Texas Tech plays host to the University of Connecticut this weekend in a four game set that runs Friday through Monday. The Red Raiders are coming off of a two game mid-week sweep of the Gonzaga Bulldogs by scores of 5-4 and 5-4. Let’s take a look back at the two games and then glance forward to the rare four game set Tech has scheduled against UConn.
Tuesday night Tech beat Gonzaga by a score of 5-4 in a game that was close throughout and had the Red Raiders sweating in the later innings of the game. The Red Raiders jumped out to an early one run lead on a Jace Jung homer that glanced off of the left field foul pole and Dylan Neuse had an RBI single in the third. Micah Dallas had a good outing going six innings giving up six hits and one run on a solo home run in the fifth. Tech was down 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh when with two outs and the bases loaded, Nate Rombach drove a ball to the left center gap to score Drew Woodcox, Dru Baker, and Dylan Neuse putting the Red Raiders up 5-3. Brendan Girton came on in the eighth to relieve Levi Wells with the bases loaded and hit a batter making it 5-4. Girton then struck out the next two batters and sat down the Zags 1-2-3 in the ninth for the save.
Wednesday night the Red Raiders beat Gonzaga once more by a score of 5-4. Another close game that had Tech fans breathing a sigh of relief after the final out was recorded. Chase Hampton got the start for Tech and had another strong outing as the true freshman went four innings giving up four hits and one run on a solo shot in the first by Stephen Lund. Tech responded with a run in each of the first three frames making it 3-1 after three innings. Gonzaga tied the game in the top of the sixth at three when a single into center field plated two runs. In the bottom of the eighth however, more late inning heroics emerged from the Red Raiders, this time in the form of the freshman second baseman Jace Jung. With the game knotted at three Jace belted a pitch with two runners on, over the center fielder’s head and broke the tie, putting Tech up for good at 5-3. Gonzaga scratched across one run in the top of the ninth but couldn’t get any more and Connor Queen came on to get a one out save and Tech escaped 5-4.
Tech did some things well this week and some not so well. Fielding this week was very good and Cal Conley and Jace Jung had a great couple of games in the field. Base running was another strong suit as Tech had their way on the base paths in both games. I have never been one to sugar coat things and I won’t start now; The bullpen this week was not good, and it was mostly the lack of control that stuck out. There were a few bright spots, Girton had a good ninth on Tuesday and Sublette had a good couple of innings before his control went away. Overall though, this bullpen has yet to show any stability against decent competition, and at this point, that could be a cause for concern with Oklahoma State heading to Lubbock in a week.
Another stat that I follow closely is runners left on base. Tech left nine on base on Tuesday and 11 on Wednesday. These numbers will surely improve as the season progresses, but the number has consistently hovered around the 10-11 mark all season, and it needs to improve as we approach Big 12 play.
Another tune-up series
This weekend, Tech hosts another northern team in UConn. Let’s take a quick look at the Huskies and what we can expect this weekend.
UConn comes into Lubbock with a 4-6 record on the season, losing two of three against Virginia, splitting a two game series with Coastal Carolina and losing two of three against Southern Mississippi.
UConn is led by freshman Reggie Crawford who in 10 games has five homers and 17 RBIs while batting .310. Junior Christian Fedko is hitting .317 through 10 games for the Huskies.
Texas Tech has won 10 straight games since dropping the first three of the season. Jace Jung leads the Red Raiders batting .404 with six homers and 23 RBIs. Cal Conley is hitting .339 with three homers and 15 RBIs this season.
This weekend I would expect to see Brandon Birdsell, Patrick Monteverde, and Mason Montgomery on the mound. The Monday pitcher is still TBA thus far.
Game times are as follows:
2 p.m. Friday
2 p.m. Saturday
2 p.m. Sunday
10 a.m. Monday
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