Longhorns start conference play against the rolling Red Raiders

Garrett Callahan

Three-and-a-half weeks is all it took for the Longhorns to move up in the rankings and become one of the best teams in the country. No. 6 Texas, currently 17-1 on the season, has had one of their best seasons so far and looks to continue it as they kick off their conference play this week.

The Longhorns, who haven’t lost a game since losing to No. 1 Florida, are challenging the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a two-game series. Texas Tech is currently 17-5 on the season and have lost only one game in their past 17. The Red Raiders are coming off a big weekend tournament where they won six straight in three days on their home turf.

Texas Tech obviously isn’t the only team coming into the matchup strong.

The Longhorns just breezed through a three-game series with in-state opponent Sam Houston State. The team gave up only two runs in the series while scoring 25 themselves. Both sides of the field were nothing short of spectacular as they ended the weekend by throwing a no-hit shutout and scoring 14 runs.

Historically, the Longhorns have always been able to handle the Red Raiders. They have a 25-5 record against them and are 10-2 here in Austin. Texas Tech beat the Longhorns in Austin in 2005 and 2001.

Another key point Texas has over Texas Tech is that the Red Raiders are only 6-26 all time in its first conference series of the year. Although this is good news for the Longhorns, they aren’t worried about Tech’s stats.

“We’re as ready as we’re going to be,” said head coach Connie Clark. “The big thing we told the team right now is not getting consumed all of a sudden its conference, it’s Tech, because we’ve done a really good job of just focusing on us, regardless of who the opponent is. We need to keep our minds there.”

With the way Texas has been playing, it has no need to worry about the other teams.

“We know who we’re playing but we’re just mainly focusing on ourselves and our strengths,” said sophomore Kim Bruins. “We’re not worried about their weaknesses and their strengths. We’re focusing on how we can play the game.”

The main focus for the Longhorns is continuing their performance in the batter’s box. Texas has a team batting average of .369 and has had no difficulty getting runs on the board.

The Longhorns are looking to continue this consistency and focus on maintaining their success during the first conference series.

The midweek series is scheduled to start tonight at 8 p.m. and is scheduled much earlier in the season than usual. This was done so the three-game series between the two teams during the season didn’t interfere with finals in May during the originally scheduled date.

Published on Tuesday March, 6, 2012 as: Longhorn begin Big 12 play with  series against Tech