March 15, 2006
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech Director of Athletics Gerald Myers and head baseball coach Larry Hays named 12 former Red Raiders to the school's Big 12 10th Anniversary Team today as the Red Raiders prepare to open the 10th season of Big 12 Conference play.
"This is a group of guys that not only did a good job when they were here at Texas Tech, but they are all succeeding in life today," said head coach Larry Hays. "I consider all these players program builders, and each of them did their part to make Texas Tech baseball what it is today. The benefits that our players enjoy today came from the hard work and sacrifices made by these great young men."
Texas Tech's 10th Anniversary Baseball Team is comprised of 12 former student athletes whom left lasting impressions in the first 10 years of Big 12 play. Honorees such as Shane Wright, Jason Gooding, Joe Dillon, Monty Ward and Keith Ginter helped transition Texas Tech from the former Southwest Conference to what has become one of the best power baseball conference in then nation.
The anniversary teams consists of five pitchers (Shane Wright 97-99, Brandon Roberson, 1999-01, Jason Gooding 1997, Blake McGinley 2000-01 and Monty Ward 96-98), two outfielders (Josh Brady 2004, and Ryan Ruiz 98-99) four infielders (Keith Ginter 97-98, Cameron Blair 2004-05, Joe Dillon 96-97 and Gera Alvarez 2001-02) and one catcher (Josh Bard 97-99).
Perhaps the master of the big home run, Blair owns the school and Big 12 record for most grand slams hit during a career (6) and the most during a single season as he hit three in both 2004 and 2005.
Blair was honored by the Big 12 as a first-team selection both seasons as a Red Raider and was a candidate for Big 12 Player of the Year his senior year. He is currently in his first full season with the Pittsburg Pirates, who drafted him in the sixth round in 2005.
Josh Brady, Outfielder, 2004
Josh Brady's career at Texas Tech was a short one but the Utah native made every moment count en route to First-Team All-America honors and finalist for the Big 12's Player of the Year Award in 2004. Brady's stellar junior season led the Red Raiders to an NCAA Regional Final appearance in Atlanta in 2004 and he became the first, First-Team All-America pick since Josh Bard. Brady didn't waste any time as he was named National Player of the Week during the first week of the season in '04 and went on to hit .362 for the season and led the Big 12 Conference with 20 home runs.
On the national scale, Brady led the NCAA with 90 RBI and his 20 home runs finished second. Brady was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in MLB Draft in the summer of 2004.
Joe Dillon, INF/DH, 1996-97
Joe Dillon is arguably one of the most prolific hitters in school history. Over the course of Dillon's two-year career, he totaled 43 home runs, 36 doubles and 156 RBI. He still owns the school record for home runs hit in a single season when he delivered 33 dingers during his senior season in 1997. Dillon was named the Big 12's Player of the Year in 1997 while also earning All-America and Big 12-All Tournament team accolades.
After a back injury forced him to retire briefly from professional baseball, Dillon defied the odds and earned his Major League Debut last season with the Florida Marlins on May 18th.
Keith Ginter, Second Base, 1997-98
Keith Ginter transferred to Texas Tech in 1997 and quickly became one of the top players in school history. Ginter quickly adjusted to the strength of Big 12 competition and earned First-Team All-America honors during his first season and third-team honors his final year with the Red Raiders. He currently ranks in the top five in six different career offensive categories and nine single-season categories.
Ginter was a two-time First-Team All-Big 12 selection and was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the year in 1997. Ginter was drafted by the Houston Astros in 1998 and has spent six seasons in Major League baseball with three different organizations.
Jason Gooding, LHP, 1997
In just one season at Texas Tech, Jason Gooding established himself as one of the top left-handed pitchers to ever play at Dan Law Field. From the moment he took the field, Gooding was dominant. The Ontario, Canada, native finished the 1997 season with a perfect 11-0 record, hurled three shutouts and struckout 137 batters. Gooding's 137 strikeouts ranks second on the school's single-season list.
Gooding helped pace the Red Raiders to the inaugural Big 12 Championship in 1997 and picked up First-Team All Big 12 and First-Team All-America honors in the process. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fifth round of the 1997 MLB Draft.
Blake McGinley, LHP, 2000-01
McGinley transferred to Texas Tech from Bakersfield Junior College in 2000 and quickly became one of the best left-handed relievers in the Big 12 Conference. McGinley won nine games in relief between his junior and senior seasons and was the bullpen anchor of two NCAA Tournament teams. In his senior season in 2001, he set a new school record for the most appearances by a pitcher in single season as he saw action in 30 games.
McGinley was drafted in the 21st round of the 2001 MLB Draft by the New York Mets and is still with the Mets organization.
Brandon Roberson, RHP, 1999, 2001
Brandon Roberson's love of the game and of Texas Tech was apparent the day he first stepped foot on to Dan Law Field and is the same today as he occupies a position on Larry Hays' coaching staff. Roberson played just two seasons with the Red Raiders but during that time he made his mark on the record book. In 1999, Roberson came out of the Tech bullpen and set a new single-season record with 10 saves and in the process picked up the first of what would be two First-Team All-Big 12 honors. In his senior year, Roberson became Tech's ace and finished the year with 13 wins (second most in a single season) and helped lead the Red Raiders to an NCAA Regional final appearance at Cal State Fullerton.
One of five Tech players to earn First-Team All-Big 12 honors in two different seasons, he played professionally in the Houston Astros organization before accepting his current position as Director of Baseball Operations for the Red Raiders prior to this year.
Ryan Ruiz, Outfielder, 1998-99
Outfielder Ryan Ruiz was one of the cornerstones of the Red Raider offense in 1998 and 1999 and helped lead Tech to the NCAA Tournament both seasons. Ruiz finished his career with 150 total hits, 19 doubles, three triples and 37 RBI. In 1999, he helped guide a potent Tech offense with a team-leading .363 batting average and was successful in stealing 35 bases in 37 attempts.
Ruiz was honored by the Big 12 as a second-team all-conference pick both seasons at Texas Tech.
Monty Ward, RHP, 1996-99
Monty Ward didn't' have to travel very far when he left for college as a freshman in the fall of 1995. The Lubbock Monterey product became one of the top pitchers in school history during his three year career with the Red Raiders between 1996 and 1998. Ward won a total of 20 games during his three year career and still holds the Tech record for career strikeouts with 356.
He was honored as an All-Big 12 selection in 1997 and 1998 while also picking up First-Team Academic All-Big 12 accolades during the '98 season. Ward was drafted in the fourth round of the 1998 MLB Draft and was the 107th overall pick by the Kansas City Royals.
Shane Wright, RHP, 1997-99
Shane Wright's three-year career on the mound for the Red Raiders led to one of the most highly decorated careers by a Texas Tech pitcher. Wright owns four career pitching records at Tech including games started (44), wins (34), complete games (24) and innings pitched (368.2). Wright was the ace of a Texas Tech pitching staff that led the Red Raiders to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and two Big 12 titles during that stretch.
He is one of five former Red Raiders to play for Team USA during their college careers and one of eight First-Team All-America honorees. Wright earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors in 1997 and 1998 while picking up second team accolades in his junior season in 1998. He was drafted in the ninth round of the 1999 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.