Texas at Texas Tech Baseball
The Texas Tech Red Raiders face in state rivals Texas (16-5, 2-1)
in their Big 12 home opener on Friday March 26th. The teams will
renew their rich rivalry with a three-game weekend set at Dan Law
Field in Lubbock.
The Red Raiders (11-12, 1-2) were in College Station, Texas last weekend for their Big 12 opener against Texas A&M. The Aggies won the opening two games but Texas Tech won the series finale 13-7 on Sunday, snapping the Red Raiders’ season long seven-game losing streak.
Hitting has not been the problem for the Red Raiders this year, instead it has been the pitching and fielding that has let them down. As a team, Texas Tech’s batters are hitting an impressive .300 with 23 home runs and 174 runs scored between them. When in the field, however, the Red Raiders have made 31 errors in 23 games and their pitchers have averaged a 6.39 earned runs average in 200 innings thrown.
Texas Tech’s John Neely will make just his second start of the season when he gets the ball on Friday. Neely will be given the difficult task of squaring off against Texas’ star sophomore Taylor Jungmann in the series opener. Jungmann (2-0) is coming off of a week which saw him earn the Louisville Slugger’s National Player of the Week award, and during his 29 innings of work this season, he has struck out 43 batters and given up just four runs.
Sunday’s finale is a midday start local time, and the Red Raiders’ strategy will be to jump all over the Longhorns early. The Longhorns projected starter for Sunday is junior Brandon Workman, and he has been awful in first innings of games this season. Workman has averaged a 10.80 ERA in the first inning, but then typically settles down and pitches well. His ERA in innings 2 through 8 has been a notable 1.60, and his starting outings this season include a complete game four-hitter against Houston on March 6th.
As one of only three currently ranked Big 12 teams, the Longhorns will try to gain more recognition nationally with a strong weekend showing in Lubbock. Texas has a balanced lineup that features speed as well as power. Talented shortstop Brandon Loy leads the team with seven steals, while fellow sophomore infielder Jordan Etier has hit a team-high five home runs.
Anticipate a close, hard fought series when these in-state rivals do battle in Lubbock, Texas this weekend. Catch Friday’s opening game at 7:30pm EST and watch Sunday’s series finale at 1:00pm EST. Both will air LIVE on FCS Central.