baseball

For the fifth time in program history, the No. 8 Texas Tech baseball team will host the NCAA Super Regional Round as the Red Raiders play host to No. 9 Stanford at a sold out Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.

 

The No. 8 Red Raiders (39-15) host No. 9 Stanford (36-15) for a best-of-three series beginning Friday at 2 p.m. on ESPNU. Game two is also scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday with ESPNU, while an 'if necessary' game is slated for Sunday at 2 p.m. on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. Every game will be streamed on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. Fans can listen to Red Raider games on the Texas Tech Sports Network on 97.3 FM, the 97.3 app, the TuneIn app and online at TexasTech.com.

 

Tickets for the Super Regional are sold out. For information on tickets, Texas Tech's heat management plan, and other essential gameday information, visit here.

 

Friday's meeting with No. 9 Stanford will be the fifth all-time between the two teams in a series that is split 2-2. This is the first time Stanford has traveled to Lubbock. The two teams first met in the 1995 NCAA Midwest I Regional in Wichita, Kansas, with the Cardinal overcoming a loss to the Red Raiders in the semifinals to top Tech twice in the regional finals for the right to move on to the College World Series. The two clubs met for the first time since 1995 last season at the Round Rock Classic with Tech posting a 7-2 win to even the all-time series.

 

A win this weekend would send the Red Raiders to their fifth College World Series in the last seven completed seasons. Texas Tech would be the only program in the country to reach the CWS five times since 2014. It would also mark three consecutive trips to Omaha for the first time in school history. Only Arkansas and Mississippi State join Tech as teams vying for a third-straight CWS appearance.

 

Texas Tech has reached the Super Regional round four times in program history, hosted all four, and won all four. The Red Raiders have an 8-3 record overall in the super regional round with series wins over College of Charleston (2014), East Carolina (2016), Duke (2018) and Oklahoma State (2019).

 

Tech is one of two programs in the country to sweep three-consecutive regionals since 2018 as the Red Raiders allowed just five earned runs in a sweep of the 2021 NCAA Lubbock Regional last weekend.

 

The Red Raiders are making their 15th postseason appearance and were awarded a national seed for the fifth consecutive year. Tech is the only school in the nation to earn five straight national seeds and host a regional every year since 2016.

 

Rip Griffin Park has proven to be one of the toughest places to play, especially during the postseason. Under Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech is 22-6 in NCAA postseason games in Lubbock. A remarkable run as prior to Tadlock, Tech was 4-6 in NCAA games in Lubbock. Texas Tech announced a sellout of the Super Regional on Wednesday as it looks to finish its home slate strong. Tech is 27-5 at home this season, including 20-0 against non-conference opponents. Tech owns a 36-game home winning streak against teams outside of the Big 12 with the Red Raiders' last loss coming in April of 2019 to UTRGV. Tech has also won 32 consecutive non-conference home games, with its last loss coming in game two of the 2019 NCAA Lubbock Super Regional against No. 9 Oklahoma State. 

 

Overall, Texas Tech is 42-33 in NCAA Tournament play with a 26-12 mark in Lubbock. Since 2014 under head coach Tim Tadlock, the Red Raiders are 29-15 in postseason play. Tech has been a No. 1 seed seven times and is 25-16.

 

INSIDE THE SERIES

• Friday's meeting will be the fifth all-time between the two programs

• Three of the four meetings between the two clubs occurred in the 1995 Midwest I Regional

• The 1995 Regional was Tech's first ever regional appearance.

• In the 1995 Regional, Tech defeated Stanford to start 3-0 and move one game away from the College World Series, but the Cardinal rebounded with a pair of one-run victories to eliminate the Red Raiders.

• The two teams have recent history as they met for the first time since the regional last year at the Round Rock Classic in Round Rock, Texas, where the Red Raiders took a 7-2 victory.

• This will be Stanford's first trip to Lubbock in program history

• Tech is 1-0 against Pac-12 schools this season, defeating No. 21 UCLA in the Lubbock Regional finals last week.

• This season marks the first time Tech has faced a Pac-12 team in the NCAA Tournament since Washington in 2002.

 

RED RAIDERS AGAINST THE NCAA FIELD

Under Tim Tadlock, the Red Raiders traditionally play a strong non-conference schedule, and the 2021 season was no different. Tech played eight teams that were selected for an NCAA Regional, compiling a 12-7 record against said competition. Of those eight teams, five were ranked in the top 10 when Tech faced them, including three from the SEC on opening weekend at the College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field in Arlington. The Red Raiders faced five of the other 15 teams that made it to supers, posting a 5-4 record against those squads.

