A Look at Texas Tech’s 2018 College World Series Opponent
For the third time in five years, the Texas Tech Red Raider baseball team is heading to Omaha for the College World Series. Awaiting the Red Raiders will be the Florida Gators.
This will arguably be the toughest team that the Red Raiders have faced all season. The Florida Gators were the no. 1 seed in the entire tournament, and for good reason. They've advanced to the CWS by winning their home regional, then winning the Super Regional by taking two out of three games from the Auburn Tigers.
Florida boasts a 42-17 record on the season, are ranked no. 1 in RPI and strength of schedule, and are ranked 2 overall according to D1baseball.com.
Compare those numbers to Texas Tech's 42-17 record, finishing with a 10th ranked RPI, a 16th rated schedule and a 15 overall ranking from D1baseball.com.
Florida and Texas Tech have only two opponents in common: Kentucky and Arkansas.
Florida went a combined 4-2 against the Wildcats and Razorbacks earlier in the season. Meanwhile, Texas Tech's first loss of the season came against Kentucky back in March, and they were only able to take one game from the Wildcats in the series. Texas Tech was supposed to have a two-game set with Arkansas, but a rain-out pushed it to only one game where Arkansas won 5-1.
When you think about Florida, two big names should immediately pop into your mind: Brady Singer and Jonathan India. Singer is the "ace" for the Gators; he is 12-1 with a 2.30 ERA on the season, and also has a complete game shutout. Singer was drafted 18th overall by the Kansas City Royals in the MLB Draft earlier this month. India is the third baseman for the Gators, hitting .352 with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs on the year. He was drafted 5th overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the MLB Draft.
Also keep a close eye on Michael Byrne. The junior right-handed pitcher is one of the best relievers in college baseball. He's 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA in 33 appearances with the Gators and has 15 saves on the season. Another hitter to know is J.J. Schwarz, the senior catcher is hitting .325 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs.
This entire Florida Gator team is solid from top to bottom, and it will take a near-perfect performance from the Red Raiders to knock them off and move on. However, if the bats can get going early for Tim Tadlock and company, they could make it very uncomfortable for the Gators.
Texas Tech and Florida will play Sunday, June 17th at 6 p.m. You can catch a full preview of Florida and Texas Tech and the rest of the College World Series on 1340 the Fan this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. during our Countdown to First Pitch show.