The Texas Tech Red Raiders have been added to the UTSA Baseball Classic this weekend after having to cancel their series against Northern Illinois after the tragedies that took place on that campus last week. The Red Raiders will open up play against Louisiana on Saturday at 10 am. They will then play Army on Sunday at 10 am and finish play against UTSA on Monday at 2 pm. The full release from Texas Tech is available here.
Competitiveness is consistent in the Big 12.
Sure, Texas is often the leader atop the conference standings. However, others such as Missouri, Baylor and Oklahoma State have staked their claims in recent years.
With the return of outfielders Kyle Russell and Jordan Danks, among others, the Longhorns are the league favorite. Meanwhile, Missouri hopes to rise to the occasion with Aaron Crow in charge.
Baylor, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Nebraska should compete for postseason berths, while Kansas State could be a pleasant surprise.
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FROM PRESS RELEASE
Texas Tech Head Baseball Coach Larry Hays announced the signing of 13 student-athletes today as part of the 2008-09 recruiting class.
The class is the first under new Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Dan Spencer and Assistant Coach Trent Petrie and features 10 high school players and three from the junior college ranks. The 10 high school players ranks among the most ever signed by Hays since he took over the program back in 1987.
“We feel like we addressed needs in young arms (pitchers) that have high end potential and we signed a couple that can pitch and hit, said Associate Head Coach Dan Spencer. “That is really going to be a key for us especially with the way scheduling is now in college baseball. We also got some quality guys in the infield and picked up a key guy in the outfield late in the process. I think this is a group that will help get us on the road to where we all want to be as a program.”
This signing class will report to campus in August of 2008 and begin their Texas Tech careers in the spring of 2009.
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The Fighting Illini have announced their 2008 schedule which is highlighted by trips to Texas Tech, Baylor, and University of Texas-Pan American. The team will take part in tournaments at Baylor and UTPA while playing a three game set against the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. The team will make their annual spring break trip to Florida from March 14th-21st where they will play six games against Northern schools. The Illini will play conference home series against Michigan, Penn State, Northwestern, and Purdue. They will head on the road to play Michigan State, Indiana, Minnesota, and Ohio State for conference series. The conference tournament will take place from May 21st-24th at the regular season champs field. The full schedule is available here.
FROM PRESS RELEASE
A total of 34 home games and eight NCAA Tournament teams highlight the 2008 Texas Tech Baseball schedule that was announced today by Head Coach Larry Hays.
The 2008 season marks the first under the new NCAA guidelines that mandate a universal start date for all of college baseball and that date will be Feb. 22. The Red Raiders will kick of the 2008 season at home with a four-game series against Northern Illinois Feb. 22-24 with a doubleheader set for Saturday, Feb. 23.
Following a midweek trip to New Mexico on Tuesday, Feb. 26, Texas Tech will take part in the Eighth-Annual Minute Maid College Classic where the Red Raiders will face Houston, Tennessee and Rice. The game against Tennessee will mark the first-ever meeting between the two schools while the game against Rice will mark the first of eight opponents that the Red Raiders will face who advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament. The Minute Maid College Classic is set for Feb. 29-March 2 at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Texas Tech will return home for a six-game homestand beginning on March 4 as the Red Raiders will play their first Tuesday-Wednesday series of the year against Central Arkansas. Due to the reduction in the number of days allowed for competition in 2008, Texas Tech will play a total six, two-game midweek series. Other midweek series for the Red Raiders will be at home against UC-Riverside (March 25-26), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (April 1-2), New Mexico (April 8-9), and Dallas Baptist (May 13-14) while on the road at UNLV (April 15-16).
Texas Tech will kickoff the Big 12 Conference season on the road at Texas A&M as the Red Raiders and Aggies open league play against each other for the third time since 2002. The Texas Tech-Texas A&M series is scheduled for March 14-16 at Olsen Field in College Station.
The home portion of the 2008 Big 12 season will begin with a three-game series against the Texas Longhorns, March 20-22. The series against Texas is being played Thursday through Saturday due to the Easter Holiday falling on Sunday, March 23.
