OMAHA, Neb. — The best season in almost two decades for Texas Tech baseball ended on Tuesday. The Red Raiders, who lost to Mississippi 2-1 in a College World Series elimination game, finished 45-21, their most wins since 1997.Although his team went 0-2 in its first CWS appearance, Red Raiders’ coach Tim Tadlock said the profile of his program should get a boost by the exposure.“There’s some value in [a recruit] maybe looking at Texas Tech to get an education who maybe never has,” said Tadlock, who’s in his second season at Tech. “There’s some value across the country for baseball players. There’s no bones about it: somewhere, somebody doesn’t know where Texas Tech is, so there’s definitely some value there.”Tadlock said it also helps to solidify recruits who’ve already committed to the school and helps prevent another school trying to steal them away.“The way recruiting has become, it really helps you solidfy your ’15s and ’16s that are committed,” he said. “It eliminates somebody else running in there and doing something you shouldn’t do in the first place.”It also gives the current players who will return in 2015 an experience they’ll be aiming to do again. Tech started a combined four freshmen and sophomore position players and a freshman pitcher on Tuesday.“We had a lot of freshmen in big roles,” sophomore Zach Davis said. “It helps the program, and everybody knows what we have to do to get back in this situation.”Nearly stealing a winDavis stole two bases and scored the tying run in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday before the Red Raiders gave up the winning run to Ole Miss in the bottom of the inning.Davis, who was 9 for 9 in steal attempts this season, said he knew the moment called for speed when he pinch ran for Adam Kirsch.“The moment definitely called for it, but I think they knew I was trying to get in scoring position,” Davis said.Key stats0.76 Earned run average for Texas Tech in eight NCAA postseason games.1969 The last time Ole Miss won a CWS game before the Rebels defeated Texas Tech on Tuesday. The Ole Miss shortstop on that ’69 team was former NFL quarterback Archie Manning.Quotables“Absolutely. I pull for the Big 12. It’s not a secret. I’m good friends with Schloss. We pull for them, but at the same time we’re going to wake up tomorrow and try to get Texas Tech better.” — Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock on pulling for TCU and Texas in the CWS now that the Red Raiders have been eliminated.“Coach Godwin asked me if I wanted to go home. And I said, ‘Are you kidding me? She’d kill me if I came home right now.’ ” — Ole Miss pinch-hitter John Gatlin, who had the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday, who lost his grandmother this week.
Stefan Stevenson 817-390-7760 Twitter: @StevensonFWST