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Baseball Team to Host Texas on Friday




March 5, 1998

The Texas Tech baseball team will begin its week with an 11-7 overall and 1-2 Big 12 record. Texas Tech will host Texas on Friday at Dan Law Field beginning at 7 p.m. All three games will be carried on either KKAM 1340-AM or 790-AM via Mark Finkner.

Team Notes
  • The two runs scored by Texas Tech in the ninth inning at Texas A&M on 3/1/98 avoided Texas Tech's first shutout of the year. In fact, Texas Tech has a streak of 109 games since it was last shutout. The last time the Red Raiders were shutout was on March 23, 1996 at Baylor when Tech lost 8-0.
  • The 11-2 loss at Texas A&M on Sunday was the Red Raiders' worst loss since losing 10-1 at TCU in last season's season opener on Feb. 11, 1997.
  • Head coach Larry Hays did not take the field as Tech's third base coach for the final two games of the Texas A&M series due to a cold and sickness. Assistant coach Greg Evans moved over to third and assistant Marty Lamb coached first base.
  • Texas Tech has now lost five of its last eight games and have scored four or less runs in all five losses. When scoring fewer than three runs, Texas Tech is 0-3 on the season.
  • The final game against Long Beach State snapped an eight-game season Texas Tech team home run game streak. It also snapped a 13-game streak dating back to last season.
  • Texas Tech scored a combined 46 runs against West Texas A&M. Plus, the Red Raiders rallied for 48 hits off Buffaloe pitching.
  • Winning a game at Dan Law Field against head coach Larry Hays has been a difficult feat for opponents to accomplish. Already, Texas Tech has won its first six games at home. Before the season began, Hays boasted a 245-51 record in 11 seasons at Dan Law Field. Those victories give him an .828 winning percentage at the Raiders' home field.
  • Following a loss at New Mexico, Texas Tech was on a four-game losing streak after losing to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship, Southwest Texas State and Southwest Missouri State and New Mexico in succession. Even though Tech has occasionally gone on three-game losing streaks, the last time the Red Raiders have lost four games in a row was in 1992 (4/10-4/14, 3 games to TCU, one game to Lubbock Christian).
  • With the New Mexico loss, Texas Tech is 26-24 all-time in season openers. Head coach Larry Hays is 6-6 in season openers. Opening games have proven to prove little as far as how the Raiders finish the season out. Last year, the Red Raiders lost 10-1 to TCU at Dan Law Field but finished 46-14 on the season. In 1995, Tech lost a 6-3 decision at Arizona State but finished the season at 51-14.
Texas Tech in the 1998 Polls
Week            CB      BA      BW      TSN
Preseason       17th    8th     9th     10th
Week 1 (2/2)    NP      NP      NP      10th    
Week 2 (2/9)    17th    9th     NP      12th
Week 3 (2/16)   17th    9th     9th     9th
Week 4 (2/23)   26th    16th    21st    15th

Key: CB=Collegiate Baseball; BA=Baseball America; BW=USA Today Baseball Weekly-ESPN; TSN=The Sporting News; NP=No poll conducted.

Texas Tech's Preseason/Season Honors:
  • Josh Bard- Big 12 Conference Player of the Week (for week of Feb. 16, 1998)
  • Baseball America projected Big 12 champion (coaches' vote)
  • Collegiate Baseball projected Big 12 champion (coaches' vote)
  • Keith Ginter- Collegiate Baseball First Team All America ... The Sporting News All America Second Team; Collegiate Baseball projected Player of the Year; Baseball America "Player to Watch"; Collegiate Baseball "Player to Watch"
  • Josh Bard- The Sporting News All America Second Team; Collegiate Baseball All America Third Team; Baseball America "Player to Watch"; Collegiate Baseball "Player to Watch"; USA Baseball invitee
  • Jason Landreth- Collegiate Baseball "Player to Watch"
  • Monty Ward- Baseball America "Player to Watch"; Collegiate Baseball "Player to Watch"
  • Brad Ralston- Collegiate Baseball "Player to Watch"
  • Miles Durham- USA Baseball invitee
*Texas Tech's new jerseys designed by two players

Texas Tech sported new jerseys on Saturday, Feb. 14 against Long Beach State. The new black jerseys with red trim sport names of the players on the jersey backs in white lettering and say "Raiders" in red across the front in baseball type lettering. The new uniforms were designed by junior righthanded pitcher Monty Ward and sophomore catcher Josh Bard.

*Two Price brothers on same field in College Station for Texas A&M game

When Texas Tech plays at Texas A&M in College Station, two members of the Price family will be on the field- Duane Price for the Texas Tech Red Raider baseball team and brother Randall Price, 14. Randall's team will be honored during Saturday's game for being Little League District 33 champions, 11-12 Major Boys state champions, USA Southern Regional runners-up and was one out away from being in the Little League World Series (they lost 3-2 in Florida). The team, coached by Mark Johnston, was one of 700 Texas Little League teams to advance that far. Duane Price, a two-sport athlete at Texas Tech (football-Raider position) will be making his return to his hometown of College Station that day.

