Dan Spencer is the first-year head coach at Texas Tech. He succeeds Larry Hays, who was skipper for 22 seasons with the Red Raiders. Spencer played three seasons at Texas Tech, including one season with Hays as head coach. Last year, Spencer was associate head coach with the Red Raiders. Prior to that, Spencer spent 11 seasons at Oregon State. He was associate head coach for three years, as well as pitching/catching coach and recruiting coordinator. A native of Vancouver, Wash., Spencer helped the Beavers win consecutive College World Series titles.


March 12, 2009

Life on the Road


Our second and third weeks of the season were not as much fun as the first.


We spent 11 days in California and played eight games against solid competition. I am a firm believer that you learn more about your team and the character of your team while playing on the road, and that unfortunately you learn more and evaluate more when you get beat.


Teams that consistently win pitch and play well between the seventh and ninth innings. By play well, I mean they execute their offense and make the routine plays. In the eight games we played in California we had one-run leads in the seventh in four of them, we were down one run in the seventh in three of them and had a six-run lead in the seventh in the other.


We have made mistakes in all phases of the “end game” to quote a chess term, and again, to get over the hump, we will have to correct them. You have to be able to play the short game late in games both offensively and defensively, and we have made mistakes in both.


You have to pitch with a lead late in games. In short, that means get the leadoff hitter out or at least throw him strikes and one step further, when a reliever enters a game, he needs to get the first hitter that he faces out. That is why he was put in to matchup with a certain hitter.


Offensively, you need to be situational and move a runner and score a runner from third with less than two outs. Very simple stuff, but easier to talk about and more difficult to execute.


The positives of the trip were that we played hard and showed up every day even though the frustrations mounted. The character and resolve of our team are evident. Things to build on.


Baseball is a tremendous character builder because of the amount of failure involved in the game. The ability to move on and separate pitches and at-bats is the difference maker with teams and players. I feel confident that our team will be tougher and smarter due to our past trip, even though we didn’t win some games we could or should have.       


Dan Spencer

(photos courtesy of Texas Tech Media Relations Office)