Baseball is No. 3 Seed in Tournament

May 11, 1998

Texas Tech (18-11, 39-17) will enter the Big 12 Conference Tournament as a No. 3 seed on a six-game winning streak, its longest winning streak of the season.

Red Raiders on a roll after winning six straight
Texas Tech enters the Big 12 Tournament as the Big 12's hottest sqaud after winning its last six games. Victories in that streak include two wins against Oklahoma, one against College of the Southwest and a sweep of Kansas State. The Kansas State sweep was Tech's first sweep of the season. The Red Raiders might just be peaking at the right time. Last year Texas Tech peaked during the middle of the season and had nothing left for the NCAA Regionals.

Ryan Ruiz is on Fire!
Ryan Ruiz had an amazing weekend against Kansas State. He finished the weekend with a .714 batting average and had 10 hits in 14 at-bats. He scored eight runs and had two sacrifice bunts. His games included a 4-6, three run, three RBI and home run performance on Sunday, a career high 5-5, three run and RBI on Saturday and a 1-3 with two runs on Friday. Ruiz, the team's No. 2 slot hitter has been on a hot streak since the Oklahoma series. He has now vaulted into the team lead in batting average and has raised his average .049 points in the last six games from .346 to .395. He has gone 19-31 in those last seven games for a .612 batting average.

Brad Ralston makes his pitching return
Junior Brad Ralston made his first appearance Saturday vs. Kansas State since April 14 against Abilene Christian. Ralston has sufferered from a shoulder injury has On Saturday he entered the game with two outs and the score 6-5 with two runners on base. He threw one pitch and the batter grounded back to himself for the final out and his third save one the season. He injured himself in a start at Oklahoma State on March 29, 1998. Since then he pitched one game against Abilene Christian and gave up four hits and six runs (three earned) in 1/3 inning. Ralston is Texas Tech's career save leader.

Keith Ginter: The "Walking" Machine
Texas Tech leadoff hitter and third baseman Keith Ginter has broken several bases-on-balls records this year. Against Oklahoma last weekend, Ginter broke the Big 12 season record for bases on balls. Against Kansas State, he broke the Texas Tech record for season bases on balls. Ginter eclipsed Stubby Clapp's record of 66 walks in 1996. In addition, Ginter has a chance to become Texas Tech's career bases-on-balls recordholder after only two years at Texas Tech. He is currently in third place on that list with 116 total walks. The record his held by four-year star Clint Bryant with 140 for the season, Ginter has 71 hits and 65 walks. He has a .536 on-base percentage and has scored 80 runs (16 percent of TTU's runs). When leading off innings, Ginter gets on base 63.8 percent of the time (51-80). When he gets on base, Texas Tech scores 80.4 percent (41-51) of the time. That shows you how important Ginter is to the Texas Tech offense.

Shane Wright approaching several Texas Tech records
Shane Wright threw six complete games including five for wins in a row. Now, he's threatening to break several Texas Tech records. He is tied for the season victory record with 12 wins along with Red Raider greats Mark Brandenburg and Matt Miller. He is one career complete game (15 CG) shy of tying the record of 16 by Mark Brandenburg. He needs only one more complete game to tie the record for season complete games (12, held by Mark Brandenburg in 1992) and he is currently in third place for most innings in a season with 134.2. The record is 147.1 held by Mark Brandenburg in 1991.

Wright selected for USA Baseball tryout
Shane Wright has been selected to tryout for the USA Baseball team as of Friday. He will join teammate and roommate/sophomore catcher Josh Bard as soon as the season ends in Tucson, Ariz. The two will tryout for one of the 26 positions on the squad. 42 players have been invited. Bard, along with pitcher Monty Ward and head coach Larry Hays played on the USA Baseball team last year. This is Wright's first-ever bid to make the team.

Ward needs eight strikeouts to break season K record
Monty Ward needs only eight strikeouts to break the Texas Tech season strikeout record held by Jason Gooding in 1997. Gooding finished his one year at Texas Tech with 137 strikeouts. Ward, who is already the Red Raiders' career strikeout recordholder and the game strikeout recordholder, has 130 strikeouts on the season.

