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Jan. 26, 1998

Annual Texas Tech Alumni Game to Start off Baseball Season

Tech ranked 9th in preseason USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll

Dillon Photo
1997 Big 12 Player of the Year Joe Dillon. (File photo)

LUBBOCK, Texas - Eighteen Texas Tech baseball alumni are expected to make their homecoming to Texas Tech this weekend as they will take on the 1998 Texas Tech baseball team in the annual Red Raider alumni game at Dan Law Field beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31. Admission is free for the event.

Highlighting Texas Tech's alumni roster are first baseman Joe Dillon and outfielder Matt Kastelic. Dillon erupted with a huge season in 1997 for Texas Tech when he was named All America and Big 12 Player of the Year after hitting .393 and broke Tech season records for home runs (33), total bases (215) and slugging percentage (.939). He ranked third nationally in home runs, 10th in RBI (89) and fourth in slugging percentage. Kastelic was an All America selection and won the SWC batting title in 1996. He is currently Texas Tech's all-time leader in career stolen bases.

Alumni member Todd Howey, who played at Tech from 1983-85, will get a firsthand look at Texas Tech from a playing standpoint. Howey is the head coach at West Texas A&M, the school Texas Tech opens its regular season home schedule against on Feb. 6-8. Another alumni player, Gary Ashby, is a former Texas Tech coach and player.

In other news, Texas Tech was ranked 9th nationally in the preseason USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll. The poll marked the final poll in preseason. Texas Tech was ranked 8th by Baseball America, 10th by The Sporting News and 17th by Collegiate Baseball in preseason polls.

USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN preseason coaches poll 1. Stanford 45-20; 2. LSU 57-13; 3. Florida 40-24; 4. Miami, Fla. 51-18; 5. Southern Cal 42-20; 6. Alabama 56-14; 7. Arizona State 39-22; 8. Rice 47-16; 9. TEXAS TECH 46-14; 10. Auburn 50-17; 11. Oklahoma State 46-19; 12. Georgia Tech 46-15; 13. Mississippi State 47-21; 14. Washington 46-20; 15. Wichita State 51-18; 16. UCLA 45-18; 17. CSU-Northridge N/A; 18. Fresno State 40-28; 19. Florida State 50-17; 20. South Alabama 43-19; 21. Oklahoma 39-20; 22. Clemson 41-23; 23. Tennessee 42-19; 24. Baylor 32-23; 25. Ohio State 42-18

Texas Tech Alumni slated to play in the alumni game (Player Name, Position, Years Played at Tech) Gary Ashby, 1B, 1974-77; Ryan Brewer, RHP, 1995-96; Saul Bustos, SS, 1993-94; Brad Davis, OF, 1996; Joe Dillon, 1B, 1996-97; Trey Forkerway, INF, 2B, 1992-93; Jimmy Frush, RHP, 1994-97; Robin Harriss, C, 1993-94; Todd Howey, OF, 1983-85; Matt Kastelic, OF, 1995-96; George Kilford, INF, 1992-93; David Lindstrom, C, 1994-96; Eric Newman, RHP, 1994; Jeff Peck, LHP, 1994-97; Wes Shook, 1B, 1991-92; Chris Shuffield, OF-INF, 1997; Travis Smith, RHP, 1994-95; Rodney Steph, RHP, 1988-91.

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Texas Tech Red Raiders