiders are 5-4 so far this conference season, with a 1-2 series loss to the Texas Longhorns and 2-1 series win against both Kansas and Kansas State.

This West Virginia team is 4-5 in conference play so far this season. They are led by their pitching staff, including their staff ace, Alek Manoah. They have four quality starters that can win them games. We will have a pitching match-up later on in the article. They have a couple of good batters, but they rely on their pitching staff to get their wins.

Their best hitter in their lineup is lead-off second baseman Tyler Doanes. He is currently hitting .306 with 3 home-runs and 19 RBI this season. His OBP is .406 so he does draw a fair amount of walks. Darius Hill is their best hitter with runners in scoring position. Hill has 23 RBI including 13 doubles this season.

Hill will bat third in their lineup and plays right field. Their best power hitter is catcher Paul McIntosh, who has 7 home-runs and 20 RBI. He is hitting .263 overall and hits in the middle of the lineup. Like I said early on, West Virginia doesn’t have a ton of great hitters, but they have a good amount of average hitters that provide enough runs for the pitching staff to win games. Here is what I predict the lineup will look like:

2B Tyler Doanes

CF Brandon White

RF Darius Hill

DH Marquez Inman

C Paul McIntosh

3B Ivan Gonzalez

1B Kevin Brophy

SS Tevin Tucker

LF Austin Davis

The Red Raiders will come out with a similar offensive gameplan as they usually have. Cole Stillwell has taken over as the designated hitter and will bat second for the Red Raiders. His batting has gotten much better compared to the beginning of the season. Stillwell has really come into his own and is on a nice 9-game hitting streak.

As per usual, the Red Raiders will also rely heavily on the top of the lineup for a good chunk of its run production. Relying on big hitters such as Josh Jung and Cameron Warren later in the lineup to drive in runs. They will need to especially rely on their heavy hitters to get hits when hits might be hard to come by.

Pitching Match-Up:

Game 1:

Texas Tech Starting Pitcher:

Erikson Lanning LHP

0-0 3.21 ERA 28.0 IP

West Virginia Starting Pitcher:

Alek Manoah RHP

4-2 2.44 ERA 51.2 IP

Game 2:

Texas Tech Starting Pitcher

Micah Dallas RHP

3-0 3.29 ERA 27.1 IP

West Virginia Starting Pitcher:

Jackson Wolf LHP

2-2 3.64 ERA 42.0 IP

Game 3:

Texas Tech Starting Pitcher:

Caleb Kilian RHP

4-2 5.59 ERA 38.2 IP

West Virginia Starting Pitcher:

Kade Strowd RHP

4-2 3.54 ERA 48.1 IP

These pitching match-ups will be fun to watch this weekend. West Virginia has a slight edge in pitching I believe but the Red Raiders have an advantage batting. It will definitely be a low scoring battle when these two come together this weekend in Morgantown.

I predict a 2-1 series win for the Red Raiders. They probably don’t have the gas to completely sweep a good team like the Mountaineers on their home turf, but they will have enough in the tank to take at least two of these games. What do you think?