 

THIRD STRAIGHT SUPERS HOST

Only two other programs in the country are hosting Super Regionals for a third-consecutive season in 2021. This is the fifth time Tech has hosted Super Regionals in program history, advancing to the College World Series in all four tries. The Red Raiders are 8-3 overall in Super Regional games, all of which have taken place under Tim Tadlock.

 

TOUGH TO TAKE DOWN IN LUBBOCK

Under head coach Tim Tadlock, the Red Raiders have proven difficult to beat during postseason play in Lubbock with a 22-6 record in NCAA games at Rip Griffin Park. Tech has advanced out of its own regional 4-of-5 times, compiling a 14-3 record along the way. Tech has hosted all four of its Super Regional appearances and advanced all four times. The 2021 Red Raiders have been dominant at home, where they've gone 27-5 this season, including 20-0 against non-conference teams with a home slate that featured tournament teams South Florida, UConn and Gonzaga.

 

5-STRAIGHT REGIONALS IN LUBBOCK

For the fifth-consecutive postseason, the Red Raiders were one of 16 host sites selected to hose the regional round by the NCAA Selection Committee. Texas Tech is the only program in the country to host every year since 2016. It's the first time in school history Tech has hosted an NCAA Regional in five-straight seasons and the eighth overall. The Red Raiders have played regional action in Lubbock in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021.

 

THE LUBBOCK REGIONAL: WHERE TITANS FALL

Since Texas Tech hosted its first regional under Tadlock in 2016, several name programs have traveled to Lubbock and met their demise, including Arizona (2017), Louisville (2018), Florida (2019), North Carolina (2021) and UCLA (2021).

 

COAST TO COAST

Tech hosted three opponents from all over the map last weekend in UCLA, North Carolina and Army West Point. Moving toward the Super Regional, Tech will host a school from the West Coast for the first time. In four prior supers, Tech has hosted three teams from the Carolinas along with Big 12 rival Oklahoma State.

 

STARTING PITCHING

Tech's starting pitchers are 25-10 this season in 254.0 innings of work with a 3.69 ERA and 295 strikeouts to 84 walks. In 10 of  the last 11 games, starting pitchers have tossed at least 5.0 innings.

• Hampton: Has earned a win in three consecutive starts, including both weekend starts heading into supers

• Monteverde: In 9-of-15 starts, has thrown at least 5.0 innings while allowing 2 ER or less

• Montgomery: In last 3 starts, has gone 2-0 with 3 R, 2 ER, 10 H, 25 K, 6 BB, 15.0 IP, 1.20 ERA

 

DIGGING THE LONG BALL

The Red Raiders are one of the top home run hitting teams in the country this season with 88 dingers on the year, which ranks 8th in the country. The 88 home runs are the most by a Tech club in 23 years when it hit 95 in 1998.

 

SNEAKY GOOD PITCHING AND DEFENSE

Tech's pitching and defense has quietly moved near the top-25 nationally in three categories. Tech is No. 25 in hits allowed per nine innings, No. 29 in double plays and No. 35 in strikeouts per nine innings.

 

ALL-AMERICA FOR JUNG, CONLEY

Texas Tech's middle infield received All-America honors last week by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper with Jace Jung earning a first team spot while Cal Conley was on the second team. Two selections led the Big 12, and Jung was the lone Big 12 player on the first team. Tech has had a CBN All-American for six straight years, including Conley in 2020.

 

JUNG, CONLEY ON SHORTLIST FOR AWARDS

Jace Jung is currently one of 25 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award and one of 42 semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy. He is also one of 4 finalists for the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award. Cal Conley, meanwhile, is one of six finalists for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award.

 

EIGHT ALL-BIG 12 HONORS

For the fourth time in five years, a Red Raider won Big 12 Player of the Year with Jace Jung taking it in 2021. He goes back-to-back with his brother, Josh Jung, who won it in 2019. He is the first underclassman to win it since 2011. He and his brother are the first sibling duo to win it. Jace was a unanimous choice on the All-Big 12 First Team and was joined by Cal Conley and Dru Baker. Making the second team were Dru Baker and Micah Dallas, while Ryan Sublette and Patrick Monteverde received honorable mention.

