There truly is nothing quite like a season opening sweep in baseball. It means you generally played well, had good pitching, good hitting and you won the games you should have. All of this and more is true of the opening weekend for Texas Tech Baseball. Not only that, but Tech is one of only two teams who passed the first tests of opening weekend without a loss. The other being Kansas State, who swept Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches over the weekend.
The Red Raiders secured wins in all four games against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, an NCAA tournament team the last two seasons.
Kyle Robinson got the opening day nod against the Zags, all while Tech was introducing almost a completely new roster. Robinson made it 2+ innings allowing 3 earned runs on 5 hits, before a call to the bullpen and Brendan Girton. Girton would have a stellar performance earning the win, going 6 innings, giving up 1 hit and striking out 6 Gonzaga batters.
At the plate, Tech was led by Austin Green and Gavin Kash. Green, a transfer from Weatherford JC, had a three run homer off the scoreboard in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 4. He finished with 4 RBI.
Gavin Kash, the Texas transfer also had a two run homer to right field in the fifth inning that proved to be the winning runs. He finished with 3 RBI.
Tech won 8-4.
Mason Molina made his highly anticipated season debut in the Saturday contest, and he picked up right where he left off last season. Molina went 5 innings giving up one hit and striking out 7 on 76 pitches. Taber Fast made his debut on the mound donning the double t, going 2 innings giving up no hits and striking out 2 on 25 pitches.
At the plate, this game was never close after the 3rd inning. Tech scored 9 runs before the Zags got on the board in the 8th. Kevin Bazzell, Austin Green, and Ty Coleman each had 2 RBIs a piece, while Gavin Kash, Dylan Maxcey, and Tracer Lopez each had an RBI.
The Red Raiders won handily, 10-3.
Perhaps the most anticipated starting debut of the season happened on Sunday. All we have heard during the offseason is how much Bo Blessie had improved over the fall, increasing speed on his fastball and his bite on his off-speed pitches as well.
Well, he lived up to the hype.
Blessie went 6 innings giving up one hit and not allowing that hit until there were two outs in the fifth inning. He also struck out 4 Zags batters, all of these stats on just 66 pitches. He commanded the zone well and was in control his entire outing. I am super excited about what I saw from the Midland native, and I hope he can continue to impress all season.
I would call Sunday’s game the Midland showcase (no bias as a fellow Midlander), due to the fact that Ty Coleman (Blessie’s roommate) set a new career high as he went 5-for-5 at the plate with two doubles and 3 RBIs on the day. It wouldn’t be fair to forget that Gavin Kash, Hudson White, and Gage Harrelson all had 2 RBIs as well. Tech looked unstoppable in this one.
The Red Raiders once again won handily, clenching a series win by a score of 12-3.
Going for the sweep, the Red Raiders sent Trendan Parrish to the mound, and he had a little trouble locating pitches and the Zags took advantage. Gonzaga had their best day at the plate against Tech pitching. HOWEVER, a lot of the runs they scored would not have happened without Tech’s help. The Red Raiders finished this game with SIX errors. A defensive performance to forget no doubt, but not a game to forget- I’ll discuss momentarily.
Red Raider bats were alive in this one. Tech scored at least one run in every inning after the 4th. They needed the offensive efficiency because it seemed every time Tech got a lead, Gonzaga was right back even in the next inning, however the same can be said for every time the Zags took the lead as well.
Austin Green and Gavin Kash had 2 RBIs in this one (stop me if you’re seeing a pattern), and Tech used almost their entire bench whether it be pinch hitting, pinch running, or defensive replacements. No bigger pinch hit at bat happened in than in the bottom of the ninth, starting with a Zac Vooletich double to leadoff, and later in the inning scoring on a walk off walk to Austin Green on four pitches.
I mentioned earlier not to forget this game- here’s why: Tech played just about as bad as you possibly could on the defensive end of things on Monday. I mean they finished with six errors. HOWEVER, you were still able to beat a team that has been to the NCAA tournament the last two years, and a team that is picked to win the WCC with ease.
That means something, and it shows me this team not only has talent, but resilience as well. To show that in the first series of the year impresses me.
I hope that I continue to be impressed this season.
To me, the benchmark has been set on the mound for your top 3 pitchers. If Girton, Molina, and Blessie can continue to pitch with the same effectiveness as they did against Gonzaga, the Big 12 should be put on notice.
The Red Raiders take on Western Illinois in a 4 game set this weekend, with a double header on Friday starting at 1:00 p.m. at Dan Law Field.
All games are on ESPN+ and on the Texas Tech Sports Radio Network.