Texas Tech Baseball Is Even Better Than I Thought They Would Be
Let's get a few things out of the way off the top here. I understand it is just eight games into the season, and the two four game sweeps that Texas Tech has accrued against Gonzaga and Western Illinois aren't huge triumphs in the grand scheme of things. That being said, I've been really impressed with Texas Tech baseball through two weeks.
The Red Raiders have struggled a bit defensively with so many new players, but the lineup has been fantastic and the pitching has been better than expected.
Again, small sample sizes against below average competition, but the way you've won so far this season seems likely to replicate in Big 12 play. Air Force in the midweek should be another two wins and Texas Tech will be the best team in their three game showcase in Houston this weekend against Rice, Michigan and Texas A&M in the Shriners Classic at Minute Maid.
I thought Texas Tech would be good and even expected them to get off to a fast start, but Mason Molina in two starts, Bo Blessie against Gonzaga and Brendan Girton in a start and a relief appearance have the makings of a solid weekend rotation. Trendan Parish has been solid and Josh Sanders, Andrew Devine, Damian Bravo, and Brandon Beckel all have multiple appearances with a zero ERA.
Has the pitching been perfect? No, but that doesn't diminish the impressive start. The pitching would look even better if you looked at staff giving up 26 earned runs instead of the 43 total runs due to the errors that will likely be cleaned up moving deeper into the season.
As good as the arms have been on the squad, the bats have been even better.
Dillon Carter, yes that Dillon Carter, has been on an absolute tear to start the season, basically matching or surpassing his Big 12 stats from last season in a single weekend against Western Illinois. The former Texas Longhorn Gavin Kash has also been swinging a massive stick starting at 1st base in all eight games batting over .500 with an OPS over 1.600.
Back to Dillon Carter, in 2020 as a freshman Carter hit .280 in 50 plate appearances with twice as many walks as strikeouts and seven stolen bases. In 2021 and 2022, Carter struggled to put it mildly. He dealt with injuries and finding a role but never overcame either. This year, he didn't start until this weekend and took full advantage.
You don't need Carter to hit two bombs, multiple doubles and a triple every weekend, but if he can be an on base machine and steal bases while providing the occasional pop, a health carter could be everything you thought you were getting back in 2020.
Freshmen Gage Harrelson and Tracer Lopez have been fantastic and newcomers Austin Green and Nolen Hester have been even better. Hester has been in the leadoff role getting on base at an insane rate and Austin Green leads the team with 17 RBIs in eight games.
Could this just be a hot start for a baseball team? Sure, small sample sizes often even out in the game of baseball. To me though, this just feels like an incredibly deep roster that can make a run in both the Big 12 and the post season.