Preview: Texas Tech vs. #17 New Mexico

Justin Laney previews the meeting between the Red Raiders and Lobos today.

New Mexico (27-16, 17-4 MWC)

Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park


The Texas Tech baseball team returns home to play eight of their last nine games in the friendly confines of Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.


The Red Raiders come back to Lubbock with a little bit of confidence after the second series finale in a row, in which they compiled 15 or more hits.


However, Texas Tech did lose the series this past weekend in Norman, Oklahoma to the 11th ranked Sooners. But Coach Tadlock believes the 9-3 victory on Sunday can spark some much-needed confidence down the stretch.


"I mean we're looking forward to playing tomorrow and playing this weekend," Coach Tadlock said. "We're really proud of our kids on Sunday, coming out of there with a win. I mean, there's been a lot of teams go in there and try to win games this year and it's not an easy thing winning there on the road and we're really proud of our guys on Sunday and we're looking forward to tomorrow."


Tadlock and the Red Raiders are looking forward to being back on the home diamond, and hopeful that they can string together some conference wins and advance to the Big 12 tournament in the process.


"It's always nice to be home, I mean we're really excited about playing tomorrow and these two conference weekends with over eight games, I think it's three weeks," Tadlock said. "But these two conference series, we're looking forward to them and trying to advance to the Big 12 tournament."


But next up, the red hot New Mexico Lobos.


UNM enters the tilt riding high, as they have pieced together a 10 game win streak and have improved their record to 27-16 (17-4 MWC) so far in the 2013 campaign.


Former head coach Dan Spencer makes his first return to Lubbock after he was fired at the end of the 2012 season.


This time, however, Spencer is the pitching coach for a Lobo team who enters the contest with a 4.40 team ERA, but looks to shut down a Tech offense who has been struggling all season long, as the Red Raiders enter the game with just a .251 team batting average.


On the other side of the coin, the Lobos offense is led by one of the nation's top hitters, in D.J. Peterson. The junior slugger sports a .406 average, along with 13 HRs and a colossal 53 RBIs on the season.


His .406 batting average is good enough for 14th in the country and his 53 RBIs has him tied for 9th with cross-state rival, Robert Lecount of New Mexico State.


If Texas Tech is going to attempt to shut down this very potent UNM offense, it's clearly going to go through Peterson, who did not play last time out against the Red Raiders, which saw a 10-3 UNM win at Lobo Field.


As Tech looks to avenge their loss to the Lobos earlier on in the season, many Texas Tech fans witnessed up close and personal how well Tadlock can recruit, being that many guys on the OU roster were his guys and Red Raider fans could expect the same thing out here in the south plains.


"Nearly every guy on that roster up there is a guy that could have been recruited to Texas Tech very easily. And Texas Tech with the facilities we have going on, those guys definitely would have been intrigued by Texas Tech and you would be surprised as to how many guys on that roster were not even recruited by anybody, a coupe of them being Gray and Overton. And I think as far as encouraging for Texas Tech, absolutely. I mean, we're going to beat the bushes and try to find some guys and like I said, I think the same type players they have right now are guys we can definitely get here, no doubt about it."


However, in the mean time, the Red Raiders still have plenty of work to do if they are going to qualify for the Phillips 66 Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City. Currently, Texas Tech holds a one game lead over the Texas Longhorns, as well as the tiebreaker after the Red Raiders won 2 out of 3 in Austin to start their Big 12 campaign.


First pitch on Tuesday night between the Red Raiders and the Lobos is slated for 6:37 p.m. and will be televised on Fox College Sports-Central as Robert Giovannetti (play-by-play) and Mike Gustafson (color) have the call.









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