First-year Texas Tech baseball head coach Tim Tadlock will enter 2013 with no more than nine players who have played or pitched in a Division I game.
But that didn’t stop him from putting together a fairly tough schedule that will challenge his young talent to get better quickly.
“We feel we’ve got one of the better venues in the country to play in and we’ve got a team that will be able to play at a high level,” Tadlock said, “You look at the Big 12 and it’s one of the better leagues in the country, so what you try to do there is play the best competition you can. You try to play at a high level every day, and that’s the challenge no matter who you’re playing.”
Tech, coming off a 29-26 campaign and 7-17 finish in 2012 that brought about the coaching change shortly after the season, will play 30 of its 56 games at Rip Griffin Park. That includes two Big 12 series and one midweek game against teams that finished the year ranked in the final Collegiate Baseball Top 30 poll.
But it’s the road games that will test the Red Raiders the most. Tech has two-game midweek series at defending national champion Arizona (March 5-6) and perennial power Rice (April 16-17). Tadlock said there were no plans at the moment for either team to make return trips to Lubbock in future schedules, though coaches are working to make that happen.
The Red Raiders will also open Big 12 play with three of their first four series on the road, including the conference opener March 15-17 at Texas and a trip to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers the following weekend. Conversely, Tech finishes with three of its final four series at home, including back-to-back series against Oklahoma State and Baylor to end the regular season.
“If you look at it, we’ll go and wake up and play nine innings, and we’ve got plenty of pitching to go out and win every day.” Tadlock said.
“We play games on the road and we play games at home. We play the same number at home as we do on the road in the Big 12. It just so happens we go on the road first. But you play only one game a day in the Big 12 and that’s not (daunting). We can go extra if you want. But we’ll line up and play every pitch.”
In all, Tech will play 16 games against eight teams ranked in the final Collegiate Baseball poll and will have a total of 25 games against teams who qualified for the NCAA tournament in 2012, including nine games against Super Regional teams.
“You can line up against anybody right now in college baseball and there’s so much parity across the board,” Tadlock said. “Anyone can beat you, and we can beat anybody we play. We’re going to go out and have fun playing.”
Other interesting aspects to the 2013 schedule include an April 14 game at Rip Griffin Park against Lubbock Christian during Tech’s Big 12 bye weekend and the weekend series at Oklahoma (April 26-28) which will take former Sooner assistants Tadlock, Ray Hayward and Russell Raley back to Norman (Hayward and Raley both also played at OU).
Plus, former head coach Dan Spencer, fired in May after the dismal 2012 season, will make his return to Lubbock as the pitching coach at New Mexico when the Lobos come to Lubbock April 30-May 1 for a midweek series.
The season starts Feb. 15 with the Fourth Annual Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic at Rip Griffin Park, which features Tech, Northern Illinois, Northern Colorado and BYU. The Red Raiders will compete the next weekend at the University of Central Florida Tournament in Orlando against Troy, Central Florida (No. 26 last season) and Connecticut.
Tech’s Big 12 home opener is March 29-31 against No. 16 TCU.
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2013 TEXAS TECH BASEBALL SCHEDULE
all home games played at Rip Griffin Park
Date Opponent Time
Feb. 15 #Northern Illinois 6 p.m.
Feb. 16 #Northern Colorado 2 p.m.
Feb. 16 #BYU 6 p.m.
Feb. 17 #Northern Illinois 1 p.m.
Feb. 22 ^Troy 11 a.m.
Feb. 23 ^at Central Florida 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 24 ^Connecticut 10 a.m.
Feb. 25 at Florida International 5 p.m.
Feb. 26 at Florida International Noon
Mar. 1 LaSalle 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 2 LaSalle 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 3 LaSalle 1 p.m.
Mar. 5 at Arizona 7 p.m.
Mar. 6 at Arizona 2 p.m.
Mar. 8 UT-Arlington 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 9 UT-Arlington 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 10 UT-Arlington 2 p.m.
Mar. 12 Utah Valley 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 13 Utah Valley 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 15 at Texas* 6:35 p.m.
Mar. 16 at Texas* 2 p.m.
Mar. 17 at Texas* 1 p.m.
Mar. 19 Arizona State 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 22 at West Virginia* 3 p.m.
Mar. 23 at West Virginia* Noon
Mar. 24 at West Virginia* Noon
Mar. 25 at New Mexico State TBA
Mar. 29 TCU* 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 30 TCU* 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 31 TCU* 2 p.m.
Apr. 2 at New Mexico 7 p.m.
Apr. 5 at Kansas State* 6:30 p.m.
Apr. 6 at Kansas State* 2 p.m.
Apr. 7 at Kansas State* 1 p.m.
Apr. 9 at Dallas Baptist 6:30 p.m.
Apr. 14 Lubbock Christian 6:30 p.m.
Apr. 16 at Rice TBA
Apr. 17 at Rice TBA
Apr. 19 Kansas* 6:30 p.m.
Apr. 20 Kansas* 6:30 p.m.
Apr. 21 Kansas* 1 p.m.
Apr. 23 New Mexico State TBA
Apr. 26 at Oklahoma* 6:30 p.m.
Apr. 27 at Oklahoma* 2 p.m.
Apr. 28 at Oklahoma* 1 p.m.
Apr. 30 New Mexico 6:30 p.m.
May 1 New Mexico 1 p.m.
May 3 Oklahoma State* 6:30 p.m.
May 4 Oklahoma State* 6:30 p.m.
May 5 Oklahoma State* 2 p.m.
May 7 Dallas Baptist 6:30 p.m.
May 8 at New Mexico 7 p.m.
May 15 at Arizona State 8:30 p.m.
May 16 Baylor* 6:30 p.m.
May 17 Baylor* 6:30 p.m.
May 18 Baylor* 2 p.m.