Red Raiders Begin Team Practices Friday
Dan Spencer enters his fourth year as head coach at Texas Tech in 2012
Jan. 27, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech baseball team held its first official team practice for the 2012 season on Friday, exactly 13 weeks after the fall season came to a close in the end of October. The team had a productive day and enjoyed 60-degree weather at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
"It is great to get the season started," fourth-year head coach Dan Spencer said. "We have a lot to work on and have a lot of new faces to get in the mix, but we are very to be out here today."
The Red Raiders are coming off their best season since 2005 following a 33-25 overall record in 2011. Texas Tech returns a total of 19 letterwinners while six starters return and 11 of the team's 16 pitchers from last season are back for the 2012 campaign.
Senior right-handed pitcher and All-American John Neely returns after a standout 2011 season with a 9-1 record, 2.97 ERA, seven saves, 60.2 innings pitched and 56 strikeouts. All of the Red Raiders starting pitching returns with sophomore right-handed pitchers David Paiz (3-5, 6.93 ERA), Trey Masek (5-4, 4.70 ERA) and Duke von Schamann (5-0, 3.92 ERA).
Eight of Tech's top relievers return for 2012, and the Red Raiders are also welcoming back redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Daniel Coulombe who missed the majority of last season with Tommy John surgery.
Redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Rusty Shellhorn is set to make his Red Raider debut this spring while four newcomers will look to give Tech depth on the mound this season.
Offensively Tech returns nearly all of its firepower from a year ago, starting with two-time All-Big 12 center fielder Barrett Barnes (.290, 10 HR, 38 RBI), third baseman and Los Angeles Dodgers draft pick Reid Redman (.320, 12 2B, 34 RBI) and second baseman Jamodrick McGruder (.293, 29 RBI, 28 SB).
Tech also returns starters with catcher Kevin Whitehead (.235, 2 HR, 12 RBI), catcher/designated hitter Bo Altobelli (.333, 24 RBI), right fielder David Paiz (.284, 2 HR, 27 RBI) and first baseman Stephen Hagen (.266, 6 HR, 42 RBI).
The Red Raiders will open their season hosting Missouri State for Opening Day at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park on Friday, Feb. 17 with a 4 p.m. first pitch.