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Baseball Headed To Aggieland For Big 12 Opener
 

 
Willie Rueda has been one of Tech's hottest players over the last six games.
 
Willie Rueda has been one of Tech's hottest players over the last six games.
 

March 12, 2008

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS
(8-6; 0-0 Big 12)
Larry Hays (1,492-836-4)

THE OPPONENT
No. 22/24/23 Texas A&M Aggies
(13-3; 0-0 Big 12)
Rob Childress (86-52-1)

GAME/SERIES LOCATION
Olsen Field (7,053)
College Station, Texas

DATES/TIMES
Friday, March 14; 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 15; 2 p.m.
Sunday, March 16, 1 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY
Texas A&M leads the series 84-52 overall and hold a 51-14 advantage in College Station.

LAST MEETING
Texas Tech 8, Texas A&M 3; April 6, 2007

TELEVISION
None

RADIO
Texas Tech Sports Network
KKAM-1340 AM in Lubbock
Robert Giovannetti (Play-by-Play)
Blayne Beal (Color)
Steve Pitz (Engineer)

LIVE STATS
www.texastech.com

LIVE AUDIO/VIDEO
Live audio will be available through RaiderVision All-Access at texastech.com.

Complete Texas Tech Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

SETTING THE SCENE
The Texas Tech Red Raiders continue their long and arduous journey on the road this weekend but this time with higher stakes on the line. Texas Tech opens Big 12 play on Friday night at Olsen Field against the 22nd-ranked Texas A&M Aggies who swept a midweek series against Centenary to improve to 13-3 on the year. The weekend will feature four league series as eight of the 10 league teams begin conference play. First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. while game-two of the series is set for 2 p.m. The three-game set will conclude at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

The journey to the weekend series in College Station could not be more different for both teams as the Red Raiders will be playing their 13th road contest of the season. In fact, Tech will play 16 of its first 18 games of the season away from the friendly confines of Dan Law Field. In the other dugout, the Texas A&M Aggies will be playing their 17th straight game at home on Friday night as all 16 of the Aggies games this season have been played in front of the Aggie faithful at Olsen Field. Texas A&M's first road game of the year is set for Friday, March 21, when they travel to Stillwater to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Texas Tech enters the weekend series riding a two-game win streak and stands at 8-6 on the year. The Red Raiders took an 8-6 win over New Mexico on Tuesday afternoon in Albuquerque to even the season-long four game series against the Lobos at 1-1.

All three games of the Texas Tech-Texas A&M series can be heard live on the Texas Tech Sports Network (KKAM 1340 in Lubbock) with Robert Giovannetti and Blayne Beal calling the action live from Olsen Field.

HAYS ON HIS WAY TO 800, 1,500
The legendary career of Texas Tech Head Coach Larry Hays only seems to get more impressive each year. The 22nd-year skipper of the Red Raiders will be seeking to become just the third head coach in NCAA history to reach the 1,500-win plateau (eight wins away). Only Texas' Augie Garrido and Wichita State's Gene Stephenson have reached the 1,500-win mark and both have already exceeded 1,600 wins. Hays is the winningest coach in school history with a mark of 797-451-3 and is just three wins away from the 800 mark at Texas Tech. He has led the Red Raiders to nine NCAA Tournament appearances and four conference titles.
Quickest To 1,500
Augie Garrido (Texas) - Defeated Youngstown State 8-0 on Feb. 27, 2005
Gene Stephenson (Wichita State) - Defeated Bradley 3-0 on May 21, 2005

ROAD WARRIORS
When the NCAA decided to condense the schedule to 13 weeks beginning this season, the college baseball world began to brace for noticeable change. The Red Raiders, however, weren't quite prepared for the changes that they would be dealt. Just a little over three weeks into the season, Tech has had to cancel eight home games (two weekend series) and been forced to hit the road at the last minute both times in order to find games. The season opener against Northern Illinois was canceled back in late February after the university suspended all athletics events in the wake of a tragic shooting that claimed the lives of five students. This past weekend, another team from Illinois canceled a series after they were unable to make the trip to Lubbock due to conditions that prevented them from flying into Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport. Tech hit the road at the beginning of the season and was able to get a spot in the UTSA Baseball Classic in San Antonio and this past weekend took part in a round robin in San Marcos against Texas State and Northern Illinois.
Here is a Look At Tech's Schedule

