Preview: Tech set for trip to Big Ten country

By | March 18, 2022

no. 17 TEXAS TECH at IOWA
March 19-20, 2022

Texas Tech Game Notes (PDF) | Iowa Game Notes (PDF)

STARTERS
Texas Tech is set for its final nonconference weekend series of 2022 before Big 12 play starts next week when traveling to Iowa. Once tabbed a traditional three-game weekend series, weather had different plans as its allowing for just two games Saturday and Sunday before Tech shifts focus to conference play. The trip to Iowa will complete a road stretch having seven of the last nine games away from home. Tech had been on a seven-day, five-game road trip (March 7-13) before returning home for a two-game midweek series against New Mexico this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Iowa is set to host just its third home game this season on Saturday.

Iowa will simulcast its radio call from play-by-play man John Evans from inside Duane Banks Field for its broadcast coverage provided by Big Ten Network+. The broadcast can be accessed from any desktop or laptop computer, or personal cellular device by navigating to www.bigtenplus.com. Viewing will require a subscription fee.

Texas Tech Sports Network will also broadcast the game over 46 affiliates throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico as Jamie Lent will have the call alongside analyst, Mike Gustafson.

TEXAS TECH IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS

  • D1Baseball: No. 17
  • Baseball America: 23
  • NCBWA: No. 12
  • Collegiate Baseball: No. 17
  • USA Coaches: No. 13
  • Perfect Game: No. 14

PROJECTED PITCHING MATCHUPS

  • Saturday, March 19: RHP Brandon Birdsell (1.80 ERA, 2-1) vs. RHP Adam Mazur (3.00 ERA, 2-0)
  • Sunday, March 20: LHP Mason Molina (3.00 ERA, 1-1) vs. TBA

BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK/NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK AWARDS RESIDE AT TEXAS TECH
For the third week in a row, a Texas Tech baseball player has been honored with a weekly award from the Big 12 Conference. On Monday, the league announced Brandon Birdsell was selected as the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for games played March 7-13. Birdsell tossed a career game on Saturday at Rice, striking out 15 batters in a six-inning no-hitter. His final line was 6.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 15 K & 0 BB. Birdsell joins previous Big 12 of the week award winners Parker Kelly (Player of the Week, March 7), Owen Washburn (Newcomer of the Week, March 7) and Ty Coleman (Player of the Week/Newcomer of the Week, Feb. 28).

SCORING IN BUNCHES
By Game: Texas Tech dominated its last home weekend series against Merrimack College, outscoring its opponent 70-12 in four games. The run total skyrocketed the Red Raiders’ offense to leading the Big 12 in runs. Since that onslaught, the scoring hasn’t exactly slowed down as TTU has had three double-digit scoring games in the last seven outings since that series. For the seventh time in program history, Texas Tech scored at least 28 runs in its win on Tuesday against New Mexico. The Red Raiders have 188 runs, tops in the Big 12 and third-most in the NCAA.

By Inning:
Texas Tech set a single inning school record on Tuesday against New Mexico by scoring 16 runs in the second inning. The previous record was 13, done so three times before – the last time being this season against Merrimack on March 5. Texas Tech has scored five runs or more eight different times this season.

WE’RE GOING STREAKING
With runs comes hits, and the catalysts have been three Red Raiders who each own double-digit hitting streaks heading into the Iowa series. Kurt Wilson leads the team with 12-straight games, followed by Parker Kelly (11) and Ty Coleman (10). Coleman’s streak was extended last time out going 1-for-1 in a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth inning to lead off the frame which sparked the Red Raiders’ seven-run outpouring that helped them come from behind and win.

baseball team

SCOUTING – IOWA

  • Iowa is 8-7 this season, and just 1-1 at home. The Hawkeyes hosted Loras College (L, 3-1) on March 1 for their home opener, and played the next day at home versus Cornell (W, 8-0). They had a third game planned on March 9 against St. Thomas but it was canceled due to weather. The scheduled game on Friday versus Tech makes back-to-back cancellations.
  • Iowa is fresh off a trip to California at it played a weekend series at UC Irvine, March 11-13, and remained in the Golden State for a Tuesday contest in sunny San Diego. Iowa lost a pair of one-run games to UC Irvine to kick off the series (L, 7-6/L, 2-1) but rebounded in the finale to win 12-10. They also defeated SDSU by a two-run margin, 6-4.
  • Iowa opens Big Ten conference play on the road in Ann Arbor against Michigan, April 1-3.
  • Nebraska was voted the preseason favorite to claim the 2022 Big Ten Baseball Championship as selected by the conference coaches. The coaches voted on the top six teams. The Huskers were followed in the preseason poll by Michigan in second place and No. 3 Iowa, No. 4 Maryland, No. 5 Ohio State and No. 6 Indiana.
  • The trio of Adam Mazur (RHP), Dylan Nedved (RHP), and Peyton Williams (1B) received Big Ten preseason honors.
  • Iowa is led by head coach Rick Heller. He has enjoyed stints at Iowa (2014-present), Indiana State (2009-13), Northern Iowa (1999-2009), and Upper Iowa (1987-99). He led Iowa to NCAA Regional bids in 2015 & 2017.
  • The Hawkeyes won a school-record 26 Big Ten games, finishing 26-18 overall while facing a Big Ten-only schedule during the COVID-affected 2021 season.

SERIES HISTORY
Texas Tech and Iowa will meet for just the third and fourth times in the programs respective histories this weekend, and it will be the first time Tech has traveled to Iowa City. In its first two games the Red Raiders won both, 9-7 and 6-4, in 2011 when Iowa visited for the Texas Tech Invitational. The Red Raiders’ baseball program has only visited the state of Iowa twice in their history, for a pair of three-game series versus Iowa State in 1998 and 2000 during the early years of the Big 12 before the Iowa State baseball program was discontinued in 2001.

THIS-N-THAT

  • Texas Tech is 16-3, and has won 15 of its last 16 games.
  • The Red Raiders are 4-0 in true road games this season.
  • The Red Raiders have win streaks of nine games, and six games this season. The six-game streak is current, starting with a 7-2 win on Wednesday, March 9 in a neutral site game against No. 23 Mississippi State.
  • Tech is 12-1 this season when scoring first. The Red Raiders’ only loss when scoring first came against No. 23 Mississippi State on Tuesday, March 8.
  • Tech is 15-1 this season against unranked opponents. Its loss was to Auburn (L, 2-1) in game No. 2 of the season during the State Farm Collegiate Showdown in Arlington, Texas.
  • Tech has scored more than six runs in 14 of 19 games this season. TTU is 14-0 in those games.
  • Tech has scored in the first inning eight times this season. TTU is 8-0 in those games.
  • Of Tech’s Big 12 best 188 runs scored this season, Tech has scored 30+ in each the second, fifth and sixth innings to tally half its runs.
  • Texas Tech owns three wins this season when trailing after the seventh inning. Last time out, TTU scored seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to erase a 5-4 deficit against New Mexico.
  • Texas Tech is 10-1 this season when having at least one home run.
  • Parker Kelly is the first Red Raider to own three Grand Slams in the same season since Cameron Blair achieved the feat in both 2004 and 2005. Kelly’s Grand Slams were achieved in a five-day span – two in the same game vs. Merrimack on March 5 at home, and again vs. no. 23 Mississippi State on March 9 in a neutral site game in Biloxi.
  • Brandon Birdsell’s 15 strikeouts against Rice on March 12 were the most by a Red Raider since Bobby Doran’s 16 versus Missouri on May 1, 2010.

–TECH–

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