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While TTU Baseball season ending earlier than anticipated in the Lubbock Super Regional to Stanford, the 2021 TTU Baseball season was one for the books and worth a season recap.
Arlington: The College Baseball Showdown
The TTU Red Raiders started their 2021 baseball season in Arlington, Texas at the brand-new Globe Life Field in the College Baseball Showdown. The invited teams were loaded, with Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss from the SEC, TCU and Texas from the Big 12, and Tech.
Tech Baseball didn’t have the best showing, going 0-3 to all the SEC teams over the three-day showdown. However, they bounced back in the next two series, sweeping Houston Baptist and Texas Southern.
Houston: The College Classic
TTU arrived at Minute Maid Park in Houston to take on Texas State, Texas A&M- Corpus Christi, and Sam Houston State, who they met for the first time since the 2017 Lubbock Regional, where the Bearcats defeated the Red Raiders in two games.
Tech swept all the teams at the College Classic, coming away as the champions of the tournament. They arrived back home to face two big mid-majors.
Big Name Mid Majors
TTU hosted Gonzaga early in the season in a two-game series and the University of Connecticut in a four-game series at the beginning of March. Tech defeated Gonzaga in games 5-4 and dramatically swept UCONN, hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs in Game 4 to walk off the series.
TTU Baseball faced Oklahoma State at home in the first game in-conference. While they fell in Game 1 0-2, they won the series with wins in Game 2 4-2 and Game 3 6-5. Tech swept the South Florida Bulls before their next series against Kansas State. South Florida would later win the Gainsville Regional in the postseason, which looked pretty good for the Red Raiders.
After demolishing Kansas State 17-1 in Game 1, The Wildcats handed Tech their first conference series loss after Game 2 and Game 3 2-7 and 4-10.
The losing streak continued into the TCU series, where Tech played host to the Horned Frogs. However, Tech snapped out of it after winning Game 2 6-5 in 10 innings and run-ruling TCU 17-7 in 7 innings to win the series.
The Red Raiders marched into Morgantown and won the series against West Virginia 2-1, highlighted by Red Raider sportscaster Geoff Haxton catching a foul ball with his bare hands.
Tech’s second conference series loss came at the hands of the Baylor Bears in Lubbock, losing 1-2. They quickly reset, defeating New Mexico in a one-game series at Rip Griffin Park, before heading to Austin to face the Longhorns, who were leading the Big 12 standings.
TTU came out on top in Game 1 6-3. Game 2 was going well for the Red Raiders, as they were leading 5-0 in the 6th inning, but the Longhorns got three runs in before play suspended in the 8th inning due to rain. On Sunday, Tech started pitching stud Ryan Sublette, keeping the Longhorns hitless through the 8th and 9th innings, and secured the series 2-0. They would lose Game 3 4-14 but would head home with the series win.
TTU traveled to Amarillo to play at Hodgetown Ballpark in a non-conference matchup against Oklahoma, winning 14-4. The Red Raiders were supposed to host Illinois-Chicago in a four-game series in Lubbock, but the series canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the UIC program.
After over a week without playing, TTU came to Norman to face the Oklahoma Sooners. While the Red Raiders lost Game 1 in a close 8-9 score, they would later win the series with a 15-2 Game 2 victory and a 13-2 run-rule win in Game 3.
TTU closed out the regular season hosting the Kansas Jayhawks. They won the series 2-1 after the Jayhawks won 4-7 in Game 1, and Tech got the final two games in the win column.
The Big 12 Tournament
Tech started strong with an 11-4 victory over Baylor, but after rain delays Thursday, Tech fell to TCU 2-7 and Kansas State 2-7. Finishing so early in the Big 12 tournament had some fans worried that Tech wouldn’t be a top-eight regional host, and by extension, a potential Super Regional host. However, that would all change come Selection Monday.
For the fifth consecutive year, Texas Tech and Lubbock would play host to a regional. Tech was named the #8 seed, meaning that they would host a super regional if they won their regional. The Army Black Knights, North Carolina Tar Heels, and the UCLA Bruins would travel to Lubbock to face the Red Raiders.
Read more about the Lubbock Regional here.
The Red Raiders would host the Stanford Cardinal in the Lubbock Super Regional. The Red Raiders season ended in two games, as they battled the heat, injuries, and a red-hot Cardinal batting lineup.
Read more about the Lubbock Super Regional here.
It’s too early in the offseason to determine what the Red Raiders will look like in 2022. The College World Series isn’t even down to 4 teams yet. However, we know that most of the team are eligible to return due to COVID circumstances.
Connor Queen is graduating. According to his Twitter, Patrick Monteverde is eligible to return, but he may be moving into the pros. Braxton Fulford and Brandon Birdsell recently went to the MLB Draft Combine. Jace Jung and Cal Conley, who have won many honors during the offseason, are looking to return.
TTU may be in a good spot going into 2022. Now, we wait.
Written by Campus Live Intern Dylan Winn