Don’t look now, but the Texas Tech baseball team just swept a midweek series.
After struggling all season to build some momentum outside of Big 12 Conference play, the Red Raiders finally found the right combination to follow up Tuesday’s win over Nevada-Las Vegas with another one on Wednesday. Tech’s bullpen scattered two runs and seven hits over eight innings, and the Red Raider offense came alive late to surge past the Rebels, 14-5, at Dan Law Field.
It is the fourth win in the last five games for Tech and provides a boost going into a key conference series beginning Friday at Missouri.
2) Tech takes first two from No. 24 Kansas (Lubbock Avalanche Journal):
“Obviously every club is better when they’re ahead,” head coach Dan Spencer said. “For us getting the lead was important and more important was getting a zero (on the scoreboard) in the first inning and building momentum against Kansas, cause they didn’t quit. We have some older guys who want to get to the Promised Land and play late in the year … and that’s important to them. They rose to the occasion.”
. . .
“We’re really going good right now and hopefully (today) we can come out and do the same,” designated hitter Scott LeJeune said. “We really all do believe we have a good, solid team here and as long as we do our stuff and get the wins, we’ll go places like this. We have a good team if we do things right.”
3) Bettis is pitching Tech in the right direction (Lubbock Avalanche Journal):
Texas Tech’s pitching philosophy is pretty simple: If there’s a chance to win a game late, or if the Red Raiders need a win to avoid a Big 12 weekend sweep, sophomore right-hander Chad Bettis will be on the mound.4) And the Avalanche Journal takes a look at MU: Creative pitching moves keep Tigers in Big 12 hunt:
It’s a formula that has factored into each of the Red Raiders’ seven Big 12 Conference victories and nine of the team’s 16 victories overall, and it’s a big reason why Tech (16-23, 7-8 in Big 12) is still in the thick of the league race with just four series
But the most amazing part of the formula is how Bettis has handled going from starter at the beginning of the season to closer during Big 12 play while also starting a pair of league contests in which he established career marks for innings pitched in a game. Never was he more important than this past Sunday when he threw 154 pitches to notch his first complete game of the year and give Tech a 5-1 win over No. 11 Oklahoma, its only win of the series.
“In the past I’ve been able to go deep in pitch counts and it hasn’t affected me. I don’t think it will be this time,” Bettis said. “Either way, we’re trying to get the win. I feel as long as I give my team the best chance to win, that’s where I need to be.”
Jamieson said the bigger problem for the Tigers has been offense. Missouri ranks last in the Big 12 with a .266 batting average and has scored the third-fewest runs despite playing the second-most games in the conference (41). Missouri also ranks ninth in hits (359) and home runs (21), and only Oklahoma and Baylor have struck out more than the Tigers’ 293 times.5) LAJ has a profile of the Raiders' starting catcher: Mayo providing boost with bat, mitt:
The numbers get worse in Big 12 play. Missouri is hitting just .211 and averaging 3.6 runs per game. The Tigers have scored 10 runs or fewer in four of their six three-game conference series, although they tagged Kansas State for 20 this past weekend.
“We have a bunch of guys offensively who got off to a slow start and didn’t handle it particularly well,” Jamieson said. “We’ve been a little better and our lineup is getting better and swinging the bats better. We’re playing more as a team offensively. There’s no doubt that slow start affected our confidence and we had that issue to overcome. Finally, I think we’re starting to see the light.”
“He’s a kid that takes good care of his body and is proud of his work in the weight room,” Spencer said. “But he is also blessed with that good arm and has really polished his catching skills. He does drills at full tilt, asks questions about baseball as far as helping him prepare and wants to know things like a coach would, which is the next step in becoming a great catcher.6) Papi Chulo Baby!!! Fans who were at the MU-Tech series in Columbia two years ago will remember pitcher AJ Ramos, who disintegrated on the mound as Tiger fans pummelled him with cheers of "Papi Chulo, Baby!". He apparently didn't learn: A. J. Papi Chulo Ramos Bay!!! on MySpace.com:
“Jeremy is more abrasive like (former Oregon State pitcher) Dallas Buck was on the mound. Mitch was more mellow and was a good match for our pitchers. Our guys here are not as abrasive on the mound and Jeremy is a good match for those guys. He has put himself in a position where he will never be considered a hypocrite because he’s done everything he’s trying to get you to do.”
About me: I play baseball for Texas Tech and i am a junior. I like to kick it with my girl kk, amber and megs and chill with the guys. I live and breath baseball and plan to go far doing it. so pretty much i wake up in the morning and piss excellence, lol7) And in case you weren't at that game two years ago, read MySpace.com meets HeckleDepot.com in my Tip of the Cap Awards for 2007 at the end of that season:
Occupation: Student / part-time stripper
From his myspace blog:
I see i said, jealousy I said
People wishing they were me i said
Then P.C. said, "Aj' remind yourself
nobody built like you, you've designed yourself"
I agree i said, my one of a kind self
Amazing people everyday like MJ did
What he said, I said, has been said before
"Just keep doing your thing," he said, say no more
8) And the Texas Tech Baseball Message Board at RaiderPower.com had a few interesting comments:
Techsan2007: I am intrigued about Missouri's possible pitching approach on Saturday against AJ when they will apparently throw 9 pitchers (one each inning). I thought it was crazy when I first heard about it, but evidently they have been pretty darn successful with it. I guess we will see how it goes.9) Check out DoubtleTNation.com, a Texas Tech blog with lots of info
And a thread on Chad Bettis' high pitch count accumulation