Man, does it feel good to be talking Red Raider baseball again!
While the season was cut miles short, the Texas Tech baseball team was without a doubt the no. 1 team in 2020 and headed towards a third straight College World Series appearance and a possible national championship. I spoke multiple times about how this young team could struggle, but boy did that squad make me eat my words. The firepower from the freshmen were insane and three of them got the nomination as Freshmen All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball. Here are the nominees and how they fared in 2020.
Coming out of Mansfield Legacy High (TX), Nate Rombach was a machine for the Red Raiders. Primarily filling in as the designated hitter, Rombach possessed incredible plate vision, discipline, and strength as he took pitchers yard six times this season with three of those being in ONE game against Houston Baptist early on. The freshman also led the team with 27 RBI’s in 2020. Rombach averaged .308 at the plate with a .677 slugging percentage and a team-high 1.117 on-base percentage. It’s safe to say Rombach made his mark in 2020 and is poised for another incredible year in 2021. Pitchers beware!
The next Freshman All-American for the Red Raiders is third baseman Jace Jung. We were all aware that Jace Jung would have to somehow fill the hole that his brother Josh left upon his departure for the MLB and some were skeptical that he could, but I think that Jung’s freshman season was a good note to build on. Jung made a name for himself in the field with a .829 fielding percentage with 9 putouts and 25 assists against 7 errors and was probably among the best third basemen in the Big 12 last season. At the plate, Jung was third on the team in RBI’s with 23, knocked 4 home runs with an on-base percentage of 1.042 and a batting average of .264. I think Jung can really breakout in his sophomore season, but it could take more at the plate to do that.
The third and final nominee is Cal Conley. The University of Miami (Florida) transfer showed the Hurricanes what they were missing out on in 2020 as Conley was among the best shortstops in the Big 12 in 2020. Conley possessed a .957 fielding percentage with 32 putouts and 34 assists to just 3 errors. At the plate, Conley’s 24 RBI’s was second on the team with 3 home runs, a 1.087 on-base percentage and a .371 batting average. Conley is definitely on the up and up heading into 2021, and maybe he could blossom into being the next great Texas Tech shortstop.
Congrats to Jace Jung, Nate Rombach and Cal Conley on being named Freshman All-Americans by @CBNewspaper!— Texas Tech Baseball (@TTU_Baseball) June 3, 2020
Our 3️⃣ nods led the Big 12 and were tied for the most in the nation.
So what do y’all think? Did Collegiate Baseball get it right? Would there be anyone you would add? Or maybe replace? Let us know in the comments!