LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 4 Texas Tech baseball team begins the first of back-to-back home weekends against Kansas State on April 13-15 at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The first and third games of the series will be televised on FOX Sports Southwest Plus & FOX Sports Southwest, respectively, with the middle game streamed on TexasTech.TV. All three contests can be heard on the Texas Tech Sports Network on 97.3 FM, the 97.3 app, TuneIn app and online at TexasTech.com. Live stats will also be available at sidearmstats.com/texastech/baseball/.
Friday’s contest will be the 68th meeting between the two programs. Tech holds the lead in the all-time series, 39-27-1, with a 21-8-1 record in games played in Lubbock. The Red Raiders have won eight of the last nine times the two teams have squared off.
The Red Raiders (26-8, 5-4) return home after playing the last six games away from Lubbock. Tech went 3-2 over that stretch, posting a walk-off win over New Mexico State, followed by a series victory at Kansas last weekend. The Red Raiders racked up 25 runs in the first two games of the series, claiming the set after wins of 15-6 & 10-0 on Friday & Saturday.
K-State (15-18, 2-7) comes to Lubbock after dropping its last six games, most recently a home weekend sweep to Oklahoma State & a pair of midweeks to Creighton and Nebraska. Before the series against the Cowboys, the Wildcats won their three-game set against Texas on March 29-31.
Tech has put up an impressive 16-1 record in games at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park in 2018. The Wildcats are 4-8 away from home, with a 3-6 record in true road contests.
Head coach Tim Tadlock will send out the same trio of right-handers in junior Davis Martin and sophomores Caleb Kilian & John McMillon this weekend. The three are a combined 13-4 this season, totaling 124 strikeouts. Martin checks in with a 2.63 ERA, two or fewer runs in all three conference starts, while McMillon has a 2.97 mark & Kilian sits at 0.89 over three starts & 11 total appearances.
They’ll face a K-State lineup hitting .275 as a group, with five starters above the team average. Sophomore outfielder Will Brennan paces the team in batting average (.375), hits (51) and runs scored (36). Junior outfielder Drew Mount has a team-high 34 RBI, while K-State has been a force on the base path going 61-for-68 in stolen base attempts.
The Wildcats will run out their own righty threesome to face the Red Raiders in senior Justin Heskett and sophomores Caleb Littlejim & Kasey Ford. Heskett has a 2-4 record with a 5.23 ERA, Littlejim is 2-0 with a 5.87 clip and Ford has tossed the most innings by a Wildcat this year (50.1), putting together a 4.29 ERA and a 4-2 record. As a team, K-State holds a 5.59 earned run average & has tagged opponents for a 5.53 spot.
The Red Raiders are batting .305 collectively, with five above the team mark as well. Sophomore outfielder Grant Little paces the squad with the top average, while sitting tied for the team-lead in hits with freshman infielder Gabe Holt at 49 each. Sophomore infielder Josh Jung, who is two hits behind the duo, leads the team in RBI (39) and runs scored (34).
Tech has racked up a 7.87 team ERA for opposing pitchers, while holding opponents to a .206 batting average to earn a 3.55 ERA.
For the ninth-straight week, Tech is ranked inside the top 10, slotted fourth by the NCBWA & the USA Today Coaches poll, fifth by Perfect Game and No. 6 by D1 Baseball & Baseball America.
After the weekend against the Wildcats, the Red Raiders will head out to Albuquerque to face New Mexico on Tuesday, April 17, at 2 p.m. CDT at Santa Ana Star Field.