Wright: The Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year?
Shane Wright is making a strong case for being named the Big 12 Conference's Pitcher of the Year. He has thrown a conference-leading 134.2 innings along with 11 complete games on the season. He has been forced to throw complete games and that many innings because Texas Tech has only seven other pitchers. His record is 12-1 along with a 2.94 ERA. He has given up 155 hits on the season but opponents are only batting .284 against him (584 batters faced). Plus, he has shown amazing control. He has only walked 17 batters in 134.2 innings! Last year he walked only 10 batters in 90.0 innings. For his career (last two years) Wright has only walked 27 batters in 224.2 innings pitched- that's an incredible 1.084 batters walked per nine innings!

Shane Wright-Texas Tech's Iron Man; becomes first Big 12 pitcher to win 10 games
Texas Tech junior starter Shane Wright (Topeka, Kansas/Butler County J.C./Hayden H.S.) became the first Big 12 Conference pitcher to win 10 games with a 6-5 victory at Nebraska. The game was his fourth straight 9.0 inning complete game in his last four starts. Then he went out and pitched his fifth complete game in a row against Oklahoma on the following Sunday. Plus, he pitched 29 consecutive innings in 10 days. He also moved into a tie for second place on the Texas Tech 20-career victory club with the victory. Former Red Raiders in that company include 25-Matt Miller, 21-1997-98 Shane Wright; 1994-96; 21-Mark Brandenburg, 1991-92; 21-Ruben Garcia, 1970-72; 21-Jimmy Frush, 1994-97; and 21-Rodney Steph, 1988-91. With another season, Wright will easily break the TTU career victories record. What's more, Wright became one of only three TTU pitchers in history to win at least 10 games at least two times in a career. Mark Brandenburg (12 in 1991, 10 in 1992) and Matt Miller (12 in 1996 and 11 in 1995) are the other two to it. Last year, Wright finished 10-2 with a 3.90 ERA and was selected to the All Region and All Big 12 Conference First Team. He is making a push to be selected again. His hustle was showcased on Tuesday at Nebraska when a shot bounced off his leg and toward the Texas Tech dugout. Wright hustled after the ball and made a Pete Rose dive into the turf to save the ball from going into the dugout. An extra base would've been awarded if the ball had indeed rolled into the dugout. For that play, Wright has been walking around with a scab on his chin.

Bard comes up big for Texas Tech in April
Sophomore catcher Josh Bard came up with a huge month of April for Texas Tech. In the month Bard batted .456 (36-79), led the Red Raiders with nine home runs, 28 RBI and finished with 25 runs scored, six doubles and an .899 slugging percentage. He also had only one error in that time. Ryan Ruiz also had a big April as he finished at .411 (30-73) and Keith Ginter went .405 (30-74).

Red Raiders doing everything possible to make up for lack of pitchers
With the loss of reliever Brad Ralston, Texas Tech has had to scramble for pitching with only seven healthy pitchers. And coach Larry Hays has gotten his money's worth. This season, Texas Tech pitchers have gone 18 complete games out of the team's 53. Lately, Tech has had a whole bunch of complete games. In fact eight of Tech's last 12 games have had a TTU starter go the full nine innings. For the season, Shane Wright has 11 including six straight in his last six starts, Monty Ward and Jesse Cornejo each have three CGs and Cade Allison and Brad Ralston each have one.

