Breaking down Tech's 2014 schedule

Any hope of a Big 12 championship will be determined in March with the first three conference series. If the Red Raiders are to make a regional, April and May are the key months to make noise. Tech has not appeared in a regional since 2004.

Texas Tech baseball will open the 2014 season with a tough task. The Red Raiders will host the Indiana Hoosiers for a four game series starting with Opening Day on February 14. The Hoosiers are coming off a College World Series appearance and graduated just three seniors. None of the seniors were drafted, but the Hoosiers did lose two juniors and standout redshirt sophomore Aaron Siegers. Siegers ended up being drafted in the fifth round.

Tech will follow up with the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic against Oral Roberts. BYU will also play the Red Raiders in the same weekend. A midweek game is scheduled on the road against Stephen F. Austin.

Perhaps the highlight of playing for Texas Tech and other schools in Texas is the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros. In addition to the usual Rice Owls and Houston Cougars, the Red Raiders will play Sam Houston State. Tech has not done well at Minute Maid Park in the past. The last time the Red Raiders won two games at the Houston College Classic was 2004. Tech is 2-10 since with victories over Tennessee in 2007 and Houston in 2012.

Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park will host a six-game home stand after the trip to Houston. A four-game series against New Mexico State is sandwiched by mid-week games against New Mexico and Abilene Christian. All six of these should be victories, but the Red Raiders tend to struggle against both New Mexico teams.

Tech opens the conference schedule March 14 in Waco against Baylor. Tech finished the 2013 slate taking two of three against the Bears. The Red Raiders are 4-5 against Baylor in the past two seasons.

The next conference series is at TCU. Tech snapped a 13-game losing streak in the 2013 series finale. That losing skid dated back to 2007. The Red Raiders will face TCU a fourth time in Abilene April 22. The game will not count in the conference standings.

The first conference home series will be against Texas starting March 28. This series never seems to disappoint regardless of the outcome. Rivalries usually are exciting, but when these two meet up, the game usually comes down to the wire. It's hard to predict this series. In 2013, the Red Raiders were in the midst of an awful season. Tech managed to take the series against the Longhorns and very well could have swept Texas.

Tech is at home much of April. The only conference road trip is to Oklahoma State. Lubbock will host Kansas State and Oklahoma during the month. A home series with Prairie View A&M is also in the mixture. Tech will need to make noise this month or the Red Raiders will struggle to make it into a regional. One key matchup in this month will be a home game against the Dallas Baptist Patriots. The Patriots have not been as successful as they have been in the past, but the moment any team sleeps on Dallas Baptist, the Patriots have a marquee win.

The Red Raiders will travel to Kansas in May and finish off the regular season hosting West Virginia. The Big 12 Tournament will take place May 21-25 at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

Any hope of a Big 12 championship will be determined in March with the first three conference series. If the Red Raiders are to make a regional, April and May are the key months to make noise. Tech has not appeared in a regional since 2004.

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