No. 5 Texas Tech Meets Oklahoma in Amarillo – Texas Tech Red Raiders –

LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 5 Texas Tech will make the short trip up I-27 to Amarillo for a rare non-conference contest against Big 12 foe Oklahoma in the “Red Dirt Rivalry” at HODGETOWN, home of the Amarillo Sod Poodles.
First pitch on Tuesday is set for 7 p.m. on ESPNU with Anish Shroff and Mike Rooney on the call. Fans can also catch the action live on the Texas Tech Sports Network with Geoff Haxton and Jamie Lent.
Tickets for the event are sold out as the Red Raiders (26-8; 7-5) make their first appearance in Amarillo since 1979. Tuesday’s midweek matchup is the first of four games against the Sooners (19-17; 4-8) on the regular-season schedule as the two clubs will play a three-game Big 12 series May 14-16 in Norman.
It will be the first time the two clubs have met on a neutral site in the regular season since the formation of the Big 12. Tech last played a non-conference game against another Big 12 school during the regular season against TCU in Abilene in 2014.
Tech, which has played annually at Security Bank Ballpark in Midland since 2014, makes its first trip to visit HODGETOWN, which is located in the heart of downtown Amarillo and opened in April of 2019. The Sod Poodles are currently the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Tech will look to continue a pair of successful trends on Tuesday. The Red Raiders are 6-0 in midweek action this season with two-game sweeps of Texas Southern, Gonzaga and Stephen F. Austin. Tech has also won five of its last six matchups against the Sooners, including a three-game sweep at Oklahoma the last time the two teams met up.
The Red Raiders enter the contest following a 4-1 week, highlighted by a Big 12 series road win at West Virginia over the weekend. After splitting the first two games, Tech overmatched the Mountaineers with a 10-1 win in the finale behind a career-high 12 strikeouts from Mason Montgomery and two home runs from Cal Conley.
The Sooners, meanwhile, went 3-2 last week with a midweek sweep of Texas Southern followed by a series loss at Kansas State. Oklahoma features one of the nation’s top hitters in Tyler Hardman, who leads the nation in hits and total bases.
For Tech, freshman Jace Jung enters the week tied for the national lead in home runs and RBI. Additionally, he rank third in total bases, seventh in slugging, and eighth in base on balls. He’s joined near the top of the national leaderboard by Dru Baker, who is 14th nationally in hits this season despite missing seven games recently due to injury.
The pitching matchup will have freshman right-hander Brendan Girton (1-0, 4.20 ERA) on the mound for Tech against redshirt freshman right-hander Christian Ruebeck (0-0, 7.04 ERA) for the Sooners. Girton made his first career start last week in 4.0 shutout innings against SFA.
Starting left-handers Mason Montgomery and Patrick Monteverde were honored by the league office on Monday as Montgomery was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week and Monteverde collected Big 12 Newcomer of the Week. The duo combined to go 2-0 in the weekend series at WVU, allowing one run on four hits with 19 strikeouts in 13.2 IP. Montgomery’s 12 strikeouts were the most by anyone in a Big 12 game this season and the most by a Red Raider in a Big 12 game since 2010. He also became the first Red Raider to strikeout at least two batters in five different innings of a game since Corey Taylor in 2013. Monteverde, meanwhile, tossed 7.0 shutout innings with only two hits allowed in the series-opening win.
Shortstop Cal Conley pulled off a feat in the series finale at West Virginia that hadn’t been done by a Red Raider since 1998. The switch hitter went yard from both sides of the plate Sunday with a two-run homer in the fifth from the right side and a two-run blast in the sixth from the left side. It marked the first time a Red Raider has homered from both sides of the plate since Josh Bard did so against Kansas on April 10, 1998.
The Red Raiders and Sooners last locked up during the 2019 season with Tech sweeping a three-game set in Norman. The sweep gave Tech 10 wins in 11 games and pulled the Red Raiders to within a half-game of first place in the Big 12 standings, a hurdle they would later overcome to win the Big 12 title. Oklahoma native Cameron Warren received Big 12 Player of the Week for his performance against the Sooners, going 7-for-12 with two home runs, two doubles, four RBI and six runs scored in the series. Fellow basher Josh Jung had a terrific series as well, going 8-for-13 with a home run, five doubles, four RBI and six runs. Current senior Connor Queen earned one of the three wins with 2.2 shutout innings of relief as Tech outscored the Sooners 25-13 for the weekend.
Texas Tech has been in the top 10 of at least one of the six major polls every week this season. The Red Raiders moved up three spots this week in the D1Baseball poll to No. 5. Tech is a consensus top-10 team this week, slotted at No. 6 by the USA Today Coaches Poll and NCBWA, No. 7 by Perfect Game and No. 10 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
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