Preview: Red Raiders set for Gainesville Regional
Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
For the seventh consecutive time, Texas Tech baseball has been invited to compete in the NCAA postseason. It was announced Monday morning the Red Raiders would be headed to the Gainesville Regional as a 3-seed. June baseball has become the standard in Lubbock since head coach Tim Tadlock joined the program in 2013, leading Texas Tech to the postseason eight times over his 11-year tenure. Texas Tech’s seven-straight trips ranks tied for the sixth-longest active streak in college baseball as Southern Miss also owns a streak of seven. The Gainesville Regional is in an elite class, hosting a pair of baseball mainstays in June, as Florida owns the second-longest streak in baseball with 15 straight trips.
Coverage will be provided by the ESPN Family of Networks. Mike Monaco will be on the mic for play-by-play duties while major leaguer and UNLV alum Xavier Scruggs will provide the analysis throughout the tournament. All broadcasts can be accessed from any desktop or laptop computer, personal cellular device and television streaming services using the ESPN app. Registration for the subscription service can be found at ESPNPlus.com.
Texas Tech Sports Network will also broadcast the game over 46 affiliates throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico as Geoff Haxton will have the call alongside analyst, Jamie Lent.
1-seed, host: Florida (44-14, 20-10 SEC)
2-seed: UConn (43-15, 15-5 Big East)
3-seed: Texas Tech (39-21, 12-12 Big 12)
4-seed: Florida A&M (29-28, 18-12 SWAC)
PROJECTED PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday, June 2: LHP Mason Molina (5-2, 3.72 ERA) vs. RHP Stephen Quigley (4-2, 4.75 ERA)
WE PLAY IN JUNE
Texas Tech earned its seventh consecutive postseason bid when it was invited to participate in the Gainesville Regional, June 2-5. The Red Raiders have become a mainstay under head coach Tim Tadlock when it comes to playing in June as Texas Tech owns the t-6th longest streak in the nation for consecutive postseasons invited to. Overall, it’s the eighth postseason for the Red Raiders under 11th-year head coach Tim Tadlock, and the 17th NCAA appearance overall for the Red Raiders in program history.
The regional on the road is the second straight for Texas Tech as it prepares its quest for its fifth College World Series appearance under head coach Tim Tadlock.
Of the Red Raiders’ four trips to the CWS, three came by way of Lubbock while the third started in the state of Florida, at Coral Gables in 2014.
While Tadlock has made June baseball the standard at Texas Tech, regionals on the road have been more uncommon than hosting regionals as it hosted five straight from 2016-2021. The last two bids have been road trips, Statesboro being the first last season and Gainesville the most recent - both as 3-seeds in those respective trips. While being home is nice, Red Raider baseball with Tadlock has fond memories of the state of Florida, advancing to their first-ever College World Series in 2014 out of the Coral Gables Regional. It was the first postseason bid for Tech under Tadlock.
GATORS VISIT TEXAS TECH BUT DON’T PLAY
In 2019, Florida visited Texas Tech for the Lubbock Regional but never played the Red Raiders. The Gators entered the tournament as the 3-seed and fell to 2-seed Dallas Baptist 11-8 in the opening game. Florida and Army faced off in an elimination game the next day that the Gators won, setting up a second game with DBU, who eliminated them before a chance to face the Red Raiders.
The Gators’ trip to Lubbock in 2019 was their first regional away from Gainesville since 2013 and remains the last regional they traveled for.
CAN A BIG 12 TEAM FIND SUCCESS IN THE SWAMP AGAIN
A season ago, fellow Big 12 mate Oklahoma traveled to the 2022 Gainesville Regional and emerged as the regional champion en route to the 2022 College World Series. In fact, it has been since 2018 that a Florida team that hosted advanced into the Super Regional round. In 2019, Florida did not host, it traveled to Lubbock, but in 2021 hosted and went 0-2 while in 2022 went 3-2, losing to the Sooners in the regional championship.
