Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic on Deck

The Red Raiders are back in action on Friday taking on St. John's to kick off the Third-Annual Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic.

The No.22 jersey hangs in center field of Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park, never to be worn again, but the player that did wear it will never be forgotten.

This weekend marks the Third-Annual Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.

The tournament was started in 2010 in memory of former Tech shortstop and coach Brooks Wallace, who lost his battle with leukemia in 1985 and was only 27 years old.

"Naming it after Brooks (Wallace), it sounded like a good idea at the time and it has been," Tech head coach Dan Spencer said. "I mean he was kind of a favorite at Texas Tech, and unfortunately lost his life young, but there's a lot of folks that are connected to Texas Tech baseball that knew Brooks or that he impacted their life. For us to do that for him and his family, that's a no-brainer and we'll stay with it."

Wallace's brother Larry will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Saturday in Tech's game against Northern Illinois.

So far the tournament has fared well for the Red Raiders who have posted a 6-3 record in the past two seasons in the classic.

This season though Tech (3-1) welcomes in No. 18 St. John's and Northern Illinois to take part in the 2012 edition of the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic.

"We love to have good teams come in here because they have a lot of pitching arms, that's what they talk about," Tech first baseman Scott LeJeune said. "Anybody that throws above 90, we love to face that. It's something that amps us up a little bit, we have to face one game, but it's something that you look at. We're playing St. John's, a great team, and there's a lot of great teams in this tournament."

The Red Storm come to Lubbock for the first time since 2006 when the Red Raiders defeated them 5-4, while the Huskies are back for their second-straight appearance in the classic.

In 2011, Northern Illinois had nothing to stop the Red Raider bats, as Tech was able to score 29 runs in just two outings – Red Raiders won 15-3 and 14-8.

First on the docket this year are the nationally ranked Red Storm (1-2), who sit at No. 18 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and No. 21 in the ESPN poll.

St. John's will trot out their ace on Friday night in Kyle Hansen, who has been projected to be a Top 5 round pick in the MLB Draft, and is coming off an 8-7 season where he posted a 3.09 ERA in 107.2 innings pitched.

So far this season the junior has just one appearance going four innings giving up just two runs and striking out nine in his first Opening Day start.

Now while St. John's runs out its ace, Tech is doing the same by sending Duke von Schamann to the mound.

von Schamann went seven innings giving up just one run on one hit and struck out six in his first Opening Day start of his career and first win of the 2012 campaign.

Having both team's best pitchers getting the nod for the opening game of the classic is great, Spencer said, and he's ready to see that matchup play out.

"Well I think that's exciting," Spencer said. "I think that Friday night in College Baseball that's what it's supposed to be – two studs. We have a lot of respect for their guy (Kyle) Hansen, but we really like our guy. We're going to line up and play and we want to win on Friday night. Duke's our best guy at this point to ride out there and start our weekend with, so we'll go from there.

"We know that Hansen's pretty good, so Dukie's going to have to be sharp and we're going to have to play defense."

Following Friday's game against St. John's, the Red Raiders face Northern Illinois (0-3) and will send Daniel Coulombe to the mound, switching up the pitching order from opening weekend.

Spencer said the change in his pitching rotation is mainly because they wanted to mix up the left-handers and right-handers in the rotation to change things up.

On Sunday, Tech will be a part of another doubleheader as the Red Raiders face St. John's at 1 p.m. and Northern Illinois at 5 p.m.

Shane Broyles gets the final game against St. John's on the weekend and will try and improve off his first start.

Broyles went seven and one-third innings giving up six hits and five runs in a 9-5 win for Tech on Saturday against Tennessee Tech.

The junior was the second of three starting pitchers in opening weekend to go seven innings deep in their start marking the first time since 1999 that that has happened in an opening weekend.

Getting the opportunity to start later in the weekend than usual is nice, Broyles said, because he gets to break down the opposing team better and get to watch the other starters, which can be helpful.

"It helps out a lot," he said. "You like to watch and see what they do, and try to mimic it and try to get outs as fast as you can. I think Duke (von Schamann) will set the pace good, and everybody else will follow his lead."

After Broyles it will be Rusty Shellhorn in the final game on Sunday and the starting pitcher for Monday's game against Northern Illinois is still yet to be announced.

With five games in four days, and two coming against a Top 20 team, Spencer said his team is ready and will see if the week of practice has helped work out some of the kinks from opening weekend.

"We're just excited to start another weekend, run our guys back out there," he said, "and see if we've gotten any better."

 

 

Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic

 

Friday

 

Texas Tech vs. No. 18 St. John's

5 p.m.

 

Saturday

 

Texas Tech vs. Northern Illinois

5 p.m.

 

Sunday

 

Texas Tech vs. No. 18 St. John's

1 p.m.

 

Texas Tech vs. Northern Illinois

5 p.m.

 

Monday

 

Texas Tech vs. Northern Illinois

5 p.m.

 

 

 


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