Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic
The 2013 edition of Red Raider Baseball will open their season on Friday as they host the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic. Familiar foe Northern Illinois will be back in town for this one as well as Northern Colorado and the BYU Cougars.
With the hire of Tim Tadlock as Head Coach, it looks like the Red Raider baseball program is on the rise. Tadlock is highly regarded as one of the top recruiters in the country and should also bring in top JUCO talent with his connections on that front.
Tadlock spent nine seasons at the helm of Grayson County Community College, winning two national championships, compiling an overall record of 435-217 (.774).
Here is a quick look at each team for the 2013 Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic:
Texas Tech Red Raiders
2012 Record: 29-26 (7-17 Big 12)
Head Coach: Tim Tadlock (1st Season)
First, we have the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Heading into opening weekend, many Texas Tech baseball fans don't know what to expect as they have endured eight straight seasons in which the Red Raiders failed to make the NCAA Tournament. There are 25 players for the Red Raiders but this team has a ton of talent coming in and Tech fans should expect to see some success this season.
The last team to make the NCAA tournament was the 2004 team full of JUCO talent that featured Dallas Braden, Josh Brady, Jose Delgado, Michael Mask, along with two year starter Cameron Blair, who actually played his JUCO ball at Grayson County under Tim Tadlock.
Coach Tadlock has his work cut out from him with a very inexperienced team and only a handful of returning players from the 2012 team. Texas Tech needs to take care of business early on if they want to have any chance at breaking the barrier and making the NCAA Tournament.
The probable starters for Texas Tech will likely look like this:
Friday (vs NIU)-RHP Dominic Moreno (Farmington, NM/Howard College)
Saturday (vs UNC)-RHP Corey Taylor Kennedale, TX/Cisco CC)
Saturday (vs BYU)-Trey Masek (Giddings, TX)
Sunday (vs NIU)-RHP Matt Withrow (Odessa, TX)
Northern Illinois Huskies
2012 Record: 15-40 (7-20 MAC)
Head Coach: Ed Mathey (11th Season, 255-301-1)
With 255 career wins at NIU, Ed Mathey is now the Huskies all-time winningest coach in school history as well as being one of the most well-respected coaches by his peers.
Texas Tech is slated to square off with RHP Zach Badgley on Friday and RHP Alex Klonowski on Sunday to finish off opening weekend.
Badgley will be making his first start since 2009 on Friday as he went 1-1 in relief with a 4.24 ERA in 2012 while Klonowski is making his first start since 2011 when he went up against Valparaiso.
Texas Tech owns a 14-2 all-time record against Northern Illinois, most of which were played at Dan Law Field in Lubbock.
Northern Colorado Bears
2012 Record: 27-33 (15-13 Great West)
Head Coach: Carl Iwasaki (1st Season)
After coming off a decent season in 2012, the Northern Colorado Bears look to exit the Great West Conference on a good note before heading to the WAC in 2014.
Under Coach Carl Iwasaki, a Northern Colorado grad, expect to see them make some noise in the WAC in the coming years. This is a program on the rise.
Saturday's matchup between Texas Tech and Northern Colorado will be the first matchup between the two schools.
2012 Record: 22-27 (10-14 MWC)
Head Coach: Mark Littlewood (1st Season)
Mike Littlewood is now the man in charge up in Provo, UT after a very disappointing 2012 season for the Cougars. A move to the West Coast Conference might not be such a good thing as the Cougars struggled in the six team Mountain West Conference last season.
Littlewood previously was the head man at Dixie State College (UT) for 16 seasons and he led them to four NJCAA World Series appearances, while taking home the hardware in 2004. Also of note, Littlewood and Tadlock squared off in the NJCAA World Series.
Texas Tech leads the series over BYU by a count of 4-2.
BROOKS WALLACE MEMORIAL CLASSIC SCHEDULE
Friday, February 15
Northern Colorado vs. BYU_ __________________10 a.m.
BYU vs. Northern Colorado_ ___________________2 p.m.
Northern Illinois at Texas Tech_______________ 6 p.m.
Saturday, February 16
Northern Illinois vs. BYU______________________10 a.m.
Northern Colorado at Texas Tech_____________ 2 p.m.
BYU at Texas Tech__________________________ 6 p.m.
Sunday, February 17
Northern Colorado vs. Northern Illinois_ _________9 a.m.
Northern Illinois at Texas Tech_______________ 1 p.m.