In Ray Hayward’s first season at Texas Tech, most of the Red Raider pitching staff resembled its coach.
Not that it was full of top-10 draft picks or pitchers able to dominate both ways, throwing unhittable strikes over the plate and crushing bombs away from it.
Instead, 77 percent of those 2013 pitchers were in their inaugural season as Red Raiders.
When the Mountaineers left Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park a week ago, they took more than a win over a top-10 team on the road with them.
West Virginia was confident. After starting Big 12 play with a 6-8 record, including series losses at TCU and Oklahoma and against Kansas State, the Mountaineers won their final home stand against Baylor before sweeping Texas in Austin.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Only one of the past 13 national champions in Division I baseball won their Power 5 conference tournament title.
That holds promise for a Texas Tech team, which was eliminated from the Big 12 Championship after a 17-4 run-rule loss to Oklahoma Friday afternoon at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.
It was a game that, according to Michael Davis, the Red Raiders forgot about as they walked off the field.
OKLAHOMA CITY — After a hot start at the plate to the Big 12 Championship, the Texas Tech bats were held in check by West Virginia.
The Red Raiders were held to six hits Thursday afternoon in their 9-4 loss to the Mountaineers at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.
“Put this one behind you,” Tech coach Tim Tadlock said. “We’ll try to win pitches (Friday). Today’s done. It’s water under the bridge.”
OKLAHOMA CITY — Countless times this season, the Red Raiders have talked about picking each other up.
If a teammate has a down outing in any phase of the game, his teammates back him up by taking care of business.
In the first inning Tanner Gardner was pulled from the game after he pulled up crossing home plate due to injury. With a .373 hitter who’s knocked in 31 RBIs this season in the dugout, the Red Raiders came together to pick him up.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Tim Tadlock was a unanimous selection for Big 12 coach of the year after leading Texas Tech, which was predicted to finish fifth in the preseason coaches’ poll, to its first Big 12 regular season title since the league’s inaugural season in 1997.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Eric Gutierrez motioned to the dugout.
The senior wanted his teammates to join him, while his lengthy list of accolades echoed over the loud speaker throughout Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
And they did, quickly squeezing together for a group photo with Gutierrez front and center.
Instead of basking in the “Gute” chants from the Red Raider fans and the glory of what he’s done for this Texas Tech program, Gutierrez wanted to share the moment.
Conference champion Texas Tech highlights the 2016 All-Big 12 baseball awards as the Red Raiders collect eight all-conference selections, Tim Tadlock unanimously earns Big 12 Coach of the Year and Eric Gutierrez takes home Big 12 Player of the Year.
Through the first two games of the series, Texas Tech and West Virginia combined for nine runs off 21 hits.
While those games featured strong starting pitchers that flummoxed opposing batters, the series finale became more about offense as both teams combined for nine runs in the fourth inning alone.
From there on the two teams battled as there were a pair of lead changes and the game was tied twice before West Virginia claimed an 8-7 victory Saturday afternoon at Rip Griffin Park.
With runners on the corners and one out, Hunter Hargrove battled. After taking the first pitch for a ball, the junior fouled off six-straight pitches before he connected on what would be his second home run of his Red Raider career.
“All I wanted to do was just get a good pitch and elevate it to score (a run),” Hargrove said. “I just kept fouling off pitches. Then he made that mistake.”