The Red Raiders will take on Missouri (March 28-30), Kansas State (April 18-20), Oklahoma (April 25-27) and Baylor (May 16-18) all at Dan Law Field while facing Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma State on the road.
Texas Tech will wrap up the regular-season schedule at home for the first time in four years as the Red Raiders will face the Baylor Bears, May 16-18. The Big 12 Championship at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City is set for May 21-25 while the NCAA Regionals are set for May 30-June. The Road To Omaha continues with the NCAA Super Regionals June 6-9 and the 2008 NCAA Champion will be decided at the College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium June 13-23.
Dan Spencer who recently moved to Texas Tech from two-time national champion Oregon State is making drastic changes with the Texas Tech pitching staff. Spencer is trying to get the pitching staff to do three things every time they take the mound: Throw strikes, Be Aggressive, and Compete on every pitch. It sounds simple but will be tough to implement as the Red Raiders have the worst Team ERA since 2003. The goal of the program is to have an ERA of 4.00 or lower which will make the Red Raiders competitors on the national scene. The full article is available here.
Courtesy of USA Baseball
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS— Cuba (8-0 WPT) ran the table on the rest of the World Port Tournament, eliminating Team USA (25-12, 4-4 WPT) from the finals and ending their summer, following a 5-1 victory. The Cubans will take on Chinese Taipei, who also beat the USA twice over the last 10 days, in the finals starting at 7 a.m. Eastern.
The Americans sent the go-ahead run to the plate in the eighth against reliever Yulieski Gonzalez with two outs, after putting two runners on with no outs against starter Arley Sanchez. Gonzalez got a hard lineout, followed by a strikeout and then walked Jordy Mercer (Oklahoma State) to load the bases. Gonzalez though got Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) to strikeout, part of a nine-pitch at-bat, to keep Cuba in front 4-1.
Gonzalez then pitched a scoreless ninth, after Cuba added a run in the top of the inning, for the two inning save.
Three Cuban home runs were more than enough for Sanchez, who tired after seven-plus innings. Sanchez allowed a single unearned run on seven hits, while striking out six and walking one. Sanchez allowed a walk and a single in the eighth, before being relieved by Gonzalez.
Mike Minor (5-2, Vanderbilt), took the loss, going the first four innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits, two of which that left the ballpark. Cody Satterwhite (Ole Miss) and Brett Hunter (Pepperdine) each gave up single runs in their relief appearances.
A one-out error by Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) at short came back to haunt the Americans as Tournament RBI leader, Yosvani Peraza, hit a two-run homer to give Cuba a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Minor had a 33-pitch first inning.
A solo home run by Jose Julio Ruiz gave Cuba a 3-0 lead in the fourth. Hector Olivera’s solo home run off of Satterwhite in the seventh made it 4-0.
Josh Romanski (San Diego) made a nice diving catch in the fourth, towards the line, to rob Alexei Bell of a hit… Cleanup hitter LF Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) missed the last five games, minus a pinch-hit performance yesterday, with a sore foot… 3B Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) was the designated hitter the last four days due to a sore arm… Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) ended the summer on an eight-game hit streak, while Jordan Danks (Texas) ended it on a seven-game streak.
WORLD PORT NOTES
Japan (0-7) and the Netherlands (3-4) close out the regularly scheduled tournament games tonight… Chinese Taipei (4-4), who finished yesterday, gained the tiebreaker with the USA yesterday, forcing the USA to win today to advance, based on number of wins against (2-0), if the USA and Taipei were tied and in runs allowed between the three tied teams, if the Netherlands were to finish in a three-way tie with the USA and Taipei (12 runs for Taipei to 13 runs for the USA to 21 runs for the Netherlands)… Games can be followed live on the internet at http://www.worldporttournament.nl/… Stats are available at: http://utopia.ision.nl/users/hwede/stats07/wpt07/ and under live scoring.