Information provided by Duane Price's father, Danny of College Station, Texas

*The Bard family, Kansas or Texas Tech?

1997 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, 1997 Freshman All America, 1996-97 USA Baseball player Josh Bard has a unique connection to Texas Tech. His brother, Mike, currently an assistant coach at Big 12 rival Kansas, coached at Texas Tech with head coach Larry Hays from 1992-95. What is baseball like for the Bard household? Who will Bard's parents be rooting for when the Red Raiders play at Kansas on April 10-12. How does Josh view competing against his brother and how will Mike try to beat Josh? How did Josh find his way to Texas Tech?

*Rodriguez unleashes power at shortstop

Shortstop Junior Rodriguez has shown the kind of power that only players like Joe Dillon and John Grimes have matched at Texas Tech. Rodriguez was the most recruited shortstop out of Cypress J.C. last year, the same junior college that TTU second baseman Keith Ginter played at as a sophomore. The two are roommates and great friends. In fact, Ginter and Rodriguez played together as 2b and ss for Cypress two years ago. How did Rodriguez come to choose Texas Tech?

*Texas Tech Baseball: approaching 1,000 total victories and 50th year anniversary

The Texas Tech baseball program is approaching its 1,000th career victory. From the beginning of the season, Texas Tech needs only 33 more victories to surpass the 1,000-victory mark. Next year, the Texas Tech baseball program will celebrate its 50th year anniversary.

*Pitching staff only 8 deep with loss of righthander Chad Reynolds

Junior Chad Reynolds went down in the fall with a season-ending injury and several other pitchers transferred or graduated. Texas Tech added four new pitchers in Cade Allison, Eric Cooper, Jesse Cornejo and Steve Watkins. With four returning pitchers- Brad Ralston, Zach Stewart, Monty Ward and Shane Wright- that leaves Texas Tech with only eight pitchers, the fewest pitchers the Red Raiders have ever had since Anderson took over as pitching coach in 1991. How will the Red Raiders deal and manage with only eight pitchers? Here are the years and breakdown of how many pitchers each team had in the Anderson Era- 1991-12, 1992-11, 1993-11, 1994-12, 1995-12, 1996-12, 1997-10, 1998-8.

*Outfielder Jason Landreth could be in for even bigger season...

Senior Jason Landreth is in his final season of collegiate baseball. It could be his best year yet. In comparing Landreth's 1997 numbers to 1997 senior Joe Dillon's 1996 statistics, the comparison is intriguing. Dillon broke out with a big year in 1997 after his 1996 season with 33 home runs, 89 RBI, a .939 slugging percentage and a .393 batting average. Dillon earned consensus All America honors. Landreth will probably be batting in the No. 3 spot, the same as Dillon last year. Could this be Landreth's breakout year?

Dillon '96 Landreth '97 At-bats 267 203 Runs 56 72 Hits 87 77 Doubles 16 29 Triples 2 1 Home Runs 10 9 Runs batted in 70 66 Total Bases 127 135 Slugging Pct. .476 .665 Batting Avg. .326 .379 Stolen Bases-Att.18-21 20-29

*Texas Tech and Speed

Ever since head coach Larry Hays inserted the turf infield at Dan Law Field to recruit speed to Texas Tech, the Red Raiders have been a quick crew. But this year's team may have the best overall team speed a Red Raider squad has ever had. They'll need to be quicker in order to fill the void left by power hitters Joe Dillon (33 home runs) and Brandon Toro (10 home runs). Hays and the players have talked about how much quicker the Red Raiders are this year, both on defense (especially in the outfield) and on the basepaths. Several of the 13 Texas Tech newcomers have outstanding speed. Among them are outfielders Ryan Ruiz (pronounced REESE) and Miles Durham. Both will help with team speed. Combine those two newcomers with three returning Raiders who stole over 10 bases last year- Ginter (29), Landreth (20) and Huth (14)- and the Red Raiders have a formidable "gang of thieves."

*The new catcher's helmet

Catchers Josh Bard and Brandon Buckley will be sporting a new catchers helmet in 1998. The black helmet has a red Red Raider logo and Double T on the top. It doesn't look like a baseball catchers helmet, it looks like an aerodynamic hockey goalkeeper's helmet. As far as weight goes, it is very light. How do the catchers (Bard and Buckley) feel about the new helmet? How does it compare to other helmets worn in the past? Is it easier to pull off when going for a foul ball?

*Keith Ginter and the pros

Second baseman Keith Ginter had an amazing season last year in his first year at Texas Tech. But why didn't he get drafted with those type of numbers? Most players who were drafted in the top two or three rounds would love to have those statistics. Is it size, politics, etc.? Again, two publications selected Ginter for Preseason All America honors. What is Keith hoping for this year?

*Chad Reynolds out for season

Junior righthanded pitcher Chad Reynolds (Wolfforth, Texas) is out for the season with a shoulder injury. The injury required surgery in the fall. Reynolds has had time to think about the injury- about three months- and has developed an optimistic attitude about it. He figures that he has two years of eligibility remaining so he can return next year in top form. He did not play as a freshman because of an injury. The coaches were counting on Reynolds being a big part of the team's pitching success in 1998. How much would Reynolds' pitching been an impact on the season?

