LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech baseball matched its highest ranking of the preseason on Thursday as the Red Raiders were slotted at No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
This marks the third preseason poll to place the Red Raiders at No. 3 in the land, joining Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game. Tech has been in the top 10 of all five preseason polls that have debuted with a pair of No. 6 rankings from D1Baseball and Baseball America.
The No. 3 ranking matches the highest preseason positioning for the program in school history. It is the second time in the last three years the Red Raiders have started at No. 3 by three different polls as the 2018 squad was ranked third by the coaches, D1Baseball and the NCBWA, while the 2019 club earned a pair of No. 3 rankings from D1Baseball and the NCBWA.
This marks the third straight year Tech has started as one of the top four teams in the USA Today Coaches Poll and the fourth consecutive season in its top 25. The Red Raiders started at No. 3 in 2019, No. 4 in 2018 and No. 19 in 2017.
Tech is the highest of two Big 12 teams in the poll, ahead of Oklahoma State (17). Four more conference foes were right on the cusp with TCU, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas all receiving votes as four of the next six teams left out. Meanwhile, three non-conference opponents are featured in the top 15, including Mississippi State (6), Florida State (14) and Stanford (15).
The final USA Today Coaches Poll of 2019 had the Red Raiders at No. 10 as they prepared for their historic NCAA Tournament run. The Red Raiders finished among the last four teams remaining at the College World Series and posted a 46-20 record while winning its third Big 12 title in four years and earning its fourth trip to Omaha in six seasons.
Entering his eighth year as head coach, Tim Tadlock returns a strong nucleus of 20 returners from last year’s squad. A pair of Freshman All-America pitchers return in Friday night starter Micah Dallas and closer Clayton Beeter. Senior John McMillon is also back for his final year after being drafted in the 11th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. Veterans Brian Klein, Dylan Neuse and Braxton Fulford look to anchor the lineup.
Opening Day for the Red Raiders is set for Friday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. against Houston Baptist. The matchup launches a four-game weekend for Tech as they host HBU for two games Friday and Saturday before facing Northern Colorado on Saturday and Sunday.