After a memorable week of Texas Tech baseball, the red hot Red Raiders will make their way into West Virginia this weekend for the first time in school history as the Mountaineers await them for their first ever home Big 12 series.
While the Mountaineers are not exactly a force to be reckoned with, Texas Tech needs to be ready for a battle this weekend. As any Tech fan knows, this is the type of series that can be potentially dangerous.
The team knows they will need to stay focused in order to win their second consecutive Big 12 road series.
"I mean, we like to go out and compete against whoever lines up against us," sophomore shortstop Tim Proudfoot said. "I know they're going to bring their best and we're going to bring our best. Whether it's a top team, or not a top team, we're just going to go in there and give it our all.
"We don't take any teams lightly," Proudfoot continued. "It's Division 1 baseball so everybody can play, any day of the week so we're just going to go out there and compete and try to win the series."
The Mountaineers came up short from a series victory in Manhattan, Kansas last weekend, but they showed some definite improvement from when they opened the year with a series loss to Division 1 newcomer, North Florida.
West Virginia enters the weekend on a low note as they were just handed an 8-0 drubbing by in-state rival, Marshall on Tuesday night at the Appalachian Power Park. However, it was apparent Marshall wanted that one badly as they threw their ace against the Mountaineers.
Tim Tadlock understands that West Virginia is going to play hard every pitch, just like TCU, who the Red Raiders host next weekend.
"You've got Randy Maize running that place now, he was an assistant at TCU for six years, and before that he was at East Carolina," Coach Tadlock said. He's got a guy from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Derek Matlock, those guys are hard workers and good baseball guys. What you're going to see is a lot like what TCU has been from a standpoint of the hustle part of it, the pickoffs, the style of play. You're going to see almost what you're going to see the next week."
The Mountaineers will likely throw their ace John Means (2-1, 1.85 ERA) on Friday night in hopes to steal a game one victory from the Red Raiders, whose never say die attitude gave them a wild walk-off 8-7 victory on Tuesday night against the No. 20 Arizona State Sun Devils.
But it only gets tougher for West Virginia this weekend as they face a determined and battle tested Texas Tech squad who has won eight out of their last 10 ball games.
"I feel like it's their team. I mean, I don't want to take any credit for it," Coach Tadlock said. "They're the guys that go out between the lines and get to play and go to the plate and the mound and play defense. I don't want any of the credit. These guys go out and they know it's their team and they know it's a journey as we go and I don't think any of us know where it's going to take us, but we know we're going to come out and try and play at a high level every day."
The Red Raiders also received some good news last week as Freshman transfer from the University of Arizona, Dalton Brown, was declared eligible and is expected to see some action this weekend in Charleston.
On Friday night, Texas Tech will be playing in only their sixteenth state as they make their way up to the Mountaineer State.
First pitch on Friday night is set for 5:30 p.m. CST.
FRIDAY, MARCH 22 (5:30 p.m. CST)
SATURDAY, MARCH 23 (3:00 p.m. CST)
SUNDAY, MARCH 24 (12:00 p.m. CST)