Fourth consecutive year the Red Raiders have started the season ranked in the top five.
LUBBOCK, Texas – For the fourth consecutive year, Texas Tech baseball will enter the season in the top five as the Red Raiders were slotted at No. 4 in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s preseason poll, released Monday morning.
The publication started the Red Raiders at No. 3 prior to the 2020 season, at No. 4 in 2019 and at No. 5 in 2018.
Tech is coming off a promising season that was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Red Raiders opened with a 16-3 record that featured impressive wins over No. 9 Florida State, No. 15 Stanford and Houston. The hot start put the Red Raiders on top of the CB Newspaper poll at one point for the program’s first No. 1 ranking since 1997.
Entering his ninth year as head coach, Tim Tadlock has established his alma mater as a national powerhouse as the Red Raiders have claimed three of the last four Big 12 titles and advanced to three of the last four College World Series.
Tech returns nearly all of its offensive firepower from last season outside of departing senior Brian Klein, headlined by junior Dylan Neuse and redshirt freshman Cal Conley. Neuse hit .355 last season and was the Big 12 leader in runs scored, while Conley’s .371 average leads all Tech returners and his 24 RBI ranked second in the league behind teammate Nate Rombach.
On the mound, Tech has several experienced options to step into its starting rotation after Clayton Beeter and Bryce Bonnin went in the top three rounds of the MLB Draft. Micah Dallas was dominant out of the bullpen last season with a 0.57 ERA, 23 strikeouts and just one walk in 15.2 innings. Along with Dallas and midweek starters Hunter Dobbins and Mason Mongtomery, Tadlock added reinforcements with a talented group of freshmen and junior college transfers that look to have an immediate impact.
Texas Tech is the highest of five Big 12 teams in the poll, followed by Oklahoma State (17), TCU (19), Texas (20) and Oklahoma (41). Topping the rankings are Florida, Vanderbilt and UCLA.
The 2021 schedule format has not been finalized by the Big 12 Conference and its member institutions. For the latest updates on the 2021 schedule, season tickets and other news, follow @TTU_Baseball on Twitter.
Release provided by Texas Tech Athletics