FINAL TEAM LEADERS FOR THE SUMMER
Hitting–Average (Alvarez-.315), Home Runs (Alvarez/Kieschnick-7), RBIs (Alvarez-30), Runs (Danks-37) Hits (Alvarez-40), Walks (Danks-25), Doubles (Smoak-10), Triples (Danks-2), Multi-Hit Games (Alvarez-12); Pitching—Wins (Minor-5-2), ERA-Reliever (Hunter-0.66), Saves (Satterwhite-4), ERA-Starter (Ross-0.82), Strikeouts (Ross-39), Appearances (Hunter-14)
-Courtesy of USA Baseball-
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS— Team USA (24-10, 3-2 WPT) made sure Japan (0-5 WPT) remained winless at the World Port Tournament, crushing the Japanese 10-0 in seven innings behind a 13-hit attack to snap a two-game losing streak.
Eric Surkamp (1-0, North Carolina State) pitched six scoreless innings, striking out four, while walking two. Surkamp and Cody Satterwhite (Ole Miss) combined on a four-hitter, as Satterwhite did not allow a hit in the seventh. Surkamp also rolled three double play balls and struck out the side in the second in the midst of eight in a row retired.
Brett Wallace (Arizona State) had three hits, while Jordy Mercer (Oklahoma State), Josh Romanski (San Diego), Jordan Danks (Texas) and each had two hits. Ryan Flaherty (Vanderbilt) had his second multi-hit game of the tournament. Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) hit the team’s first grand slam of the summer, part of a seven-run sixth inning.
The Americans pushed across two runs in the first to lead 2-0. An RBI groundout by Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt), his seventh RBI of the tournament, made it 1-0, before an RBI single by Wallace doubled the score. A Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) sacrifice fly in the fourth made it 3-0 as Japanese starter and loser, Robert Booth, left after four innings, giving up three runs on seven hits.
Mercer’s RBI double in the sixth made it 4-0, before Kieschnick’s grand slam doubled the score to 8-0. Wallace’s second hit in the inning, an RBI single, made it 9-0.
The Americans finished 4-3 against two Japanese teams this summer, winning the last three games in the series… Team USA beat Japan 1-0 with their only hit, a Logan Forsythe base hit in the ninth in the earlier meeting in the tournament and also won on the last day of the series in Durham… Cuba beat Chinese Taipei 6-5 in 14 innings, tying the game in the ninth inning on their final strike after Taipei took the lead in the bottom of the eighth…. Cuba is now 5-0, Chinese Taipei is 2-3, and the Netherlands, who were off today and won last night over Taipei, 4-3, are 2-2… Logan Forsythe (foot) missed his second straight game… games can be followed live on the internet at http://www.worldporttournament.nl/… Stats are available at: http://utopia.ision.nl/users/hwede/stats07/wpt07/ and under live scoring.
The Americans will play have an off day on Wednesday and then close out the summer with consecutive games against the Netherlands (1 p.m. Eastern), Chinese Taipei (8 a.m.) and Cuba (8 a.m.). The Finals are on August 12 at 7 a.m, Eastern, finishing the summer.
The World Port Tournament is set to begin on August 2nd against Japan in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Official Site of the Utah Utes recently sat down with Team USA assistant coach and current Utah Utes head coach Bill Kinneberg. He discusses some of the issues that the team will face in the tournament and how the schedule will effect the team. Article available here.
USA Baseball has posted an article about how Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) and Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) have become the go-to guys for the team this summer. The full article is available by clicking here.
I have been in contact with the tournament hosts about possible webcasting of the World Port Tournament which they told me that all of the games involving The Netherlands will be broadcasted live on the Internet for free. I will be posting the link when I receive the information but I am looking forward to watching some good baseball. UPDATE: I was just notified that NONE of the games will be webcasted.
Team USA rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Netherlands 2-1 in Game two of their brief three game set. Team USA was down to their final out with Josh Romanski (San Diego) on second which represented the tying run and Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) up to bat. Alvarez came through with a double to drive in the tying run in Romanski. Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) then hit a run scoring single to drive home Alvarez with the eventual winning run. The USA pitching staff was fantastic throughout the game as they only allowed one hit. Eric Surkamp (NC State) started for Team USA and went 5.2 innings while giving up the only hit and run of the game while walking the four batters. Brett Hunter (Pepperdine) relieved Surkamp and pitched a perfect 3.1 innings while striking out five. The teams will finish off a doubleheader on Sunday at 5 pm in Durham NC.
UPDATE: You can watch tonight’s game which started at 5 pm by clicking here.