Army Baseball: Lubbock Regional Preview

The Black Knights are in the Postseason for the second straight year are will be heading to Texas to play against Texas Tech, Dallas Baptist, and Florida in double-elimination regional play.

#1 Texas Tech

The Red Raiders the only program in the nation hosting an NCAA regional for the fourth consecutive year, earning the no.8 national seed.
They enter regional play on fire, they’ve won 16 out of their last 20 games, outscoring opponents 148-61 during that stretch.
They lead the regional with a .301 batting average and in scoring with 7.6 runs per game.
There is no doubt that these guys can hit, but their weakness is their pitching staff. They have an ERA of 4.00 which is the third worst of the four teams.
The Red Raiders are the clear favorite in the region, but Army will have a chance to upset the #1 seed Friday, May 31st at 4 pm on ESPN3.com.

#2 Dallas Baptist

Dallas Baptist has quickly and quietly become one of the top non-P5 teams in the nation. The Patriots are one of nine teams to have made the NCAA Tournament six-consecutive years (Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Louisville, LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt).
DBU is 41-18 and picked up wins against Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Houston, Oklahoma State and TCU (twice).
They have two strong starters MD Johnson (9-2, 2.46 ERA) and Jordan Martinson (8-3, 2.50 ERA). Should Army play DBU on Saturday, the Black Knights will face one of these two.
At the plate, The Patriots hit .282 as a team and averaged seven runs per game. The offensive leader is Luke Bandy who is hitting .346.
They are a home run or bust team, they hit 70 home runs this year. Bryce Ball leads the team with 17 homers.

#3 Florida

It was a down year for the Gators who went 13-17 in SEC play. There has been plenty of debate as to if they should’ve been in the tournament over teams like UCF, Texas State, and Houston  They were also awful on the road going 6-12.
They have the worst ERA of the teams in the regional of 5.22. Pitching might cost the Gators a chance to advance to the Super Regional round.
They are like the DBU as they also have hit 70 home runs. Sophomore Brady McConnel leads the way with 15 home runs. Their matchup on Friday might be home run heavy.

#4 Army

The Black Knights are 34-25 coming off their second straight Patriot League title. The Patriot League is considered to be one of the weakest conferences in the country when it comes to baseball so Army has an RPI on 150 and a strength of schedule of 244th.
The Black Knights don’t go yard all that much, they’ve only hit 27 home runs on the year and no one has hit more than Trey Martin with seven.
On the mound, they are led by Daniel Burggraaf (5-2, 2.85 ERA) and Tyler Giovinco (8-5, 3.43 ERA), with those two on the mound Army, has a chance to win any game they are playing. Burggraaf nearly led Army to a win over then #1 LSU in the second game of the season. They also have six pitchers with ERA’s below 3.50.
If Army wants to win a game, or win the regional their pitching has to be top notch. There is no margin for error.

Prediction

I think Texas Tech will win the regional but expect Army to win a game or two. This pitching staff is extremely good and can keep the Black Knights in a game and the bats always seem to wake up late when they need it most.
Friday, May 31
Game 1: 4 p.m. ET – No. 4 Army vs. No. 1 Texas Tech (ESPN3)
Texas Tech wins
Game 2: 8 p.m. ET – No. 3 Florida vs. No. 2 Dallas Baptist (ESPN3)
Dallas Baptist wins
Saturday, June 1
Game 3: TBA – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (ESPN3)
Army over Florida
Game 4: TBA – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 (ESPN3)
Texas Tech over Dallas Baptist
Sunday, June 2
Game 5: TBA – Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 (ESPN3)
Army over Dallas Baptist 
Game 6: TBA – Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 (ESPN3)
Texas Tech over Army

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