The Texas Tech baseball team is set to host the regional round of the NCAA Tournament in Lubbock this weekend. Let’s take a closer look at all four of the teams that will be taking the diamond at Dan Law Field and how they stack up against one another.
No. 1 Seed Texas Tech
Tim Tadlock’s Texas Tech baseball team comes into this weekend’s action as the favorites to advance. The Red Raiders are coming off perhaps their best regular season in program history.
Ranked No. 4 in the nation, the Red Raiders are the two-time defending Big 12 regular season champions. Tech posted a 43-15 overall record including an impressive 23-5 record at home.
They defeated the bracket’s No. 2 seed Arizona 13-1 in Lubbock on March 7th. That win was a great confidence boost for the young team as the Wildcats were ranked in the top five nationally at the time.
However, that win reveals little about what could happen this weekend. The matchup was a mid-week non-conference game meaning that neither team put one of its top starters on the mound that evening. Plus, a victory in one game (regardless of how lopsided it may have been) during a baseball season is no indication of how teams will fare in a head-to-head series or as opponents in a tournament situation.
Texas Tech is the most balanced team in this regional field. The Red Raiders are ranked 25th in the nation with a .306 team batting average. Tech has crushed 54 homers and is slugging at a .472 clip in 2017.
The potent Texas Tech offense plated at least 10 runs in 10 separate games at home this season so the bats should be comfortable this weekend. Likewise, the pitching staff has also been one of the best in the nation.
Tadlock’s squad has put up a team ERA of 3.81 despite playing in the No. 1 ranked conference in the nation (in regards to conference RPI conference RPI). Furthermore, Rip Griffin Park is a notorious hitters park as the winds usually blow straight out to center field which makes pitching in Lubbock challenging.
Tech’s advantage this weekend will be on the mound. Its top four starters, Davis Martin, Steven Gingery, Erikson Lanning and Ryan Shetter have a combined ERA of 2.92. If those four pitchers perform to the level they have throughout this season, Texas Tech will win the regional and move on to the Super-Regional round.
Texas Tech opens with the No. 4 seed Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens on Friday. First pitch is set for 2 pm.