Team Notes
* Keith Ginter tied two Texas Tech school records against Missouri. His 6-6 six-hit performance tied the school record for hits in a game set by Joe Dillon and Shane Langen in 1997. Also, his three doubles tied the Texas Tech school record for doubles in a game held by 17 other players. He also tied a Big 12 record for hits.
* Josh Bard broke the Missouri opponent's school record with eight RBI and three home runs in a game Friday against Missouri. Bard also broke the Big 12 record for total bases in a game with 15. He had three home runs and a triple.
* Miles Durham tied the Texas Tech stolen bases record for a game with four steals April 8 against New Mexico Highlands. He became the fifth player in TTU history to steal four bases in a game.
* Tuesday's total bases on balls number broke a Texas Tech team season high. The Red Raiders walked 11 times in the game against the College of the Southwest.
* A 10-6 loss at Oklahoma State broke a five-game winning streak for Texas Tech against Oklahoma State.
* The 13-inning game vs. Eastern New Mexico on Tuesday tied for second on the list of longest games (by inning) in Texas Tech history. The longest game in Tech history was a 17-inning game vs. SE Oklahoma State in 1968. There has also been one other 13-inning game.
* The victory vs. Eastern New Mexico kept alive a 30-game winning streak for Texas Tech against non-NCAA Division I opponents.
* The first loss on Friday evening against Baylor at Dan Law Field snapped a seven game home winning streak against the Bears dating back to 5/1/92.
* The three-game Baylor attendance of 12,851 ranks second all-time on the Texas Tech list for three-game series attendance. The No. 1 series was last year against Texas A&M. Attendance for that series topped off at 15,274 (5,091.3 average).
* Texas Tech broke the school record for doubles in a game with 12 doubles vs. Valley City State, March 18. Those 12 doubles also broke the former Big 12 record of 7 doubles set by Texas last year. In addition, those 12 doubles rank tied for third on the all-time NCAA recordlist. The record is 13, held by two teams (Minnesota in 1991 and New Mexico State in 1981). It was the most doubles a Southwest Conference team, Big 12 team or Big Eight team had ever hit in a game.

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
Week 5 (3/2)    29th 23rd  NR   25th
Week 6 (3/9)    27th 22nd 23rd  23rd
Week 7 (3/16)   26th 23rd 21st  NR
Week 8 (3/23)   NR   22nd 24th  NR
Week 9 (3/30)   26th 20th 22nd 23rd
Week 10 (4/6)   28th 20th 19th 20th
Week 11 (4/13)  28th 21st 19th 19th
Week 12 (4/20)  25th 21st 21st 21st
Week 13 (4/27)  22nd 21st 21st 22nd
Week 14 (5/4)   27th 22nd 22nd 23rd
Week 15 (5/11)

Key: CB=Collegiate Baseball; BA=Baseball America; BW=USA Today Baseball Weekly-ESPN; TSN=The Sporting News; NP=No poll conducted; NR=Not ranked

Texas Tech's 1998 Season Honors:
* Shane Wright- Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week (for week of March 23, 1998)
* Josh Bard- Big 12 Conference Player of the Week (for week of Feb. 16, 1998)
* Josh Bard- Big 12 Conference Player of the Week (for week of April 20, 1998)
* Monty Ward- one of five Collegiate Baseball National Players of the Week (for week of March 16, 1998)
* USA Baseball Invitees: Josh Bard, Shane Wright, Miles Durham
* Smith Super Team and "Player of the Year" nominees (NCBWA): Josh Bard, Keith Ginter, Kevin Jordan, Shane Wright, * Keith Ginter, Monty Ward- 2 of 142 nominees for Rotary Smith Award,
college baseball's national player of the year * Brandon Buckley- GTE Academic All District 6
* Monty Ward- GTE Academic All District 6 nominee
* All Big 12 Academic First Team: Brandon Buckley, Brad Ralston, Monty Ward
* Austin American Statesman All Big 12 First Team: Josh Bard, Keith Ginter, Shane Wright; Monty Ward (Second Team)

Texas Tech's 1998 Records
* NCAA rank No. 3, game doubles, 12 vs. Valley City State, 3/18
* Big 12 Record, game doubles, 12 vs. Valley City State, 3/18/98
* Big 12 Record, inning home runs, 4 vs. Sul Ross State, 4/7/98
* Big 12 Record, season bases on balls, Keith Ginter
* Big 12 Record, game total bases,, Josh Bard (15 vs. Kansas)
* Big 12 Record, game hits, Keith Ginter (6 vs. Kansas)
* Texas Tech, season bases on balls, Keith Ginter
* Texas Tech, game doubles, 12 vs. Valley City State, 3/18/98
* Texas Tech, game doubles, 3 by Josh Bard/Keith Ginter
* Texas Tech, game stolen bases, Miles Durham (4 vs. N.M. Highlands)
* Texas Tech, career stirkeouts, Monty Ward
* Texas Tech, game strikeouts, Monty Ward (18 vs. Lindenwood)




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