The Texas Tech baseball team is coming off one of its best Aprils, going 14-4, the third most wins in the month in school history.
Of those 14 wins, the Red Raiders were a perfect 11-0 at home during the month, which included sweeps of Big 12 Conference series against Kansas State and Oklahoma, one more sweep than the program had in the past seven years combined.
It’s also contributed to Tech’s tremendous overall home record of 28-4 on the season and has placed Tech in all five national college baseball polls.
As the calendar flips to May, so does the Tech schedule, starting with this week’s Big 12 series at Kansas.
The Red Raiders (36-13, 11-7) have won five of the previous eight Big 12 series at Hoglund Ballpark, but have lost three of the last four. In none of those series, however, has Tech been in the position it finds itself now — trying to solidify its postseason resume (NCAA RPI of 11) and possibly move up into the discussion of hosting an NCAA regional.
“Any game that we win is important, especially in the Big 12,” pitcher Dominc Moreno said after Tech’s 14-4 sweep-clinching win over Oklahoma on Sunday. “It’s hard to sit here and say, ‘Hey, I’m really excited, really ready to go.’ I’m obviously excited but there’s still six more (Big 12) games left. We still gotta go to Kansas and then come back here for West Virginia. We’ve got some work to do.”
The April record is not the only impressive statistic the Red Raiders have put up this season:
■ The Red Raiders have won 12 of their last 14 games and 19 of their last 25 dating back to the beginning of the Texas series. Tech has never lost more than two consecutive games at any point this season.
■ Tech’s 36 victories are the most in a season since 2004. The Red Raiders have never missed the NCAA postseason since the start of the Big 12 with 36 or more wins.
■ Tech’s 11-7 mark in the Big 12 — good for third place going into the weekend — are the most through 18 games since 2004 (12-6), which is the last time the program made the NCAA playoffs.
Altogether, it’s created quite a resume for the Red Raiders to hand to the NCAA selection committee. Most unofficial projections for the NCAA tournament have Tech as no worse than a No. 2 seed, with one projection showing the Red Raiders hosting a regional.
The Red Raiders’ success against the Jayhawks (27-20, 9-9) this weekend could go a long way in determining just how close they are to taking that next step.
“We’ve just got to finish hard,” said first baseman Eric Gutierrez, who leads the Big 12 in home runs (10), RBIs (47), runs scored (42) and total bases (104). “I think we all feel good but we need to go out there and get some wins.”
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