Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
LUBBOCK, Texas – For the first time since 1999, the Texas Tech baseball team has been selected to finish first in the Big 12 standings, the league office announced today with the release of its preseason poll.
The Red Raiders received 61 points after a vote by the conference coaches, with five first-place votes. Tech topped the poll for the first time since 1999 after claiming back-to-back conference crowns in 2016 & 2017. The 1999 ranking was the first conducted by the Big 12 coaches.
Tech has been chosen in the top five in each of the last four preseason rankings. Last season, the Red Raiders were picked third in the league, with a No. 2 spot in 2016 and fourth in 2015.
The Red Raiders return 22 letterwinners from last year's squad, a team that posted a 45-17 overall record, clinched the program's sixth conference title in school history and second consecutive Big 12 crown. Tech also earned its second-straight No. 5 national seed for the NCAA Tournament, capping 2017 as high as seventh in the end-of-year polls. The 2018 campaign marks the sixth under Tadlock, who owns a 194-112 record in Lubbock, and the 69th season of Texas Tech baseball.
Tech will start the year with its highest preseason ranking in program history. The Red Raiders have been ranked as high as No. 3 by D1 Baseball and the USA Today Coaches poll, which is the highest preseason ranking in program history. Tech has also been slotted fourth (PG) and fifth (Baseball America & Collegiate Baseball Newspaper) in this year's preseason rankings.
Included in Tech's 22 returning student-athletes are Big 12 & National Pitcher of the Year Steven Gingery, Big 12 Freshman of the Year & Freshman All-American infielder Josh Jung, fellow Freshman All-American Grant Little, All-Big 12 First Team outfielder Cody Farhat, 2016 Freshman All-American RHP Davis Martin, 2016 All-Big 12 honoree infielder Michael Davis and 2014 Freshman All-American LHP Dylan Dusek. Tech also welcomes 13 newcomers to this year's fold to round out the 2018 squad.
The Red Raiders open the 2018 slate at home with a four-game series against Maine, beginning Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.