Golden Eagles kick off 2012 season at Red Raider Classic

Golden Eagles kick off 2012 season at Red Raider Classic

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tennessee Tech baseball team begins its 2012 season as it takes part in the Red Raider Classic, hosted by Texas Tech beginning Friday.

The three-day event has the Golden Eagles taking on the Missouri State Bears at 12 p.m. Saturday will feature a pair of games against Missouri State (12 p.m.) and Texas Tech (4 p.m.). The Golden Eagles then wrap up the Red Raider Classic Sunday against Texas Tech at 10 a.m.

Missouri State was receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll.

Of the 24 teams the Golden Eagles are slated to take on this season, four of them will be first time opponents including Missouri State and Texas Tech.

The Golden Eagles finished the 2011 after making their fourth straight appearance in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. Several Golden Eagles who made significant contributions last season are back including sophomore Zach Stephens, junior Tristan Archer and senior Cullen Park.

Stephens finished his season batting .309 while driving in a team-high 49 runs. Archer wrapped up last season with seven victories to his credit to go along with 67 strikeouts, while Park made a team-leading 27 appearances on the mound as he tallied four saves and 67 strikeouts.

Texas Tech, a member of the Big 12 Conference, finished its 2011 season with a 33-25 record. Reid Redman, who led the Red Raiders in hitting last season with a .320 batting average, returns for his senior season. Barrett Barnes returns for his junior season after leading the Red Raiders in home runs with 10.

On the mound, Texas Tech welcomes back John Neely, who led the team with a 9-1 record and seven saves in 30 appearances.

Missouri State, a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, finished its 2011 season with a 33-23 record and has several key players returning from last season. The Bears return their leading RBI man Brent Seifert, who drove in 43 runs last season, and their leading hitter in Brock Chaffin who hit .344 and drove in 37 runs. On the mound, Nick Petree returns for his senior season having put up a 9-2 record, which included two complete games.

Fans can follow all four games via the livestats link here