Red Raiders Host Northern Illinois In Weekend Series

First pitch on Friday is set for 3 p.m; Live Video and Audio Available Online

Texas Tech will host Northern Illinois this weekend at Dan Law Field.

Texas Tech will host Northern Illinois this weekend at Dan Law Field.

Feb. 10, 2005

Baseball Gameday Central

February 11-13, 2005 - Dan Law Field
Lubbock, Texas - 3 p.m./3 p.m./2 p.m.

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Texas Tech will play its first three-game series this weekend after opening up the 2005 campaign on Tuesday afternoon with an 18-6 win over the visiting New Mexico Lobos. The Red Raiders and Huskies are scheduled to begin the series at 3 p.m. on Friday and continuing with a 2 p.m. contest on Saturday and a 1 p.m. game on Sunday. The three-game series will conclude a four-game homestand as the Red Raiders will travel to Fort Worth on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. game against No. 21 TCU at Lupton Stadium.

Tech will hope to continue the momentum gained from Tuesday's 18-6 win over the Lobos that saw the Red Raider offense pound out 16 hits. The Red Raiders were led offensively by freshman first baseman Chris Richburg who went 2-for-4 with four RBI and a two-run home run. Texas Tech's season-opening win marked the Red Raiders seventh straight dating back to the 1999 season.

This weekend's series against Northern Illinois will be a repeat from last season as the Huskies are making the trip to Lubbock for the second straight year. Northern Illinois Head Coach Ed Mathey enjoyed last year's series so much that he and Tech Head Coach Larry Hays worked out a deal for this season before the Huskies headed back home a year ago. The Red Raiders won that series 2-1 as the Huskies made the Sunday game a rubber match after winning on Saturday 7-5.

Texas Tech Head Coach Larry Hays is now just eight wins away from reaching the career milestone of 1,400 coaching wins. Tech's 18-6 win over New Mexico gave him an all-time career mark of 1,392-752-3.

Weekend promotions at Dan Law Field this include: Rock 101 Baseball Friday; Baseball Squares on Saturday and Sunday will be Super Sunday. Tickets for this weekend's series are available through the Texas Tech Athletic Ticket Office (located in the south end of Jones SBC Stadium) by calling (806) 742-TECH or 1-888-GOBIG12. They are also available online at or at any United Supermarket/Select-A-Seat location on the South Plains.

TEXAS TECH: Texas Tech Head Coach Larry Hays is now in his 19th season in controls of the Red Raider baseball program. Hays began his collegiate head coaching career at nearby Lubbock Christian University where he remains the all-time winningest coach there and helped lead the Chaps to the 1983 NAIA National Championship. He is also the all-time winningest head coach at Texas Tech where he has a record of 697-371-2. He is the NCAA's fourth winningest active head coach with a record of 1,392-752-3.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS: Northern Illinois is led by head coach Ed Mathey who is now in his third season with the Huskies. He has a school record of 65-52 and is 270-223-2 in a career that spans 11 seasons. He guided the Huskies to a 31-28 record and a third place finish in the MAC in 2004.

Freshmen Chris Richburg and Josh Wilson enjoyed a successful opening day against the Lobos on Tuesday as both had solid outings at the plate. Richburg, a true freshman walk-on from nearby Frenship High School, led Texas Tech with a 2-for-4 day at the plate with four RBI and a two-run home run. His home run was the first hit by true frosh since current senior Madison Edwards hit a long ball against the Baylor Bears on May 18, 2002.

Josh Wilson, a first baseman/designated hitter from Midland High School, also notched two hits on the afternoon while scoring two runs. Both Wilson and Richburg got starting nods in the game with Richburg playing first and Wilson serving as the designated hitter.

Senior right-handed pitcher Joe McCoy came in after starter Adam Lawford was chased away after the third inning and gave Tech a much needed boost. New Mexico tagged Lawford for five runs in the top of the third that gave the Lobos a 5-1 lead. Tech pitching coach Travis Walden went to the bullpen and turned the ball over to McCoy who went on to pitch four scoreless innings allowing three hits and faced just 14 batters while throwing 50 pitches. The win was McCoy's first in a Red Raider uniform and was just the second in his collegiate career. McCoy transferred this year from Villanova University where he was just 1-1 in three seasons with the Wildcats with his last win coming on April 28 of last year against Temple.