  • The Red Raiders have spent 16 nights in hotel rooms since Feb. 22 compared to only 10 nights at home.
  • The Red Raiders have played just two home games this season (midweek series against Central Arkansas) and won't play another until facing the Texas Longhorns on March 20. Tech has played the other 12 games on the road or at neutral sites.
  • Tech will now only play 24 total home games versus the originally scheduled 32.
  • Following the game at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on March 18, the Red Raiders will open up a 10-game home stand (hopefully) and will be in Lubbock for a whopping 15-straight days.
    How the Red Raiders got to College Station and thereafter: Departed at 7:30 a.m. via Southwest Airlines on Saturday, March 8 and flew to Austin and made the short drive to San Marcos where they played Texas State and Northern Illinois on Saturday and Sunday. After Monday's finale was rained out, the team caught a plane in Austin and flew into Albuquerque late Monday evening (to throw salt on the open wound, the plane connected in Lubbock before heading to Albuquerque). Following the Tuesday afternoon game at New Mexico, the Red Raiders bussed back to Lubbock and arrived at 1:30 a.m. Tech boarded a plane again on Thursday at 1:30 and flew into Austin and made the drive to College Station. Following the Sunday finale against the Aggies, Tech will board a bus and make the six-hour drive to Corpus Christi where the Red Raiders will battle Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday night. Tech will conclude this road swing by flying out of Corpus Christi on Wednesday midday and then land in Lubbock in mid-afternoon. Tech will then open a three-game series against Texas on Thursday evening.

    RED RAIDERS OPEN BIG 12 PLAY
    After a very short non-conference season, the Red Raiders open up Big 12 Conference play this weekend as they face rival Texas A&M at Olsen Field in College Station. Texas Tech will be in search of its second-straight Big 12 series opening win as the Red Raiders took 2-of-3 from then 16th-ranked Nebraska last season at Dan Law Field. Tech has only won three total Big 12-opening series as Tech won tilts against Kansas in 1999, Texas A&M in 2005 and Nebraska last season.

    TEXAS TECH vs. TEXAS A&M
    Texas A&M leads the all-time series 84-52 and the series has easily been dominated by the home team. The Aggies own a 51-14 record against Tech in College Station and the Red Raiders have never won a three-game series there. In Lubbock, Texas Tech leads the series 34-31 and has not lost a series to the Aggies at Dan Law Field since 1997. Tech and A&M split a weather-shortened two game series last year in Lubbock as A&M won the opener 7-4 and then Tech responded with an 8-3 win. The third and final game of the series was cancelled due to snowfall.

    KIESCHNICK NAMED BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
    Junior right fielder Roger Kieschnick was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday following a stellar week in which he led the Red Raiders to a 4-1 record. The preseason All-American hit a jaw-dropping .524 over five games while driving in 11 runs and hit four home runs. The weekly Big 12 honor marked just the second time in his career that he has taken home the award (last was on May 16, 2006).

    BETTIS OFF TO HOT START
    Freshman right-hander Chad Bettis has certainly gotten his college career off to a hot start as he improved his record to 2-0 this past weekend in San Marcos. Bettis, an eighth-round draft pick by Houston and freshman from Lubbock Monterey, allowed three earned runs and scattered nine hits over six innings to garner his second win of the season on Sunday against Northern Illinois. He currently leads the squad with a 3.38 ERA over 18 2/3 innings and struckout 14 while allowing just seven walks. His only non-decision of the season was against then No. 6 Rice at the Houston College Classic where he allowed three earned runs over 6 2/3 innings and struckout three.

    SCOUTING TEXAS A&M
    Texas A&M enters the weekend against Texas Tech with a 13-3 overall record after sweeping a midweek series against Centenary. The Aggies are ranked as high as No. 22 in the nation and have played all 16 games of their season at Olsen Field.

    Offensively, Texas A&M holds a team batting average of .322 (second behind Texas) and is led by third baseman Dane Carter who is batting a jaw-dropping .492. Carter has punched out 15 RBIs along with three home runs, four triples and four doubles.

    On the mound, the Aggies have been stingy as they boast a league-leading 2.73 staff ERA. They are led by Carson Middleton who owns a 0.55 ERA over 16 1/3 innings. Texas A&M is coached by Rob Childress who is in his third season.

     

     

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