Opening Day is Here

It's time to throw out the first pitch here is a small dose of what the Red Raiders bring back this season.

Today is the greatest day of the year, it's almost better than Christmas morning, it's almost better than a birthday – it's opening day of the 2012 Texas Tech Baseball season.

The Red Raiders open the ballpark that everyone has been watching be slowly constructed and revamped since May when it was announced that there was going to be a 5 million dollar renovation to Dan Law Field.

When the Red and Black game was played in the fall a hard hat was almost needed to go into the park just to watch the game, but now months later it's ready to be home to the Red Raiders and Big 12 Baseball.

The new facilities are amazing with the new coaches offices down the first base line, the new luxury suites, new radio and Television broadcast booths, new press box, new seating behind the plate and the list goes on and on.

Some other exciting things to look forward to besides the new-look stadium, is the team itself.

Tech comes off a 33-25 season where its main struggles lied within Big 12 play, but as many preseason accolades the players have been bringing in is only a good sign for the season.

Barrett Barnes comes off a season where he batted .290, which to the former Big 12 Freshman of the Year, was a down season.  The outfielder was named to numerous All-American squads and was named by CollegeBaseballInsider.com as one of the "Top 3 Power Threats in the Big 12".

The list goes on and on for Barnes, but what it all boils down to is that the junior is expected to have one of those seasons that nobody will forget.

On the pitching side of things closer John Neely is coming off a season where in 40 appearances he posted a 10-2 record with eight saves to go along with it. Neely also posted a 3.83 ERA in 85 innings of work with 72 strikeouts and only 30 walks.

Neely is a 2011 NCBWA Third-Team All-American and was recently named, along with Barnes, to the CollegeBaseballInsider.com second-team preseason All-American, while Barnes was named to the third-team.

Keeping with the pitchers, today's starting pitcher Duke Von Schamann is arguably one of the best starters on this year's roster.

Schamann finished last season getting five starts going 3-0 and recording a 1.42 ERA in 25.1 innings pitched.

He is also the first freshman to start 5-0 in his career and will be the first underclassman to start on Opening Day since Chad Bettis, and we all know where he now.

A new old face is back on the team this season as Scott LeJune has returned after leaving the team in 2011 to take care of some personal issues.

LeJune is back and brings back a bat as well as in 2010 he batted .323 with 28 doubles.

With all those weapons and more back it should be a great season for the Red Raiders and now all that's left to do is say …

PLAY BALL!!


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