LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 9 Texas Tech baseball team opens its 13th postseason appearance on Friday, June 1, at the 2018 NCAA Lubbock Regional at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The Red Raiders (39-17) will take on New Mexico State (40-20) in the first game of the tournament at 1 p.m. on Friday. Tech will face either Louisville (43-17) or Kent State, who play each other later in the day at 6 p.m., on Saturday at either 2 p.m. or 7 p.m.
All of the weekend's games can be seen on the ESPN app or on WatchESPN.com, with live look-ins on ESPN's Bases Loaded programming. As always, Tech games can be heard on 97.3 FM, the 97.3 app, the TuneIn app and online at TexasTech.com.
The 2018 postseason marks the 13th regional appearance for the Red Raiders and the sixth Tech has hosted in Lubbock. It is also the third-straight year the Red Raiders have hosted the first round of games, making Texas Tech one of four schools in the country to have accomplished the feat.
Tech will host three opponents it has never faced in postseason action, but two the Red Raiders have played during the 2018 season. Friday will be the 69th meeting between Tech and NMSU, with the Red Raiders holding a 50-18 overall record against the Aggies, including a 36-7 mark in games played in Lubbock. Earlier this season, Tech capped its first home stand of the year with a 12-0 shutout of the Aggies on Feb. 20, followed by a 2-1 walk-off in Midland on April 3.
The Red Raiders and Louisville split its season series in Kentucky, with Tech taking the opener, 8-4, before falling in the finale, 7-4. It was the first time the two programs have met, while the Red Raiders and Kent State have never squared off heading into this weekend.
Tech was selected as the No. 9 national seed by the NCAA Selection Committee, making it the third-straight year Tech was named a national seed for the tournament. The Red Raiders have spent the entire 2018 season ranked in the top 10 via both nationally-voted on polls & the NCAA RPI Rankings.
New Mexico State and Kent State both won their respective conference titles, as the Aggies took home the Western Athletic Conference Tournament crown & the Golden Flashes claimed both the regular season & tournament titles in the Mid-American Conference. Louisville dropped its Atlantic Coast Conference championship match in extra innings.
NMSU is hitting .313 as a unit this year with five starters above the team average, as Nick Gonzales paces the squad with a .349 clip. Caleb Henderson leads the Aggies with 75 hits & 63 RBI, while Logan Ehnes has the most runs scored with 57. New Mexico State has tagged opposing pitchers for a 7.82 team ERA, while its own pitching staff has a 3.95 earned run average & has hold opponents to a .261 average.
Louisville hit .289 as a group in 2018, with Josh Stowers leading four Cardinals above the team mark at .341. He leads the team in runs (66) and RBI (59), while Logan Wyatt tops hitters with 72 this year. Louisville has racked up a 6.40 team ERA for its opponent's pitching staffs, while keeping its own at 3.26 for a .215 opposing team batting average.
Kent State has a .290 team average at the plate heading into the weekend, sending five over the team clip as Nick Kanavas paces starters with a .358 mark. He also leads the Flashes in hits with 78, while Pavin Parks has a team-best 51 RBI and Mason Mamarella has scored the most runs with 55. KSU's team ERA sits at 3.56, with opposing hitters batting .219 this season.
The Red Raider offense continues to lead the Big 12 and ranks eighth in the country with a .309 overall clip, as six starters are hitting above the team line. Sophomore Josh Jung leads the class with 86 hits, 73 RBI and 63 runs scored. Sophomore Grant Little & freshman Gabe Holtfollow closely with 79 & 78 hits each, respectively. Tech's hitters have tagged opposing pitchers for an 8.01 ERA this season, while the Red Raider pitching staff has held opponents to a .238 average at the plate for a 4.36 team ERA.
The winner of the 2018 NCAA Lubbock Regional will face the winner of the 2018 NCAA Athens Regional, where Georgia, Duke, Troy and Campbell battle it out for a chance to play in a Super Regional on June 8-11.