Texas Tech Drops 5-4 Thursday Night Walk-off Heartbreaker to UCF

ORLANDO – Despite leading 4-3 heading to the ninth, and five hits from Damian Bravo, Texas Tech Baseball dropped a 5-4 heartbreaker to UCF Thursday night at John Euliano Park.

In the loss, Texas Tech (18-8, 4-6 Big 12) erased an early 1-0 deficit to score four unanswered to pull ahead 4-1 heading to the bottom of the fifth. With the loss the Red Raiders saw a three-game winning streak snapped.

After UCF (17-6, 5-5 Big 12) added singular runs in the sixth and seventh, Tech turned to senior Josh Sanders who promptly retired the side in order in both the seventh and eighth innings to preserve a slim 4-3 lead.

In the decisive ninth, Sanders immediately found trouble when Matt Prevesk led off with a single and scored from first on a full-count double from Jack Zyska that zipped past the bag and down the line for the game-tying hit.

After a liner put one-out on the board, UCF placed runners on the corners with one out on a grounder deep in the six-hole. Tech’s shortstop, Tracer Lopez, turned and tried to gun down Zyska for a force out at third, but the outfielder slid around Cade McGee’s swipe tag.

The Red Raiders decided to walk the next UCF batter to set up the force at any base with one out.

Needing a ground ball or a strikeout, Sanders rolled up a slow roller that Lopez cleanly fielded and fired home for the second out of the frame.

With two outs and the bases still loaded, a hit-batter, on a 1-0 count brought home the game’s final run for UCF.

In the loss, catcher Kevin Bazzell went 3-for-4 with a home run and walk, while Bravo went a perfect five-for-five and made a diving catch in the fourth to rob extra bases.

Bizzell’s home run, was his second in three games, and tied the game at one-all in the fourth.

The Red Raiders also got a go-ahead two-run home run from Freshman Landon Stripling as well as an RBI double from McGee in the fifth. The double clipped off the wall and gave Tech a 4-1 lead heading to the fifth.

Senior Ryan Free got the start Thursday for Tech and went four-plus innings allowing five hits and a pair of runs. The lefty struck out six in a season-high 76 pitches.

Sophomore Jacob Rogers also pitched well for Tech on Thursday, as the righty allowed just one run in an inning-and-two-thirds.

The loss was Tech’s first this season when leading heading to the seventh, eighth or ninth. The Red Raiders were previously 17-0 when heading to the seventh or eighth with a lead, and 18-0 when heading to the ninth with a lead.

The Red Raiders will look to even the weekend series at one-all Friday night. First pitch from Orlando is set for 5 p.m. (CT).


Release Provided By Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics

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