OMAHA, Neb. — Tim Tadlock believes in his offense.
But so far at the College World Series, no team should be that confident in its ability to score.
Pitching is once again dominating on the grandest stage of college baseball, and Tadlock’s Red Raiders were one of the first victims, losing to TCU and its ace Preston Morrison in its opening game at the CWS.
“We are good, the ball did not roll our way yesterday, and that is part of the game. You just have to bounce back,” Tech junior catcher Hunter Redman said. “A little adversity never hurt anyone.”
That’s exactly what Texas Tech is facing.
The Red Raiders are in a must-win position as they play Ole Miss at 2 p.m. today at Ameritrade Park in an elimination game at the CWS.
“We have all the faith in the world in our hitters,” Tadlock said. “They probably need a little more out of me in terms of slowing things down, but then you have someone who is throwing like Morrison was (Sunday), and you probably need more than just your two-strike approach.”
But that hasn’t been easy for any team in Omaha. Only 20 runs were scored in the opening round with the winning team scoring 3.25 runs per game.
That is a stark contrast for both Ole Miss and Texas Tech. Both teams are in the top-20 in runs scored this season, and the only team at the CWS with a higher scoring offense was Louisville, which was eliminated Monday by the Texas Longhorns.
The Rebels averaged six runs a game this season and batted .300 (14th in the nation) with 42 home runs (16th). The Red Raiders hit .286, have 30 home runs and averaged 5.95 runs per game.
But runs will not come easily Tuesday — no matter how well they did in the regular season.
Tadlock didn’t name a starting pitcher until 10 p.m. Monday and when he did it was an unexpected moved for the Red Raiders (45-20).
Tadlock bypassed both Dylan Dusek, who sports an 8-0 record, and Cameron Smith, who threw a complete game shutout against Miami in the Coral Gables Regional and went with Cooper product Ryan Moseley.
Moseley, a freshman, has started only four games this year and is 1-2 with a 3.32 ERA this season. He also pitched six shutout innings against Miami.
Ole Miss (46-20) is expected to start Christian Trent (9-0, 2.21).
“We are ready to go,” Tech freshman right fielder Stephen Smith said. “We struggled a little bit against TCU, but we will be ready to go tomorrow. We just have to relax and play our game. We have nothing to worry about.”
If either Ole Miss or Texas Tech is going to advance to the championship round, they have their work cut out for them. The last time a team came out of the losers’ bracket to win the CWS was South Carolina, which did it in 2010.
“Really what you talk about right now is your bracket — if you want to talk about big picture,” Tadlock said. “You can talk about those last three games without winning your bracket.
“We have a tough challenge ahead of us and an opportunity playing Ole Miss tomorrow, and it will be a good challenge for us.”