Thursday morning, Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock brought doughnuts to a line of students waiting for NCAA regional tickets that started at the ticket office, flowed down the sidewalk all the way to the track and field complex.
“We play in front of the best fans in the nation,” Tech junior Stephen Smith said. “It’s a sold out crowd. It’s going to be fun. We’re just looking forward to it.”
Texas Tech senior Eric Gutierrez became the 33rd Red Raider in school history to be named an All-American on Thursday as he was a second-team selection by Collegiate Baseball.
Gutierrez, the Big 12 Player of the Year, earned All-American honors for the first time in his career as he is the first Red Raider to be recognized by Collegiate Baseball since Cameron Blair garnered third team honors in 2005.
The Texas Tech baseball team is built for continued success.
Davis Martin, the ace for the Red Raiders this season, is 8-0 and has a 2.41 ERA and is expected to take the mound this weekend when Tech hosts the NCAA Regional.
He is only a freshman. As is Steven Gingery, who should also start in the double-elimination bracket at Rip Griffin Park this weekend.
Those key pitchers should provide Texas Tech a formidable rotation for the next three-plus years.
It’s something the Red Raiders have worked for since the beginning of the year.
At the same time, it’s just a number.
When the Texas Tech baseball team was named the No. 5 overall seed for the NCAA tournament on ESPNU Monday morning, that’s what flashed through Eric Gutierrez’s mind.
“It’s pretty neat,” the Big 12 Player of the Year said. “I’m very thankful for that. ... Coach just told us to put ourselves in a good position to win for the main goal. I think we’re in a good position.”
And they are.
Texas Tech received the No. 5 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest in school history.
The Red Raiders will host Dallas Baptist, New Mexico and Fairfield in the Lubbock Regional this weekend.
Texas Tech will take on Fairfield at 2 p.m. Friday, June 3 with Dallas Baptist and New Mexico facing off at 6 p.m. Friday.
Fairfield earned its first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament Saturday after an 18-2 victory over Siena in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.
Michael Davis remembers the awe he felt sitting inside Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The moment was so incredible the Red Raider sophomore can’t even begin to describe it.
“It was one of the most intense things you’ve ever been a part of,” Davis said. “You’re not even out there on that field and you’re cheering for all those guys. You’re like, ‘I’m going to play for those guys next year.’ It’s a really cool deal.”
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.”