This weekend, No. 5 Texas Tech will take on the Baylor Bears in a Big 12 series at Dan Law Field in a very important set for the Red Raiders if they want to stay close to the top of the Big 12 standings. Right now No. 3 Texas and No. 8 TCU are tied for the lead with a 10-2 record, with TCU hosting Kansas this weekend, you would expect them to sweep the Jayhawks but anything could happen. Texas will be traveling to Stillwater to take on No. 24 OSU and I believe this weekend will really show us what those two teams are made of. OSU is currently fourth in conference behind Tech and regardless of what happens in that series, Tech will be feeling pressure on all fronts to continue winning, and unfortunately I don’t think going 2-1 in these Big 12 sets will be enough anymore. It’s time for the Red Raiders to rip off a nice Big 12 winning streak, and it could very well start this weekend against the Bears.
Last weekend Tech took two of three games from West Virginia in Morgantown and kept themselves above .500 in conference play. This was a must win series to stay alive and the Red Raiders did just that. Mason Montgomery had his best start of the year on Sunday, while Patrick Monteverde shined in a rare Friday start, and the bats were pretty reliable for most of the weekend. Now let’s look and see what we should expect from Tech and Baylor this weekend.
The Red Raiders now have a record of 7-5 in conference and 26-8 overall. They currently sit in third place in the Big 12 three games back of both Texas and TCU, while being one game ahead of OSU who sits in fourth at 6-6. Baylor comes to Lubbock at 5-7 and in a tie with West Virginia for fifth in the Big 12.
The Bears have a pretty good weekend rotation led by Tyler Thomas who throws on Friday and has a 4-2 record with a 1.95 ERA over 55.1 innings this season. Blake Helton goes on Saturday and has a 2-2 Record with a 3.75 ERA over 36 innings. Sunday, the Bears throw Hayden Kettler who is 3-2 with a 3.99 ERA over 38.1 innings this season.
On the offensive side of things the Bears have a slew of guys hitting over .300 from the plate: Jared McKenzie, Antonio Valdez, Jack Pineda, and Andy Thomas all hit over .300 and Tre Richardson isn’t far off at .296. Thomas has six homers and 42 RBIs this year while McKenzie has seven homers and 24 RBIs and leads the team with a .386 average. Overall this squad is no pushover and Tech will have to work hard to get a series win this weekend.
The Red Raiders had another little tweak last weekend to the pitching rotation as Patrick Monteverde threw on Friday, with Micah Dallas going on Saturday, and finishing with Mason Montgomery on Sunday. Dallas struggled a little bit again this past weekend and if he gets it together, this rotation could be the best in the conference when they are all on their game.
Offensively Tech is led by Jace Jung, Dru Baker, and Cal Conley. These guys will have to step up big time with Dylan Neuse out for the rest of the year and Kurt Wilson out at least until the postseason.
This roster is talented enough to make a Big 12 push and it needs to begin this weekend. However, DO NOT overlook this Bears Squad as they lost the first two games in their Texas series big, then jumped out of nowhere and beat them by eight runs on a Sunday to avoid a sweep. This team deserves respect each and every game. Tech is 20-2 at home this season and will be trying to add to that win column.
Game Times are as follows:
Friday- 6:30 p.m. -Dan Law Field- ESPN+ 97.3 FM*
Saturday- 2:00 p.m. -Dan Law Field- ESPN+ 97.3 FM*
Sunday- 2:00 p.m. - Dan Law Field -ESPN+ 97.3 FM*
*97.3 FM for Lubbock area. Check Tune-In app for availability in your area.
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