The weekend series against Northern Illinois will signal the first time in over 10 years that three new faces will take the mound in starting roles for the opening weekend. In fact, if you count the New Mexico game on Tuesday that gives Tech four fresh faces on the mound that had not worn a Tech uniform prior to this season. While this may worry some, it does signal a new era for the Texas Tech pitching staff and that certainly does not concern the Tech coaching staff. Adam Lawford got the start in Tuesday's game against New Mexico while junior transfer Billy Carnline (Wharton J.C.) will get the ball on Friday afternoon. Junior transfer Dustin Richardson (Cowley College) will get the nod on Saturday while senior transfer Joe McCoy (1-0; 0.00 ERA) will wrap up the series with a start on Sunday.

Texas Tech head coach Larry Hays is eight wins shy of becoming just the fifth coach in NCAA history to win 1,400 games in a career. Hays is currently the fourth winningest active NCAA head coach (fifth winningest all-time) with 1,392 wins trailing Texas' Augie Garrido, Gene Stephenson of Wichita State, Cliff Gustafson (former head coach at Texas) and Chuck Hartman at Virginia Tech.

Of his 1,392 career wins, 697 have come at Texas Tech where he is the school's all-time winningest head coach. Prior to his arrival at Tech he spent 16 seasons at nearby Lubbock Christian where he won 695 games and an NAIA national championship in 1983.

Northern Illinois opens its 2005 season this weekend at Texas Tech. The Huskies are 0-2 in season openers under current head coach Ed Mathey and have not won a season opener since 1998 when they defeated Western Illinois 6-1.

The Huskies went 31-28 last season and finished third in the Mid-American Conference with a mark of 14-10. Northern Illinois is making its second consecutive trip to Lubbock as the two teams faced each other for the first time last season at Dan Law Field. Texas Tech won that three-game series 2-1.

Junior first baseman Scott Simon is back after leading the team last season with a .374 batting average and 24 doubles. Baseball America has listed him as the Best Pure Hitter in the Mid-American Conference this season and he is also a preseason all-conference selection.

Nick Hall is the team's top returning starting pitcher and he will get the nod in the game on Friday afternoon. Hall was 4-5 last season with a 5.92 ERA and suffered the loss in the Sunday game last year at Texas Tech.

Possibly one of the best athletes at Texas Tech makes his home in center field for the Red Raiders. Cody Fuller, a senior from Smithson Valley, began second season of the 2004-05 school year on Tuesday when the Red Raiders defeated New Mexico 18-6. Fuller just wrapped up a successful year on the gridiron where he is a three-year letterwinner as a wide receiver. He finished the 2004 season as the fifth best receiver on the team with 43 catches for 505 yards for an average of 11.7 yards-per-catch.

On the diamond, Fuller is equally impressive as he has established himself as one of the best defensive outfielders in the nation. He has a career batting average of .321 with 19 doubles, 81 RBI and an impressive 57 stolen bases. Here are some other notable facts on Fuller:

  • Only married player on the team. He and his wife Cassie were married on Jan. 8 of this year.
  • He and Madison Edwards will be the first four-year letterwinners since Steve Rowe (1999-2002)
  • Has a younger brother Lance who also plays football.

    Red Raider fans came out in huge numbers once again in 2004 and it paid off again as Texas Tech finished the season ranked 15th nationally with an average of 2,748 fans per-game. Texas Tech has finished in the nation's Top 10 in each of the last 10 seasons.

    Senior shortstop Cameron Blair has plenty to live up to in 2005 as virtually every collegiate baseball publication has tabbed him as a preseason All-American and a contender for Big 12 Player of the Year honors. Blair was the Big 12's second best hitter a year ago as he finished with a .371 average behind Curtis Thigpen of Texas who batted .378. Along with his .371 average, Blair was second in hits (95), third in doubles (23), second in RBI (81) and punched out 14 home runs.

    His success last spring also carried over to the summer leagues as he was named the Alaskan League Player of the Year after batting .360 with 11 home runs for the Fairbanks Goldpanners. Blair is the first Red Raider since Josh Bard to garner preseason All-America honors.

    Texas Tech's Cameron Blair and Northern Illinois' Scott Simon will reunite this weekend after a summer together in Alaska. Blair played for the Fairbanks Goldpanners while Simon played for the Mat-Su Miners and both teamed up for the NBC World Series in Wichita, Kan. Blair was the POW in the Alaskan League while Simon was the NBC World Series MVP.

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