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No. 1 starter Andrew Morris (34) and the 11th-ranked Red Raiders host No. 4 Texas in a conference-opening Big 12 series Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Dan Law Field/Rip Griffin Park. It's the Longhorns' first time to play in Lubbock since 2018.

No. 1 starter Andrew Morris (34) and the 11th-ranked Red Raiders host No. 4 Texas in a conference-opening Big 12 series Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Dan Law Field/Rip Griffin Park. It’s the Longhorns’ first time to play in Lubbock since 2018.

The Texas Tech baseball team is 11-0 at home this season and, dating to last season, has won 13 regular-season games in a row at Dan Law Field/Rip Griffin Park.

The stiffest test to that streak figures to come this weekend in an early showdown for control of the Big 12.

No. 11 Tech (18-4) opens conference play by hosting No. 4 Texas (18-5) in games at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. It’s the first time UT has come to Dan Law Field since 2018 — the 2020 conference schedule was a casualty of the COVID outbreak — and the first time since 2006 the Red Raiders have hosted the Longhorns to start conference play.

“I think we try to play every game like we’re playing Texas — like: Don’t take any opponent lightly,” Tech first baseman Cole Stilwell said. “There’s obviously going to be more jitters and stuff going on, but I think we’re ready and we’re going to treat it like just a baseball game. Go win.”

For the second year in a row, the Red Raiders have bounced back strongly after they stumbled on opening weekend at the College Baseball Showdown in Arlington. Last year, Tech lost all three of those games at Globe Life Field, then won 20 of its next 21.

This year, Tech lost two of three at the Texas Rangers’ new stadium and has won 17 of 19 since.

“I feel like we’re very hard to beat,” pitcher Chase Hampton said after the Red Raiders’ home victory Tuesday night against California Baptist. “Our pitching and our hitting have come a long way this year, and I think we’re going to be really good going forward.”

Texas Tech's Parker Kelly is among the Big 12 leaders with six home runs and 27 runs batted in this season, both already career bests for the senior third baseman.

Texas Tech’s Parker Kelly is among the Big 12 leaders with six home runs and 27 runs batted in this season, both already career bests for the senior third baseman.

Among 293 teams in NCAA Division I, Tech ranks tied for seventh in runs scored with 208 and 11th in runs per game with an average of 9.5, and Texas ranked seventh in team earned-run averages at 2.63.

The Red Raiders have so far mitigated some early concerns about the depth of the lineup behind slugging second baseman Jace Jung, putting up double-digit run total in nine games.

Jung has yet to go on a home-run tear after he hit 21 last season. But he’s four back of the Division I leader in walks and ranks among the top six in the Big 12 in average (.388), slugging (.650), on-base percentage (.538), hits (31), runs (24) and runs batted in (21).

Third baseman Parker Kelly (.319-6-27) and shortstop Kurt Wilson (.305-2-21), both fifth-year seniors, are putting up some career-best numbers, and Wilson, Stilwell and center fielder Dillon Carter are among the Big 12 leaders in runs scored.

Texas will challenge Tech with a weekend rotation of three starters with low ERAs, beginning with Big 12 wins leaders Pete Hansen (4-0, 2.57) and Tristan Stephens (4-1, 1.17) going Friday night and Saturday afternoon against Tech’s Andrew Morris (2-0, 4.84) and Brandon Birdsell (3-1, 1.80).

Tech pitchers will have to work carefully to first baseman Ivan Melendez (.353, 10 home runs, 34 runs batted in), multi-position player Murphy Stehly (.433-5-22) and shortstop Trey Faltine (.333-6-20). Melendez and Faltine rank 1-2 in the Big 12 in home runs — Faltine tied for the second spot with Kelly — and Melendez is tied for fifth in Division I in both home runs and RBI.

Stehly has 13 multi-hit games, including four three-hit games and a four-hit performance. He homered three times Sunday in a win over Incarnate Word.

College baseball

Who: Texas Tech vs. Texas

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Dan Law Field/Rip Griffin Park

Records: Texas 18-5, 0-0 in the Big 12; Texas Tech 18-4, 0-0

Rankings by National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association: Texas No. 4, Texas Tech No. 11

Starting pitchers: Friday, Texas Tech RHP Andrew Morris (2-0, 4.84 earned-run average) vs. Texas LHP Pete Hansen (4-0, 2.57). Saturday, Texas Tech RHP Brandon Birdsell (3-1, 1.80) vs. Texas RHP Tristan Stevens (4-1, 1.17). Sunday, Texas Tech LHP Mason Molina (1-2, 2.70) vs. Texas LHP Lucas Gordon (1-1, 1.61).

Online streaming: Big 12 Now on ESPN+

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: College baseball: No. 11 Texas Tech starts Big 12 play hosting No. 4 Texas

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