Tim Tadlock has built Texas Tech into a baseball super power after the Red Raiders secured their fourth straight regional. The number 8 national seed faces off against Army, America’s favorite team. How doesTech’s first foe stack up?
Army does not hit many homers, just 27 on the year, and prefers to play defense with solid fundamentals. One man to watch for is Jacob Hurtubise. The leadoff hitter has an insane .550 OBS and has 45 stolen bases on the year.
For a team that depends on defense, a base runner who can steal his way into scoring position consistently is the lifeblood of the team. However, outside of Hurtbise there is not a lot of firepower on this team. They can hit, but they put the ball play.
Compared to Tech, with a team batting average of .301 and sluggers in Cam Warren and Josh Yung, the Black Knights are considerably outmatched.
Advantage: Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Black Knights can pitch, with a team ERA of 3.86. I would guess Tech draws RHP Daniel Burggraaf who has a 2.86 ERA. In Lubbock, Tech has always been much more effective offensively, but that is a tough draw for any team in any stadium. Of course, Army has faired poorly against tougher competition so a lot of their pitching numbers are skewed as a result of weaker opponents.
For Tech, Micah Dallas will take center stage for Friday with a 3.75 ERA and a 5-0 record. Micah is a fiery individual, in stark contrast with Killian’s cool demeanor. I love Micah’s stuff, and when he finds his groove early he can steamroll teams.
I’ll give Army a nod here in respect of their impressive regular season, but it is very close and I think Tech’s hitting will overcome the Black Knights.
Advantage: Army Black Knights, but barely
Army is old, and has absolutely nothing to prove. They are playing with house money and should be loose. But in terms of talent, Tech has them beat by a mile. This is a game Tech should not only win, but control start to finish. Give me the Red Raiders 7-2.