LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 24 Texas Tech baseball team found itself on the winning side of a seesaw battle on Monday afternoon, defeating Gonzaga 9-8 at Rip Griffin Park to sweep a four-game series. In a contest with five lead changes, and Tech falling behind three different times, it was a bases-loaded walk that proved to be the game-clincher for the Red Raiders as they walked it off in the bottom of the ninth.
It was a total team effort in the win as 20 players from the roster contributed, including a pair of high-stress pinch-hit at-bats by Ryan Brome and Zac Vooletich. Brome entered in the eighth with the Red Raiders trailing, 8-7, and connected for a sacrifice fly to centerfield to tie the game. Vooletich pinch-hit to lead off the ninth and laced a double and represented the ninth, and game-winning run, in his first action of the series.
“Says a lot about their preparation, says a lot about their character,” said head coach Tim Tadlock regarding Brome and Vooletich. “Obviously says they’re competing; they know they’re going to get an opportunity and they were ready when their name was called to come off the bench. Two really big at-bats to me.”
Once Gonzaga scored the first run of the game in the top of the first, the Red Raiders found themselves trailing for the first time since Friday’s season opener when they were behind 4-1 in the top of the third. That was when the back-and-forth battle began in Monday’s matinee.
A few of Texas Tech’s deficits were self-inflected, overcoming six errors on Monday which included a pair of catcher’s interference rulings that granted a pair of Zags batters first base. The first came in the first inning and represented the Bulldogs’ first score.
Gage Harrelson and Gavin Kash led the way offensively for the Red Raiders. Harrelson was a triple shy of a cycle going 3-of-4 with his first collegiate home run, a double and a single. Kash was 3-of-4 as well, which included a triple in the seventh that put Texas Tech ahead 6-5.
Kash’s day was on pace with his blistering start as a Red Raider. The transfer from Texas compiled a .692 batting average (9-for-13), tripled twice and owned a home run and eight RBIs in his first series playing for Texas Tech. Kash’s slugging percentage was 1.231 while his on-base percentage was .722. He started all four games at first base.
“I’m feeling good like you said, it’s been a journey,” said Kash about beginning his Red Raider career. “It’s exciting when you have a lot of team guys like Vooletich around you. Vooletich is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, best team player. He didn’t get a shot but was ready to go, I feel like that’s how we are as a group, It’s exciting to pass the bat on to the next guy up.”
Trendan Parish started his second career game for the Red Raiders on Monday. He tossed three and 2/3 innings and was dinged for five hits and one earned run. Brandon Beckel and Damian Bravo were a pair of standouts out of the bullpen as Beckel threw two innings of scoreless no-hit ball while Bravo, who started in right field on Sunday, shut the door in the ninth inning and was credited with the win.
Texas Tech takes a break for the next three days and will return to action on Friday to host Western Illinois. The two will square off for four games which includes a Saturday doubleheader.
Release provided by Matt Burkholder Texas Tech Athletics