*USA Baseball experience and how it helped this year's team

Josh Bard, Monty Ward and head coach Larry Hays all played/coached with USA Baseball this summer. Bard will most likely play with the team again. How has that experience helped them in this season? How is the competition level different than in the United States and how is the game of baseball different? Other angles you can use with this one.

*Ward and Ralston: successful Lubbock pitching duo

Junior pitchers Monty Ward and Brad Ralston both hail from Lubbock, Texas. They are best friends and roommates and pitched against each other at rival high schools. Both have been extremely successful while continuing their careers at Texas Tech. Ward has established himself as one of Texas Tech's best all-time starters after two years. He ranks among the top-10 Red Raiders in winning percentage and strikeouts. Even though Ralston would rather be a starting pitcher, he has already broken the career saves record at Texas Tech after only two seasons. Other possible feature angles with this one.

*First base: how will Red Raiders replace Dillon- the hot corner

Who will replace Joe Dillon at first base? Dillon hit 33 home runs and drove in 89 RBI as a senior last year. He had an incredible season? How will the Red Raiders replace such a long-ball threat. Tech has several players to accomplish that task. Freshman Scooter Martines is fresh out high school from Honolulu, Hawaii, junior Brandon Buckley may see action over at first when he's not catching, sophomore Coastal Carolina transfer and lefthander Mark Austry is also competing for the position. Freshman David Tuley could also see playing time.

*Texas Tech-California pipeline

Ten of Texas Tech's players are from the state of California. How does Texas Tech recruit so many players from the Golden State?

*Duane Price plays two sports for Texas Tech

Junior baseball/football player Duane Price has had an outstanding two-sport career at Tech. The outfielder from College Station, Texas balances his studies, two sports (baseball and foorball) and his homelife. His football eligibilty is gone but he has two years of baseball left. How is he approaching his future? What are his plans for the future? How has playing two sports and balancing his homelife helped him at Texas Tech? What has he learned from his experience? What would he do differently?

*Red Raider Baseball Connections

-Cornejo-Wright: Jesse Cornejo (Wellington, Kansas) and Shane Wright pitched against each other three times for the Kansas Baseball State championships. They pitched against each other head-to-head two times in high school for the state championship and another time for the Junior College title. The pitching duo is roommates here at Texas Tech.

-Ginter-Rodriguez: Second baseman Keith Ginter and new transfer shortstop Junior Rodriguez both played middle infield for Cypress J.C. in California two years ago. The two led Cypress to some outstanding seasons in their two years. Ginter transferred after his second year to Texas Tech while Rodriguez still had one year to play at Cypress. The infield duo are roommates.

-Bard-Huth: Jason Huth and Josh Bard both played together at the same high school, Cherry Creek High School in Colorado. Bard and Huth won the Colorado State High School Championships together.

-Bard-Hays: Josh Bard's brother Mike Bard coached as an assistant at Texas Tech for four years from 1992-95. Mike Bard is currently coaching at Texas Tech's Big 12 rival Kansas as an assistant coach.

-Stewart-Ward-Ralston: Played for same Dallas Mustangs team that won Connie Mack World Series.

-Ralston-Ward: Juniors Brad Ralston and Monty Ward are both Lubbock natives. They pitched against each other in high school for four years and at rival schools- Ralston for Coronado and Ward for Monterey. They are also best friends off the field and roommates.

-Buckley-Cooper: Eric Cooper has made it quite clear why he transferred to Texas Tech. His major reason was because his catcher at Chabot J.C. during his freshman season, Brandon Buckley, is also a catcher at Texas Tech. Cooper claims that it was Buckley's catching ability during his freshman season at Chabot that led him to a successful season and 1.50 ERA..

-Watkins-Hays: Sophomore transfer Steve Watkins played for head coach Larry Hays' son, Shanon, at Lubbock Christian last year. He is the second player to transfer from Lubbock Christian in two years as Chris Shuffield completed that move last year. In fact, Watkins has the unique distinction of playing for three different members of the Hays family- Larry (at Texas Tech), Daren (at Lubbock Christian University) and Shanon (at Lubbock Christian High School).

-Smith-Ruiz: Outfielders Joe Smith and newly transfer Ryan Ruiz played together at El Toro High School.

*Texas Tech's Pro Relative Connections

Cade Allison- brother Cody Allison played for Cleveland Indians; relative Bob Allison pitched for the Minnesota Twins; father Roy Allison played in the NFL for the Chicago Bears.

Mark Austry- father played professional baseball and brother Michael, played professional hockey.

Josh Bard- brother Mike coached with Larry Hays (1992-95), now coaches at Kansas.

Brandon Buckley- father played in Chicago Cubs minor league organization.

Brennan Burns- uncle Whip Walton played in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants between 1977 and 1983.

Jesse Cornejo- father played in the Major Leagues with the New York Mets in the 1970s and in the minor leagues for seven years.


 

 

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