The Red Raiders are heading to Austin for their first road series of conference play against the Longhorns. The Longhorns have a 15-7 overall record this season and this will be their first conference matchup. The Longhorns have played three ranked matchups this season, at the time of their matchup No. 8 Arkansas, No. 10 Vanderbilt, and No. 1 LSU, and lost all three.
Texas leads the Big 12 in team ERA at 3.18 and Tech is close behind at second with 3.64. The Longhorns are expected to start the series with LHP Lucas Gordon (1.37 ERA) to go up against RHP Brendan Girton (4.50 ERA) for the Red Raiders. Gordon has five appearances on the mound for the Longhorns this season and averages about five innings. Gordon has allowed 13 hits, 6 runs, and no home runs. He has also recorded 31 strikeouts while allowing just 12 walks. Saturday’s matchup will be RHP Travis Sthele (4.07 ERA) for the Longhorns and LHP Mason Molina (2.81 ERA) for the Red Raiders. Sthele enters the series with five appearances for the Longhorns averaging just under five innings. Sthele has allowed 23 hits, 20 runs, and 2 home runs this season while recording 26 strikeouts and just 4 walks. The Sunday pitchers for both teams are TBD.
The Longhorns enter this series 5th in the Big 12 in team batting average at .282 while Tech enters the series leading the Big 12 with a .325 team batting average. Of the eight batters that have appeared in most UTs games this season, four are batting .300 or better. The leading Longhorn batter is Peyton Powell with a .419 AVG. Powell has played in 21 of the Longhorns’ 22 total games starting in 15 of them, he is tied for second-most hits with Porter Brown (.333 AVG) at 26 hits. Eric Kennedy (.367 AVG) leads the Longhorns in hits with 33 and home runs with 7. Porter Brown and Dylan Campbell (.238 AVG) are tied for the most walks with 17 each.
This could prove to be an exciting match-up for the Red Raiders. The Longhorns are leading the Big 12 in pitching whereas the Red Raiders lead the Big 12 in batting average but it’s still a very winnable series for the Red Raiders. This team has seen their fair share of high-caliber pitchers both in pre-conference play as well as in their last series against OSU. This is only Techs’ second time on the Road this season which could play a factor in their performance. Tech will also be without relief pitcher Brandon Beckel due to a four-game suspension, though Beckel has been incredible in relief for the Red Raiders there is no shortage of talent in their bullpen to hopefully make up the difference.