Perhaps Tech's starting pitching situation is beginning to settle down.
It may still be a non-conference series, and there are still three Big 12 opponents awaiting in the next four weeks, but perhaps Tech’s starting pitching situation is beginning to settle down.
Freshman left-hander Dylan Dusek had is second strong start since moving from the midweek to the weekend, throwing 62/3 shutout innings, and the Red Raiders won their seventh straight game with an 8-0 victory over Prairie View A&M Friday night at Rip Griffin Park.
Texas Tech baseball coach Tim Tadlock found an unusual way to try to break right-handed reliever Ryan Moseley out of his recent slump.
The move worked as Moseley, who started as a senior at Cooper last year, surrendered just one run on six hits over six innings, and former starter Dominic Moreno earned the save with three innings of shutout relief, allowing the Red Raiders to hold off Prairie View A&M, 4-3, on Thursday at Rip Griffin Park.
Sometime in the at-bat that produced his second grand slam against Oral Roberts, something in Tyler Neslony’s right wrist popped.
The sophomore outfielder from Corpus Christi had helped power the Red Raiders to a tremendous start, hitting grand slam home runs on the first two Saturdays of the year, one against then-No. 3 Indiana and the other against Oral Roberts.
But, six games into the season, Texas Tech’s hottest hitter was on the bench.
Before he ever got to Texas Tech, Stephen Smith had already put together a pretty impressive resume.
From the Little League World Series to a storied two-sport career at Frenship, Smith had already accomplished plenty before stepping on to the Tech campus and putting on a Red Raider uniform.
Now, add another highlight.
The freshman outfielder from Wolfforth helped No. 24 Texas Tech, ripping a two-out, two-run single to left in the bottom of the ninth as the Red Raiders rallied for a 5-4 victory over Dallas Baptist on Tuesday at Rip Griffin Park.
Texas Tech baseball coach Tim Tadlock walked into the postgame media conference Sunday, sat down and let out a huge sigh.
It was part exhaustion, part relief.
“That looked like a Sunday, didn’t it?” Tadlock asked.
Yes, an old-school Sunday. In more ways that one.
Sure, the 11-7 final on the scoreboard was more reminiscent of the days back in the 1990s and 2000s when the wind howled out, the bats were juiced and the balls routinely landed on the street beyond the left-field fence.
It is Tech's first sweep of any kind in conference play since 2011.
Texas Tech players and coaches have preached all season about the importance of not dwelling on the past.
With the prospects of a sweep in their hands on Sunday against Kansas State, however, the Red Raiders allowed themselves to harken back to last year, and the disappointment of leaving Manhattan, Kan. with three losses, two by double digits.
The strongest day of the weekend in the Big 12 Conference for Texas Tech baseball has usually been Saturday
The Red Raiders are 3-1 on Saturday in league play, outscoring opponents 36-14.
Even so, head coach Tim Tadlock wanted to take no chances in having to win a series on Sunday, so he moved up starting pitcher Chris Sadberry, Tech’s most consistent starter, to try to earn the series win.
Call it a push as Kansas State jumped on Sadberry early and forced Tech to go to the bullpen earlier than anticipated.
At this point, no one in the Texas Tech baseball clubhouse really cared how it came about, just that the Friday jinx is over.
The Red Raiders took advantage of solid relief pitching by Cameron Smith and Jonny Drozd and turned four Kansas State errors into four runs, holding off the Wildcats for a 4-3 victory Friday night at Rip Griffin Park.
“That’s kind of what I was thinking, that it doesn’t matter how it comes,” head coach Tim Tadlock said. “To win on Friday, we’ve had trouble there. To get the win tonight, we should be good going into the rest of the weekend.”
Counting this week, just six weekends remain in the college baseball regular season for 2014.
So you know what that means, right?
Yep, time to start those regional projections.
And for the first time in 10 years, the Red Raiders are solidly in the two media organizations doing projections.
It’s easy to say that with the Texas Tech baseball team starting the second half of Big 12 Conference play and the schedule flipping to their favor, the Red Raiders should have an increased sense of urgency to make a push for the NCAA playoffs.
Then again, that would be totally against the mantra that head coach Tim Tadlock constantly preaches and would discount that the Red Raiders already display that urgency.