LUBBOCK, Texas – After 345 days, Texas Tech baseball is finally back.
The No. 3 Red Raiders begin their 2021 season this weekend against three top-10 SEC clubs at the inaugural State Farm College Baseball Showcase at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
The event, originally scheduled to be played Friday-Sunday, was pushed back a day due to weather conditions throughout the state, and will now take place Saturday-Monday.
The Red Raiders open the year with No. 8 Arkansas on Saturday at 7 p.m., followed by No. 6 Ole Miss on Sunday at 3 p.m. The weekend finale has the Red Raiders facing off against its final opponent of 2020 in Mississippi State with first pitch on Monday at 11 a.m.
The entire event will be streamed by FloBaseball.com ($). Visit here to sign up or here for more information. FloBaseball is available on Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast and AppleTV, via the FloSports app and can be cast to your smart TV.
As always, fans can listen to the games on the Texas Tech Sports Network on Double T 97.3 FM or the TuneIn Radio app with Jamie Lent and Mike Gustafson on the call.
Single day tickets remain available for Sunday and Monday priced at $25 for adults and $15 for youth 13 and under. All tickets for Saturday have been sold. Tickets options and info are available here. All seating will be general admission. A single day ticket will be good for all three games that day. Suite ticket packages are also available for Sunday and Monday.
Due to the recent schedule change, single day tickets for Friday will now be honored for either the three games on Sunday, February 21 or the three games on Monday, February 22. There is no change for fans holding single day tickets for Saturday and Sunday. Three-day tournament passes will be honored for all games Saturday, February 20, Sunday, February 21, and Monday, February 22. Anyone with further questions about tickets should call 972-RANGERS.
ATTENDING GLOBE LIFE FIELD
Per the Rangers, parking lots open one hour before the first game each day. Doors open one hour before the first game. Tickets should be pulled up on the MLB Ballpark app to be scanned for entry. Face coverings are required for entry and throughout your visit. A NO BAG POLICY is in full effect. No weapons are permitted. Globe Life Field is a cashless facility. Only credit cards will be accepted for concessions and merchandise. More info here.
PITCHING MATCHUPS (2020 Stats)
Saturday vs. Arkansas
LHP Patrick Monteverde (Seton Hill) vs. RHP Zebulon Virmillion (1-0, 0.00 ERA
Sunday vs. Ole Miss
RHP Micah Dallas (1-0, 0.57 ERA) vs. RHP Gunnar Hoglund (3-0, 1.16 ERA)
Monday vs. Mississippi State
LHP Mason Montgomery (3-1, 3.00 ERA) vs. RHP Eric Cerantola (1-1, 3.18 ERA)
INSIDE THE ARKANSAS SERIES
Saturday's meeting will be the 62nd all-time between the two programs in a series that dates back to 1974. The two teams met annually each year as members of the Southwest Conference from 1974-1991. Tech trails the series 15-46 and is 1-4 under Tadlock, but won the last matchup at the 2019 College World Series to send the Hogs home. Former Razorback Easton Murrell hit a home run in the fifth that tied the game before a hit-and-run by Cody Masters put Tech in front for good in the eighth.
INSIDE THE OLE MISS SERIES
Sunday's meeting will be the third all-time between the Red Raiders and Rebels, who have split the first two matchups. It will be the second time the two teams have met in an MLB stadium with Minute Maid hosting their battle in 2017. The programs met for the first time at the 2014 College World Series as the Rebels survived an elimination game.
INSIDE THE MISSISSIPPI STATE SERIES
Monday's meeting will be the eighth all-time between the Red Raiders and Bulldogs. The Red Raiders will be looking to end a four-game slide against the Bulldogs and even the series at 4-4. Tech has seen Mississippi State three of the last four years for a total of five matchups, the most of any SEC team. Four of those five matchups have taken place in the state of Mississippi, as Monday's game will be just the second in the series to occur in the state of Texas. Tech and MSU ended their abbreviated 2020 seasons against one another as the midweek series in Biloxi finished a day before the season began to shut down.
TECH ON OPENING WEEKENDS
Texas Tech is 7-2 all-time in season openers under Tadlock and 27-4 in opening-weekend series. Tech's only two losses on opening days under Tadlock came in 2019 to Oregon and in 2014 to No. 3 Indiana. The Red Raiders have "won" opening weekend every year after a 2-2 split in 2008, the final year under Larry Hays.
The 2020 Red Raiders started out 16-1, including a 2-0 road sweep at No. 9 Florida State, on their way to a No. 1 ranking for the first time since the 1997 season. Tadlock's crew looked built to not only get back to Omaha for the third straight year, but to finish the job. As it does every year, Tech had to replace some key pieces in Josh Jung, Cameron Warren and Gabe Holt in the lineup as well as Saturday starter Caleb Kilian. But with six position starters returning and an impressive group of freshmen ready to step in, the offense didn't skip a beat. On the mound, Clayton Beeter went from closer to ace, Bryce Bonnin showed development, and the rest of the pitching staff proved to be a dynamic force early on.
Tech heads into 2021 looking to replace a key bat with the departure of senior Brian Klein, but much like 2020, returns a wealth of experience with eight position starters returning from last year and several more who have seen regular playing time in their careers. On the mound, Micah Dallas and Mason Montgomery will look to anchor two of the starting roles early on. The bullpen is deep once again with several talented arms. Watch out for a freshman class that has earned comparisons from Tadlock to his 2016 group of freshmen that featured Davis Martin, Steven Gingery, Ryan Shetter and Ty Harpenau.
THE RED RAIDERS
SENIORS: Two players are in their final years of eligibility in veteran relief pitcher Connor Queen and graduate transfer Patrick Monteverde, the Seton Hill transfer who receives the Opening Day start.
JUNIORS: There are nine members of the junior class with two years of eligibility remaining. All nine were members of the team last season, headlined by Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Dylan Neuse. This will be the fourth year on campus for four of these juniors, including Braxton Fulford, Parker Kelly, Cody Masters, Ryan Sublette and Kurt Wilson.
SOPHOMORES: The sophomore class consists of 12 members, including eight returners and four transfers. This will be year three in the program for several mainstays such as Micah Dallas, Mason Montgomery, Dru Baker, Cole Stilwell and Max Marusak. Tech's top-ranked JUCO class features RHP Brandon Birdsell, LHP Brandon Petix, INF/OF Braydon Runion and RHP Chase Webster.
"FRESHMEN": Call them what you want, but this group packs plenty of firepower. Cal Conley, Jace Jung, Nate Rombach and Dillon Carter all earned starting roles to open the 2020 season. Andrew Devine also showed dynamic stuff in a closing role.
FRESHMEN: Tech welcomes 14 first-year freshmen to the mix from a class that finished at No. 17 by D1Baseball. Tadlock and crew placed an emphasis on adding quality arms with 11 of the 14 additions coming on the mound.