 

PROGRAM RECORD FOR ACADEMIC ALL-BIG 12

Texas Tech matched its program record with 16 members of the Academic All-Big 12 Team. This was the fourth consecutive season Tech has matched or topped its program record. Additionally, it established a new program mark with 13 on the first team. Braxton Fulford and Cody Masters were two of 10 student-athletes nominated with a 4.00. Texas Tech received the award for top team GPA at the 2019 CWS, with Braxton Fulford earning the NCAA Elite 90 Award.

 

SUB'SWAY - EAT FRESH

Junior reliever Ryan Sublette has brought the cheddar all season. He owns the best ERA on the team at 2.21 in a team-high 18 appearances out of the bullpen with 60 strikeouts in 40.2 innings of work. He has delivered in some of the most critical moments of the season, including Tech's series-clincher at No. 3 Texas and his 3.2 shutout innings against North Carolina last weekend.

 

JUNGS BACK-TO-BACK BIG 12 POY

The Big 12 Player of the Year trophy has been in the Jung household since 2019 and will remain there until at least 2022 as Jace Jung made it back-to-back Jung's to win the award. Josh Jung won it in 2019 before being picked No. 8 overall in the 2019 MLB Draft. The award was not presented in 2020. A Red Raider has now won four of the last five Big 12 Player of the Year awards - Eric Gutierrez (2016), Hunter Hargrove (2017), Josh Jung (2019), Jace Jung (2021).

 

JACE JUNG IN THE RECORD BOOK

Jace Jung ranks in the top 10 nationally in three offensive categories, including RBI (3rd), home runs (3rd) and base on balls (10th). He is the first Red Raider since Josh Brady in 2004 to hit at least 20 home runs in a season and the first Big 12 freshman since Matt Hopper (Nebraska) in 2000 to reach the number. His 21 home runs ranks third on Tech's single-season list. Additionally, he reached base safely in the first 50 games of the season, including all 48 of the regular season. Overall, he has reached in 53-of-54 games this season and in 67-of-70 starts in his career.

 

MR. JUNE

Junior utility man Kurt Wilson had an immediate impact upon his return to the lineup after missing 7 weeks with a thumb injury. Wilson led the Red Raiders in batting (.455) and RBI (5) and hit an opposite-field home run off the foul pole in Tech's win over North Carolina to spark flashbacks to his late-inning heroics from Tech's 2019 Super Regional against Oklahoma State when he hit a late three-run bomb to send Tech to the College World Series.

 

STILWELL'S SECOND-HALF

DH Cole Stilwell got off to a tough start this season, hitting .186 through February and March, but turned things around in the second part of the season. Since April, he is hitting .309. Since May, he is hitting a team-best .333. He enters Supers having hit safely in 22 of his last 25 games, including five doubles in his last nine games.

 

ROMBACH FINDING LATE GROOVE

Rombach also struggled for much of the season, but looks to have regained his form down the stretch from his 2020 freshman season when he led the Big 12 in home runs and RBI. In the last 8 games dating back to the final week of the regular season, Rombach is .360 at the plate, is tied for the team-lead with 3 home runs, and has driven in 14 RBI which is 9 more than any other Red Raider in that stretch.

 

FULFORD'S CAREER YEAR

Junior catcher Braxton Fulford had 95 career starts under his belt entering 2021, but has managed to nearly double his output across the board in his 47 starts this season. His career totals were 5 home runs, 49 RBI, 13 doubles and two triples entering the year. This season alone, he has 14 home runs, 45 RBI, 12 doubles and two triples.

 

CONLEY MR. CONSISTENT

Shortstop Cal Conley joined Jung on an All-America list from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper as the redshirt freshman has been a steady force at the plate all year. He went yard twice Friday in the regional win over Army to up his total to 15 on the year (second on the team). He leads the team with 23 multi-hit games and has hit safely in 42-of-54 games this season, including 13 of the last 15.

 

BAKER SETS THE TONE

Good things usually happen when leadoff hitter Dru Baker starts the Red Raiders with a hit in the first inning. He set the tone on Saturday against UNC with a leadoff double that Jace Jung followed with a two-run dinger. Baker leads the Red Raiders with a .356 average on the year, 73 hits, 14 doubles and 18 stolen bases (18-of-20). He enters the weekend having hit safely in 36-of-47 games this season, including 21 multi-hit performances.