Texas Baseball: Texas -vs- Texas Tech (Preview)

The No. 12/15 Texas baseball team returns to Big 12 play as it takes on Texas Tech Friday at 6:30 p.m. (Image via The University of Texas Athletics)
The No. 12/15 Texas baseball team returns to Big 12 play as it takes on Texas Tech Friday at 6:30 p.m. (Image via The University of Texas Athletics)

No. 12/15 Texas (20-6) at Texas Tech (21-7) · March 28-30

Upcoming Games Schedule
: Lubbock, Texas • Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park (4,528)
Times: 6:30 p.m. (Fri.)/2 p.m. (Sat.)/2 p.m. (Sun.)

Television: Fox College Sports (Friday), Fox Sports Southwest (Sunday) - Talent: Robert Giovannetti (PbP), Mike Gustafson (Analyst)
Radio: AM-1300 The Zone, online at www.TexasSports.com/showcase - Talent: Craig Way (PbP), Keith Moreland (Analyst)
Live Stats: TexasTech.com

All-Time Series: Texas leads, 105-40, 44-20 in Lubbock

Probable Starting Pitchers
Jr. RHP Dominic Moreno vs. Jr. RHP Parker French (3-2, 1.62)
TBA vs. Jr. LHP Dillon Peters (3-1, 1.79)
RS Jr. LHP Chris Sadberry vs. Sr. RHP Nathan Thornhill (4-0, 1.01)

· Head coach Augie Garrido surpassed Gordon Gillespie for the most wins (1,894) by any college baseball coach at any level with Tuesday's 5-1 win over Texas State.
· At 20-6, Texas is off to its best start in the first 26 games since opening 22-4 in 2005.
· The Texas pitching staff leads the Big 12 and ranks fifth nationally with a 1.88 ERA. Texas Tech is second with a 2.78 ERA. As a staff, Texas is holding opponents to a .216 batting average, also best in the league.
· The weekend starting rotation has a collective 1.49 ERA. Nathan Thornhill has surrendered just four earned runs, Parker French just seven, and Dillon Peters just eight. All three rank in the Big 12 top 10 in ERA (Thornhill - 2nd, French - 6th, Peters - 8th).
· The Longhorns have recorded double-digit hits in four of their last five games and hit .333 as a team in their five-game winning streak. Texas is averaging 6.8 runs per game in that span.
· The Longhorns have a Big 12 best five shutouts (No. 7 in the nation) this season, including two last week. Texas has a 0.60 ERA over the last five games, allowing just three earned runs in 45 innings.
· Tres Barrera has raised his average 140 points (.128 to .268) since March 11, going 16-of-34 (.471) in that nine-game span. The freshman was 9-for-17 (.529) last week.
· Texas is ranked in the top 25 by all five major polls, including 12th by Baseball America and 15th by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Texas Tech isn't ranked by those polls, but is 24th in the USA Today poll.
· Texas has 24 double plays this season (including seven last week), which is tied for second in the Big 12 and ranks 19th nationally.  The Longhorns lead the league and rank 16th in the country in fielding percentage (.980).
· Mark Payton leads the Big 12 in on-base percentage (.532) and triples (5), and ranks second in batting average (.420) and third in walks (21). Payton has reached base safely in 65 consecutive games dating back to last season, which is the longest streak nationally and the second longest in Big 12 history (93 - Nick Martini, K-State, 2009-11).
· The Longhorns are 10-0 when scoring in the first inning this season, including a 4-0 mark in the last five games.
· Texas is No. 4 in the country in Iterative Strength Rating, according to college baseball site BoydsWorld.com (see more - page 3).  The Longhorns have played the 27th most difficult schedule.
· The Texas bullpen had a streak of 30 consecutive scoreless innings snapped when it surrendered five runs in the ninth inning against Kansas on March 16. On the year, the bullpen has a 1.99 ERA, while the starters have a 1.82 ERA.
· Texas is 20-2 when scoring two runs or more.
· Texas has stolen 20 bases on 26 attempts this season, with Payton (4-5), Ben Johnson (5-5) and Collin Shaw (4-6) leading the way. The Longhorns have been excellent against the run, with opponents stealing just eight bases on 14 attempts. That's the lowest number in the Big 12, with West Virginia ranking second (10-16).
· Texas leads the Big 12 and ranks second nationally with 43 sacrifice bunts.


James Schleicher

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.

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