#4 Texas Tech Baseball 2020 Preview

Texas Tech Red Raiders
Overall Rank: #4
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
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Coach Tim Tadlock has taken Texas Tech to the College World Series four times in the last six years. The Red Raiders have turned into a program where the expectations are to reach Omaha. Anything less is a disappointment. Last season the Red Raiders cruised the Lubbock Regional in three games before slipping past conference foe Oklahoma State in three games in the Super Regionals. In Omaha, Texas Tech ran into a Michigan team twice that they just could not beat. But in-between they knocked off Arkansas and Florida State. It was a bit of a disappointing way to end the season, but the next step for Texas Tech remains winning their first national title in program history.
2019: 46-20, 16-8
2019 Postseason: College World Series
Coach: Tim Tadlock
Key Departed Players:
Cameron Warren, IF, .355 BA, 18 HR, 79 RBI
Josh Jung, IF, .343 BA, 15 HR, 58 RBI
Gabe Holt, IF/OF, .318 BA, 3 HR, 35 RBI, 28 SB
Caleb Kilian, P, 3.92 ERA, 8-3 W/L, 96.1 IP, 89 SO
Key Returning Players:
Dru Baker, IF, .321 BA, 3 HR, 25 RBI
Brian Klein, IF, .315 BA, 3 HR, 57 RBI
Braxton Fulford, C, .298 BA, 4 HR, 34 RBI
Dylan Neuse, .298 BA, 8 HR, 51 RBI, 18 SB
Micah Dallas, P, 4.03 ERA, 7-2 W/L, 76.0 IP, 84 SO
Bryce Bonnin, P, 4.08 ERA, 7-1 W/L, 64.0 IP, 65 SO
Despite the loss of some heavy hitters, Texas Tech should still be led by their offense. Dylan Neuse highlights the group after hitting .298 with eight homeruns, 51 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Dru Baker and Brian Klein hit over .300 last year and Klein drove in 57 runs. Braxton Fulford took a big step forward as a sophomore, hitting .298 with four homeruns and 34 RBIs. If he can continue to improve, Fulford will be much more than just a steady presence at the plate and behind the plate. Players like Cole Stillwell, Max Marusak, Tanner O’Tremba and Kurt Wilson all have some starting experience and certainly have the potential to emerge as more threatening options at the plate in 2020. Losing Caleb Kilian is not a good thing, but the Red Raiders have plenty of experienced arms. Sophomore Micah Dallas should be the new ace of the staff after going 7-2 with a 4.03 ERA in his debut season. Bryce Bonnin started 13 games last season as well, going 7-1 with a 4.08 ERA. Lefty Mason Montgomery has some starting experience as well, but John McMillon could take up the last weekend rotation spot during his senior season after coming out of the bullpen last season. The flame thrower did start a dozen games in 2018. However Coach Tadlock wants to use him, McMillon will be effective. Texas Tech has everything they need to win the Big 12 title for the fourth time in five years and, if all goes well, they will make a serious push towards that elusive national title.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament