Photo By Steven Chapman

Texas Tech Opens Season with 3-1 Series Win Over Milwaukee

Texas Tech baseball, and head coach Tim Tadlock (pictured above), opened the 2016 season with a 3-1 series win over Milwaukee at Dan Law Field in Lubbock (Tex.).

Texas Tech opened the season 3-1 after a four game series against Milwaukee, but it is just the momentum they need before the Houston Classic next weekend. Tyler Neslony said after Texas Tech dropped Game 2 it was good they got their first lost out of the way early and they were able to wash out the bad taste with a good win right after.

“It was good and bad to get our first loss out of the way. We know how to handle it," Nelsony said. "You learn stuff everyday about baseball. Throughout the season there will be a lot of things to learn.”

This series exploited the areas where Texas Tech needs improvement. Those being clean base running, timely hits with runners in scoring position, and bullpen pitching. On the flip side, it gave them serious momentum with them putting up 36 runs through four games, and also getting solid outings from all of their starting pitchers and freshman pitching staff.

“Well I think the first thing is you want to play good baseball, get guys in scoring position. As with man on third with less than two outs we handled that better as the weekend, we applied some pressure as the weekend went…There is a balance there when to be aggressive and when not to be. I thought really overall we applied pressure on both sides.”

Tadlock added he was not surprised by the quality outings from the freshmen pitchers.

“Well we felt good about those guys all along. Davis Martin was in the bullpen for a reason, feeling good about him also. Those guys have thrown the ball well since they have been here. We feel really good about that group and Ryan Shetter hasn’t even been up there. He might have the best command of all of them. Feel really good about those freshman arms and they are going to really help us.”

Game 4 Recap/Notes

Texas Tech defeated Milwaukee 12-0 after a solid performance from the pitching staff and a late 7 run inning.

Starting freshman pitcher Erikson Lanning (pictured below) made his Texas Tech debut count. In his six innings pitched he kept Milwaukee to just one hit, one walk and threw four strikeouts. He threw four three up, three down innings and of his 76 total pitches, 49 of them were strikes. 

Photo By Steven Chapman

“We have guys hitting. Our whole team is kind of clicking right now and I think there are big things to come with the team we are putting together right now,” Lanning said.

Texas Tech putting five runs on the board gave Lanning some comfort as well. They put three up in the first inning after scoring on a loaded bases hit by a pitch. Ryan Long came up with a two out single to bring in two more guys. Long was a bright spot on the offense today as he went 3-or-4 with four RBIs, which matches his career high.

Texas Tech added seven more runs in the bottom of the eighth to push their lead to 12-0. It started with a single from Long that was followed by a double to center field from Davis. Raley and Garcia drove in the runners with a sac-fly and bunt respectively. Stephen Smith and Eric Gutierrez tacked two more with a pair of RBI singles. Cody Farhat pinch hits and gets a 2 RBI single, and we get back to Long who adds another RBI. 

That offense once again comforting relief pitcher Hayden Howard to was efficient on the mound today for Tech. In his three innings pitcher he allowed one hit and recorded one strikeout. Parker Mushinski finishes it off with a scoreless inning only allowing a walk and getting a strikeout. 

  • This is Texas Tech’s first shut out since 2014, with pitching being a question mark it is refreshing to see.
  • Texas Tech’s base running today was pretty sloppy. There were at least three guys caught stealing and one at home plate.
  • The freshman pitchers have been impressive. Lanning, Martin and Harpenau accounted for 4 hits, 1 run in their combined 15 innings this weekend.

Game 3 Recap/Notes

Texas Tech came back and won the second game 9-1 after having three multi-run innings in a row.

Texas Tech starting pitcher Ty Damron had a very good performance, and after the game we learned he lost his grandfather yesterday. This one was for him. Damron allowed one hit, one un-earned run and three walks and recorded four strikeouts. 

