Red Raiders drop series opener to Kansas
LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech dropped game one of its series versus Kansas 3-1 on Thursday night at Rip Griffin Park. A 1-1 pitcher’s duel was broken by the Jayhawks in the top of the ninth behind a two-out two-run home run lifted by Cole Elvis against Brandon Beckel.
Red Raiders’ starter Mason Molina had a career night on the hill as carried his team seven innings allowing one run. The sophomore struck out a career-high 13 batters, which was half the batters he faced Thursday night, and did not issue a walk. His 13 punchouts matched the Big 12 individual single-season high, accomplished just three times before this year.
When asked if it was frustrating to lose on a night Molina was electric, “I’m not there right now,” said head coach Tim Tadlock. “I’m really proud of Mason and the way he competed. Beckel has made some really good pitches for us and got a lot of big outs for us this year. My mind is more with him than with anybody. Just because he’s a competitor who wants to win. When you put guys in situations like that, you don’t have a lot of margin for error. My mind is more with Beckel than being frustrated for Molina, but proud of the way Molina threw.”
While Molina was dealing, Kansas’ pitching was limiting the Red Raiders’ offense in the same manner. Tech manufactured the single run it scored in the second inning in the most unlikely of scenarios with Gavin Kash recording a bunt single down the third base line. Kash, who owns the third-most home runs hit in a single season by a Red Raider, later manufactured his bunt single into a run after Dillon Carter knocked him home from third base. Zac Vooletich was responsible for putting Kash into scoring position with the first of two singles on the night.
While the offense was limited, it remained Vooletich who could not be deterred as he was the Red Raiders’ only player with multiple hits for the second game in a row dating back to last Sunday versus West Virginia. The senior has logged multiple hits in 10 of the last 13 games he’s played in.
The Jayhawks tied the game in the seventh, 1-1, using a string of three-straight one-out singles against Molina totaling three of the five hits he gave up the entire game.
Beckel retired the side in order in the eighth in relief of Molina before allowing the go-ahead runs in the ninth. The home run was just the second Beckel allowed this season and only the third of his career.
Release provided by MATT BURKHOLDER Texas Tech Athletics