With storms in forecast, Tech Baseball moves Friday game up to 2

With storms in forecast, Tech Baseball moves Friday game up to 2 p.m.

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From Texas Tech Athletics:

LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 11 Texas Tech baseball team launches its home conference schedule this weekend as it takes on Kansas on April 5-7 at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park. 

Friday’s first pitch has been moved up from 6:30 p.m. to a 2 p.m. start due to projected thunderstorms Friday evening. Tech and Kansas will continue the series at 2 p.m. on Saturday before a 1 p.m. first pitch for the finale on Sunday. It’s 70’s music day at the ballpark on Friday, while Sunday features a postgame movie – Disney’s The Rookie - shown on the videoboard at Rip Griffin Park. 

All three games will be shown on TexasTech.TV, now available on AppleTV and Roku devices as well as through TexasTech.com. Fans can also hear the action on the Texas Tech Sports Network on 97.3 FM, the TuneIn app, the 97.3 app and on TexasTech.TV. Saturday’s game will be on 100.7 FM. 

Due to the rodeo in town, parking changes are in effect for Friday and Saturday (see attached parking map for free/general parking.) Permit holders will still be able to park in R-23 and C-3. Fans are reminded that Texas Tech’s clear bag policy remains in effect for all Texas Tech home athletic events. 

The Red Raiders (19-8, ,3-3) are looking to surge up the conference standings after opening Big 12 play with consecutive road series, while the Jayhawks (15-13, 1-5) aim to get on track after a tough start to their conference slate. 

Both teams enter on the heels of a midweek loss. Tech dropped its first midweek game of the season on Wednesday for a split of its two-game series at New Mexico. Kansas, meanwhile, heads to Lubbock after dropping a 9-1 decision to Wichita State on Tuesday.

Coming into the weekend, Tech sits in a tie for fourth in the league standings, while KU is in a tie for eighth. Tech earned a road series win at Kansas State last weekend with 11-4 and 4-3 wins in a doubleheader on Saturday before falling 5-4 on Sunday. KU took a game off of No. 25 Baylor in Lawrence.

The Red Raiders took 2-of-3 from the Jayhawks in Lawrence last season. The bats were hot in the first two games, leading to 15-6 and 10-0 victories before cooling off in the series finale. Right-hander Caleb Kilian earned the Saturday win, striking out eight and giving up two hits in 5.0 scoreless frames. Josh Jung had a hit in all three games and five RBI, Cody Masters finished 5-for-6 with three RBI, and Gabe Holt hit a grand slam on his way to seven RBI in the series.

Overall, the Red Raiders are 43-25 all-time against Kansas, including 23-9 in games played in Lubbock. The series has been tilted heavily in Tech’s favor as of late with four-straight series wins over KU. Tech has won 10 of the last 11 meetings overall, going for nine runs or more in eight of the 10 wins. 

The home series serves as a small break for the Red Raiders, who are in the midst of their toughest road stretch of the season with 10-of-13 games away from home across five different cities outside of Lubbock. Tech’s strength of schedule currently ranks No. 12 in the country and boasts the No. 5 RPI in the land.

Tech has been especially strong at home, owning a 13-2 mark at Rip Griffin Park. The Red Raiders rattled off 13 consecutive home wins and three-game sweeps of Kentucky, Wichita State and No. 22 Michigan during the stretch. The Tech lineup is average 9.7 runs per game in Lubbock and hitting .326 as a team.

Tech has been a force offensively this season, ranking No. 10 in the country in scoring to lead the Big 12. The Red Raiders also rank in the top 25 in several statistical categories, including slugging percentage (13th), on-base percentage (16th), doubles per game (17th), walks (18th) and batting average (18th). 

This is only the third time since the Big 12 was founded that Tech will open its conference home slate against Kansas. The Red Raiders swept the Jayhawks in 1999 and took 2-of-3 in 2015 under head coach Tim Tadlock. Tech will look to improve on a 12-10 mark in Big 12 home openers in Friday’s tilt as Tech is the only Big 12 school remaining that has yet to host a conference series in 2019.

Tadlock will send out freshman Micah Dallas to the bump on Friday for his third straight week as the series-opening starter. He wil be followed by junior right-hander Caleb Kilian on Saturday and redshirt junior left-hander Erikson Lanning on Sunday. Dallas is 2-0 as a starter with a 3.60 ERA, 10 strikeouts and two walks. 

Kansas will counter with right-handers Ryan Cyr on Friday and Ryan Zeferjahn on Saturday before turning it over to left-hander Eli Davis for the finale. Cyr enters with a 2-3 record and 5.44 ERA. Zeferjahn, meanwhile, is 3-1 on the year with a 2.20 ERA and a 49/20 strikeout to walk ratio.

Texas Tech settled in as high as No. 11 in the rankings this week after spending last week back in the top 10. After beginning the season as high as No. 3 in the preseason rankings, Tech has been in the top 10 by at least one poll for 6-of-8 weeks this season.

The Red Raiders will make the short drive to Midland, Texas, on Tuesday for the second of two midweek bouts with New Mexico State.

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