Another impressive performance came from his relief Davis Martin. He was easily the best bullpen pitcher today by only allowing one hit and one walk in his four innings. 

Texas Tech picked up the offense in game three as well. Tyler Neslony went 2-for-3 including a beautiful home run right into the Tech bullpen. 

He said after the game that it was him and Eric Gutierrez's job to step it up as leaders on this team. 

Tadlock after the game was not pleased with game one, and said they didn't not play the second one clean either. He wants to see more from his guys tomorrow.

Game 2 Recap/Notes

Texas Tech dropped the second game of the series against Milwuakee 10-3 after their bullpen crumbled.

Texas Tech starting pitcher freshman Ty Harpenau had a fantastic outing for his debut as a Red Raider. In the five innings he pitched he only allowed one run on three hits, one walk and recorded seven strikeouts. That marks the most strikeouts pitched by a freshman since Ryan Moseley against Kansas in 2014.

Unfortunately, for Harpenau the bullpen was not able to keep it up. First in relief was Steven Gingery who one and two thirds of an inning and allowed three runs on four hits but three errors were also committed by the guys behind him. Next up was Garrett Bruce, and this is where Milwaukee got hot. Bruce allowed two home runs, one of those scoring three runs. Dalton Brown finished the game and allowed two runs on two hits in the last inning.

There was no offensive support to help out the pitching staff either. Milwaukee score ten unanswered runs in after Tech scored their final run in the third inning. Texas Tech continued to struggle with leaving guys on base, they ended up doing that nine times.

The best offensive player of this game for Tech was Ryan Long who went 2-of-4 with 1 RBI. The top four in the lineup who were on fire yesterday only accounted for four hits total.

Game 2 of the series takeaways:
It was nice to see such a fantastic outing from freshman Ty Harpenau, but disappointing for him that the bullpen couldn't back him up. The bullpen has been a big question mark this season and Tadlock will have to work in a lot of guys there.

Texas Tech is still struggling with runners in scoring position, a big time struggle last season.

Tyler Floyd had a solid performance behind the plate, and contained a lot of wild pitches but only produced one hit.

Opening Day Recap/Notes

Texas Tech defeated Milwaukee 12-3 after having two four-run innings, and turning five double plays. This was the first time they scored this many runs on Opening Day since 2009.

Ryan Moseley (pictured below) was accredited with the win after pitching five innings and allowing five hits, two runs, three walks but recording four strikeouts. It seemed as if Moseley had the Opening Day jitters and Tadlock after the game said he was "efficient" but knows that he will get better and keep competing. 

Photo By Steven Chapman

The other pitcher out of the four we saw that I was impressed with was Hayden Howard. He only allowed two hits, no runs but didn't get any strikeouts but he was consistent for the two innings he pitched. 

Stephen Smith was an absolute stud today for the Red Raiders. He had three doubles and three RBIs today. He was a big part in both four run innings Texas Tech had (B4 and B7). Most impressively, in the bottom of the 7th he doubled to left field with two outs. Gutierrez called Smith's performance a great one and added the ball must have been the size of a watermelon to him. 

Eric Gutierrez also had a big game offensively, he had two hits and three RBIs, but he had a big game defensively as well as they were able to turn five double plays. He said turning that many is good, but the downside is you have runners on base when you turn a double play. 

Also, another note is the top four guys in the line up: Raley, Garcia, Smith and Gutierrez accounted for ten hits and and 11 RBIs. Tanner Gardner was the only other Red Raider to drive in a run.

Both Gutierrez and Smith mentioned after the game that there are areas that need improvement and it seemed as if they weren't completely satisfied with this performance. They both mentioned leaving guys on base as one of those areas that needs cleaning up, and the two errors that were committed.

As for the bat incident that happened after Daulton Varsho hit a home run to left field. Tadlock said "You guys could see the issue we had." and basically said it's in the hands of the umpires, who have sent the bat off to the NCAA to inspect. 

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