40 WINS WITHIN REACH
Texas Tech is one win short of reaching 40 wins for the sixth time since 2013 under head coach Tim Tadlock. Prior to Tadlock’s arrival, Texas Tech garnered just 11 40-win seasons in program history.
Since Tadlock’s arrival in 2013, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and TCU own the most 40-win seasons in the Big 12 as each owns five in that span.
RED RAIDERS WELL REPRESENTED IN BIG 12 POSTSEASON AWARDS
Kevin Bazzell and Gavin Kash were both named first-team All-Big 12 selections on Tuesday, headlining the Red Raiders’ portion of the annual postseason baseball awards. Senior Nolen Hester and sophomore pitcher Mason Molina were each tabbed to the All-Big 12 second team. Junior Brandon Beckel, freshman Gage Harrelson and catcher Hudson White each received All-Big 12 honorable mention nods for their respective seasons. The Big 12 All-Freshman team included Red Raiders’ Bazzell, a unanimous selection, as well as Harrelson.
Last weekend, Hester and SP/RP Kyle Robinson earned All-Big 12 tournament honors.
SERIES HISTORY - UCONN
Friday’s meeting will be the sixth all-time between Texas Tech and UConn. The previous five meetings came in two separate meetings with the most recent a four-game set in Lubbock in 2021. The first-ever meeting was a neutral site contest in Orlando, Fla., in 2013, in Tim Tadlock’s first season.
2021 TEXAS TECH-UCONN SERIES: IN REVIEW
Texas Tech closed a four-game set versus UConn with fireworks as Nate Rombach, Cal Conley and Braxton Fulford hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the 10th to send Texas Tech to a wild 9-8 walk-off win over UConn on Monday, completing a four-game sweep. The Huskies scored two in the top half of the 10th to take an 8-6 lead, but all three batters who came to the plate in the 10th homered to left field. Rombach, Conley and Fulford were a combined 0-for-11 with six strikeouts on the day prior to their heroics. Freshman Brendan Girton, now a redshirt sophomore on the current squad, would receive the win as he pitched the final two innings. (Game 3): Texas Tech baseball jumped out to an 8-1 lead and finished with a run in every inning to outslug UConn, 15-13. The Huskies came storming back into the contest, scoring seven runs over the eighth and ninth innings. (Game 2): Tech opened up a 3-0 lead in the first and used a six-run eighth to separate a 4-3 advantage into cruising to a 10-3 win over UConn. Tech waited around for a lightning delay in the top of the sixth before the late offensive outburst. (Game 1): While offense stole the show over the final three games, the first game was about defense in a tight 4-3 win.
It was the first time a Big East member visited Lubbock since Seton Hall in 2002.
SERIES HISTORY - FLORIDA
Should Texas Tech meet Florida, it would be the first time the teams did not face off in Omaha for a College World Series matchup.
Both programs eliminated one another from the CWS in the two respective years they saw each other (2016, 2018), on the same date, two years apart.
The first time these two programs played, the Red Raiders eliminated Florida, 3-2, from the CWS on June 21, 2016.
The last time these two programs played, Florida eliminated the Red Raiders, 9-6, from the CWS on June 21, 2018.
Texas Tech opened the 2018 CWS with a 6-3 win against Florida before dropping two in a row.
IT WOULD BE A FIRST AGAINST THE RATTLERS
Should Texas Tech meet Florida A&M, it would be the first-ever meeting between the programs. FAMU is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the Red Raiders’ last contest versus a SWAC program was in 2021 versus Texas Southern. Overall versus the conference, the Red Raiders own a 15-0 record. The regional bid marks the third time in program history the Rattlers have made it to the NCAA Tournament, all three times under Coach Jamey Shouppe. The Rattlers aim to win their first NCAA Tournament game in program history after losing to Florida and Florida Atlantic in 2015, Georgia Tech, and Coastal Carolina in 2019.
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