This weekend the #6 Texas Tech Red Raiders wrap up their 12 game homestand against the Bulls from South Florida. Tech is coming off of a Big 12 opening series win against Oklahoma State and overall the Red Raiders have won 16 of their last 17 games. Needless to say the squad is hot and in the groove and hopefully they keep it up over the weekend.
This preview will be short and sweet, so let’s get to it.
South Florida comes in to Lubbock at 9-9 after a mid-week loss to North Florida at home by a score of 3-2. The Bulls have yet to play a game against a ranked opponent and they have yet to play a game outside of the State of Florida. USF has also not played a game against a team that is allowing fans in to their stadium, besides the family and friends of the team. With all of that being said, I think the Bulls will be in some uncharted territory at least as far as this season goes.
The Bulls are led by freshman Drew Brutcher who comes in hitting .352 with seven homers and 14 RBIs on the year. Redshirt freshman Carmine Lane, who is hitting .400 with two homers and 13 RBIs, while freshman Matt Ruiz is hitting .316 with six doubles and two triples on the year.
On Friday the Bulls starter would seem to be Jack Jasiak, who comes in boasting a 1.64 ERA along with 37 strikeouts over 33 innings and a 2-2 record. Saturday starters for the Bulls have been in flux to say the least, last weekend they started Dylan Burns for the first time this season, he comes in with a 3.38 ERA over 24 innings, they also have started Brad Lord in the past, who has a 9.53 ERA over 17 innings on the mound. Collin Sullivan appears to be the Sunday starter for the Bulls, Sullivan has a 6.30 ERA with 25 strikeouts over 20 innings.
#6 Texas Tech
The Red Raiders have a plethora of guys that can hurt you at the plate, led foremost by Jace Jung who is having a great 2021 season so far coming in with a .403 batting average along with eight homers and 29 RBIs so far. Dru Baker is hitting .395 with five doubles and 27 runs scored primarily out of that leadoff spot. Cal Conley is also hitting well with a .363 avg. with four homers and 22 RBIs this season.
On the mound I expect to have the same weekend rotation that has served Tech well over the past month or so. Brandon Birdsell on Friday, Patrick Monteverde on Saturday, and Mason Montgomery on Sunday. Birdsell is coming off his best outing as a Red Raider giving up only two hits over seven innings of work, while Monteverde has stayed hot with a 0.93 ERA over 29 innings of work, opponents are hitting .160 against him this season. Montgomery has a 3.18 ERA over 22.2 innings this season. I also expect to see Micah Dallas out of the bullpen at some point this weekend as he has been the anchor out there when Tech does not play a mid-week series. Dallas has a 1.93 ERA over 18.2 innings and opponents are only hitting .224 against him this season.
Expect the Red Raiders to take care of business and possibly get some younger guys some playing time in this series this weekend. While USF is not a team to be overlooked, their resume just doesn’t really ‘wow’ you right off the bat. A loss in any of these games against the Bulls would not look good on a resume for the Red Raiders.
Game times are as follows:
Friday: 6:30 p.m. Dan Law Field
Saturday: 2:00 p.m. Dan Law Field
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. Dan Law Field
Be sure to follow @vivathematadors for all of your Texas Tech sports updates, and follow @JackBellSports for baseball insight all season long.