Kansas will be in Lubbock this weekend facing Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are considered by most this year to by one of the two weaker teams in the Big-12 along with Nebraska. Their 7-8 conference record belies this lack of respect. The Red Raiders have played conference games tough. Tech has the home field advantage in the series. The Raiders are 10-4 at Dan Law Field, Kansas is 4-7 on the road including 0-3 vs. Big-12 opponents. Kansas certainly can win this series but it probably will be a tough fight. If KU hopes to hold on to its aspirations of making the NCAA tournament, they will have to wn the bulk of these tough games down the stretch runs.
Friday 6:30: Shaeffer Hall (3-2, 2.52 ERA) vs. Brian Cloud (2-3, 4.88 ERA)
Saturday 5PM: T.J. Walz (4-0, 3.15) vs. A.J. Ramos (3-3, 4.87)
Sunday 1PM Lee Ridenhour (3-2, 3.38) vs. Miles Morgan (2-4, 6.25)
All three games will be broadcast on KLWN AM 1320 for those in Lawrence. A live feed of these broadcasts can be picked up at klwn.com.
Series in a nutshell
Tech has a below average but not poor offense, averaging 5.6 runs per game. As a team they get on base at a reasonable clip (.377 OBA) but lack power (Slugging .396) and have not found much success stealing bases (35 stolen in 51 attemts in 39 games). So as a team them muddle through and find a way to get five or six runs up most days. They give up 6.4 runs a game. There are some good arms in the pitching staff but not as much depth as most Big-12 teams. Their team defense looks to be an area of real concern. Seventy errors and 46 unearned runs in 39 games.
The Red Raiders will send three seniors to the mound this weekend. It looks like KU will only face their hottest pitcher, Chad Bettis, out of the bullpen. Last weekend Bettis was named Big-12 pitcher of the week when he threw a complete game 4 hitter to beat Oklahoma. He did throw 154 pitches in that game, only his fourth start of the year. Maybe he is out of the rotation to limit his pitch count this week? I honestly do not know but I do hope the Hawks can take advantage of the shallow TTU pitching corps. Full TTU stats here
I know this is a short preview and those in the know are more than welcome to add additional notes in the comments. I have a very busy day that starts now and goes until 10PM tonight so I might only catch the last few innings on the radio. Go Hawks.