After demolishing Houston Baptist and Northern Colorado this past weekend to start the year 4-0, a tougher challenge lies ahead for the Red Raiders this weekend. They head to the Round Rock Classic to take on Tennessee, Houston and Stanford. Let’s quickly recap the weekend for the Red Raiders:
The Red Raiders outscored Houston Baptist and Northern Colorado 65-11. Senior Brian Klein doesn’t show a single sign of slowing down, having hit .500 with one home run and five RBI’s. Freshman Nate Rombach was also named D1 Baseball’s National Player of the Week after a monster debut in which Rombach knocked five home runs and 15 RBI’s. Clayton Beeter’s first outing of the season also went well; he threw for a 1.50 ERA and six strikeouts.
First, on Friday evening, the Red Raiders face off against the Volunteers from Tennessee. The Volunteers have also started the year undefeated (4-0) with a series sweep against Western Illinois and a blowout win against Charlotte on Tuesday night. Power-hitting junior outfielder Zach Daniels is the hot bat for Tennessee; starting the year with a .500 batting average. As well as hitting for five RBI’s and one home run so far on the season, giving him an on-base percentage of .636 and a slugging percentage of 1.000. On the mound, the Volunteers haven’t made much noise but that could change against the Red Raiders as these two powerhouses collide in Round Rock on Friday night.
The boost of Micah Dallas, Tech’s Friday night starter will definitely give the Red Raiders an advantage. The constantly hot bats in the Red Raider lineup can also give the Volunteers a run for their money. It will be a very competitive game at the dish and in the field, but ultimately, the Red Raiders win this one.
Game Prediction: 6-5 Texas Tech
In game two of the weekend, Tech takes on Stanford on Saturday afternoon. Stanford has a 1-3 record going into the weekend. The Cardinal won one of three games against Cal State-Fullerton and also ended up dropping their Tuesday bout with Santa Clara. Christian Robinson is the hot hand for Stanford going into this weekend, leading the team with a .286 average and one RBI on the year. Stanford will look to sophomore lefty Nicolas Lopez to get things done on the mound as he has just one strikeout so far with one appearance. I believe that the Red Raiders can keep their momentum going but it will be a tight game as the Cardinal look to get back on track.
Game Prediction: 11-10 Stanford
On the third and final game of the weekend, the Red Raiders will take on the Houston Cougars, who have a 1-2 start on the season. The Cougars won the first game of the series against Youngstown State, but then ended up dropping the final two games in extra innings. The junior first baseman Ryan Hernandez is without a doubt the Cougars best hitter; in the first three games of the year, Hernandez is already batting a strong .385 with four RBI’s and two home runs. Tristen Bayless is the anchor on the mound for Houston, who has allowed just one hit so far and has struck out eight batters. Now, I believe the Red Raiders keep their momentum going and take this game against the Cougars. I don’t think that Houston’s lineup is good enough to hang with Tech by any means.
Game Prediction: 9-4 Texas Tech
Game Times are as follows:
February 21: vs. Tennessee at 7:00 pm. TV: FloBaseball, Radio: TTSN
February 22: vs. Stanford at 6:00 pm. TV: FloBaseball, Radio: TTSN
February 23: vs. Houston at 3:00 pm. TV: FloBaseball, Radio: TTSN