LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 3 Texas Tech baseball team concludes its five-game home stand with on Wednesday, March 7, against New Mexico at 1 p.m. at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
Wednesday’s matchup can be seen streaming live on TexasTech.TV with a paid subscription and can be heard on the Texas Tech Sports Network on 97.3 FM, 100.7 FM, both radio station’s apps and the TuneIn app. Live Stats will also be available at Sidearmstats.com/texastech/baseball.
The Red Raiders (13-0) and the Lobos (5-5-1) meet for the first of three times this season, as game one of the series will be played in Lubbock, with the other two in Albuquerque.Wednesday marks the 66th time the two teams have squared off in Lubbock, with Tech holding the lead in the series at home at 45-20. The Red Raiders lead the all-time set with New Mexico, 71-46-1.
Last season, the Red Raiders rolled in both games at Rip Griffin Park against the Lobos by scores of 7-2 on Feb. 28 and 12-4 on April 11. In Albuquerque, Tech dropped the opener of the two-game swing, 16-5, then opened up the scoring for a massive 27-15 victory in the finale.
The previous week was not a typical stretch for the Red Raiders, playing games on Monday & Tuesday to close out four-straight days of games, followed by a four-game weekend. It was business as usual for Tech, putting together a 6-0 week to improve to 13-0 for the first time in program history.
The Red Raiders capped a three-game sweep of UTSA with a 10-6 win on Monday in San Antonio, followed by a 3-1 victory on Tuesday four hours south in Edinburg. Tech returned home and completed a four-game sweep of No. 11 South Alabama over the weekend, racking up scores of 8-1 & 14-2 in the first two games, with 5-2 & 9-7 victories to close out the series.
It was the first time since 1996 the Red Raiders had swept a four-game set against a ranked opponent, when Tech did so against No. 14 Texas A&M (March 29-31, 1996).
Four different Red Raiders ended the week with 10 hits, as senior Michael Davis came away with Big 12 Player of the Week honors on Monday. He finished the week with four multi-hit performances, including a three-hit bid in the series finale against the Jaguars on Sunday.
In that contest, Davis came a triple shy of the cycle, throwing down a double in his first at-bat, then hit a two-run homer later in the game, while scoring three runs. Overall, Davis topped conference hitters last week in hits, hits per game, runs, runs per game, RBI and total bases, helping the Red Raiders to a four-game sweep of the Jaguars, as well as road wins over UTSA & UTRGV.
The Red Raider defense & pitching staff had a strong showing, holding South Alabama to 12 runs overall in the series, including three games with two or fewer runs allowed. Tech’s pitchers racked up 10 or more strikeouts in three contests against the Jags, totaling 41 over the series.
Head coach Tim Tadlock will send junior right-hander Ryan Shetter to the mound to start Wednesday’s game against the Lobos. The Friendswood native is 2-0 this season, allowing just one earned run over his two starts. He’s racked up 18 total strikeouts, with nine in his first outing against New Mexico State (Feb. 20) and eight at UTRGV (Feb. 27). He also made an appearance in relief against Maine on Feb. 16.
New Mexico enters the midweek matchup with a 5-5-1 overall record after dropping its weekend series to Nevada, sandwiching an 8-5 win on Saturday with a pair of 9-5 & 13-8 losses. The Lobos are hitting .297 as a unit, with Brayden Merritt leading the charge with a .471 batting average in nine games. Hayden Schilling paces the squad with 20 hits, 10 RBI and 12 runs scored in 2018.
The Lobos will run TBA out to start against the Red Raiders on Wednesday afternoon. As a team, the New Mexico pitching staff has a 5.45 ERA, holding opposing hitters to .275 at the plate, while facing an opponent ERA of 5.66 through 11 games.
The six polls kept the Red Raiders in their same spots for the most part, moving up to No. 3 in one poll to hold the third spot by four different publications. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper & Baseball America round out Tech’s top-five rankings for the fourth-straight week at No. 4 & No. 5, respectively.
After Wednesday’s game with New Mexico, the Red Raiders roll out of town for an eight-game swing against No. 6 Kentucky, No. 13 Louisville & Baylor on the road.