LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 3 Texas Tech baseball team begins the 2019 season on Friday, Feb. 15, against Oregon at 2 p.m. at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
Friday's season opener starts a four-game set with the Ducks, with a 3 p.m. start time set for Saturday and a 2 p.m. first pitch on Sunday before the series finale gets underway at 1 p.m., Monday. Sunday's contest will be televised on FOX Sports Southwest Plus, while the remaining three games will be shown on TexasTech.TV with a paid subscription. Fans can also tune in to the Texas Tech Sports Network on 97.3 FM and the TuneIn app.
The 2019 season marks the 70th edition of Texas Tech baseball and the seventh under the helm of Tim Tadlock. In five years as head coach of the Red Raiders, Tadlock's squads have amassed a 194-112 overall record, along with back-to-back Big 12 titles ('16, '17), four NCAA Regional appearances and three trips to the College World Series ('14, '16, '18).
In 2018, Tech advanced to its third College World Series in the last five years, earning a No. 9 national seed for the NCAA Tournament, where it captured the regional crown before defeating Duke in the Lubbock Super Regionals. The Red Raiders finished with a 45-20 overall mark for its fourth 45-plus win season in the last five years. Tech compiled a 15-9 mark in conference for a third-place finish as freshman Gabe Holt took home Freshman of the Year honors.
Although several mainstays departed Lubbock as seniors or draftees, Tech returns a wealth of firepower in 16 returning letterwinners from 2018. Included in that core are 2018 All-American Josh Jung, All-American, Freshman All-American and Big 12 Freshman of the Year Gabe Holt, All-Big 12 First Team selection Caleb Kilian and All-Big 12 Tournament Team honoree Cameron Warren.
A strong haul of 20 newcomers, including 12 freshmen, 7 transfers and a redshirt, will enter the fold for the 2019 squad. Overall, the roster features 13 freshmen, 11 sophomores, 11 juniors and one senior.
The Red Raiders and Ducks will make history when they take the field on Friday as the two schools will square off for the first time in the two programs' histories. Tech sports a 25-46 record in its history against teams from the Pac-12 Conference, last facing a member of the conference on March 7, 2017 when the Red Raiders defeated former Border Conference rival Arizona, 13-1. Head coach Tim Tadlock is 8-3 against Pac-12 foes during his tenure in Lubbock.
Texas Tech is 6-1 all-time on Opening Day under Tadlock. In season openers over the last six years, Tech has defeated Northern Illinois (8-0) in 2013, San Francisco (9-7) in 2015, Wisconsin-Milwaukee (12-3) in 2016, won a doubleheader against Western Illinois (15-1) and Mississippi State (5-2) in 2017 and topped Maine (4-2) last season.
Since 1985, the Red Raiders are 31-2 in home openers, winning 18 of their last 19, including last year's 4-2 victory over Maine. The offensive firepower has been on display in those contests, as Tech has amassed at least 10 runs in 11 of those 20 matchups.
Texas Tech will start the season the 2019 campaign its second-highest collection of preseason rankings in program history behind the 2018 squad, which was a consensus top-five selection in the preseason polls. The Red Raiders are ranked No. 3 by D1 Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and the USA Today Coaches Poll have Tech at No. 4, Perfect Game has Tech at No. 5 and Baseball America slotted the Red Raiders at No. 8. The No. 3 rankings by the NCBWA and D1 Baseball match the highest preseason rankings in program history.
Head coach Tim Tadlock will hand the ball over to a few new faces for this weekend's games on the mound against Oregon, although Red Raider fans will welcome a familiar face to the mound on Opening Day. Junior RHP Caleb Kilian, a 2018 All-Big 12 performer and preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, will get the nod on Friday. The Flower Mound, Texas, native led the Big 12 in wins last season, recording a 9-3 overall record and a 3.24 ERA. He will be followed by a pair of newcomers in Arkansas transfer and Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year Bryce Bonnin on Saturday and freshman southpaw Mason Montgomery on Sunday.
After the series with the Ducks, the Red Raiders continue an eight-game home stand with a three-game set versus Kentucky next weekend (Feb. 22-24) at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.