LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 17 Texas Tech baseball team defeated New Mexico, 11-5, on Wednesday afternoon at Rip Griffin Park. The Red Raiders once again used a single inning surge as they struck for seven runs in the bottom of the eighth to overcome a 5-4 deficit, less than 24 hours after posting a program-record 16 runs in a single inning.
The Red Raiders put the leadoff batter on base in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, but finally broke through on the fourth try as the flood gates opened in the late rally.
The eighth inning charge was spearheaded by two big-time pinch-hit at-bats from Ty Coleman and Easton Murrell. Coleman hit a leadoff single and Murrell drew a walk. Cole Stilwell would draw another walk to bring Jace Jung to the plate with the bases loaded. Jung never got a chance to swing the bat as he was hit-by-pitch on the first throw, but it counted as an RBI and tied the game.
Kurt Wilson, who’s arguably been the hottest bat, if not Parker Kelly, connected for a single on the next at-bat (watch) to move all the runners 90 more feet, putting Tech in the lead, 6-5. The Lobos faced Kelly next with the bases still loaded. Known for his knack for grand slams over the past week, he helped plate all three baserunners, while scoring too, to blow open the game, 10-5, in the most unusual of plays (watch).
Kelly singled to left field to bring home Stilwell and Jung, when the throw came to third base to try and tag out Wilson as he was advancing to third, a would-be pickle situation between third and home plate was quickly ended as the catcher’s throw went into the outfield, allowing both Wilson and Kelly to score. Tech scored once more before the seven-run, five-hit inning was over.
Five different pitchers saw time on the mound on Wednesday for the Red Raiders, but no outing lasted long than Brendan Girton’s three innings to close the game in the seventh, eighth and ninth. While the Lobos were able to warm up against the Red Raiders in the front half of the game, Girton put UNM on ice as he retired all nine batters he faced to record the final nine outs.
Head Coach Tim Tadlock
On the offense today…
“Isn’t baseball an interesting game, and the mental side of sports? You do what we did yesterday which you probably won’t see again, hopefully, you will. Come out and score four [runs] in the first and then their left-hander settled in, give him a lot of credit for giving his team four innings.”
“Girton has outstanding stuff. His fastball is really hard to hit, the slider is a plus pitch, and he’s getting his feet on the ground and getting a lot of confidence.”
On the crowd and kids cheering…
“I thank everyone for coming, it looked like a really good crowd for Spring Break on a Wednesday afternoon at 1 o’clock. We appreciate everyone for coming. We want to play good enough to where you don’t want to leave your seat for sure. We may not have done it the whole day today, but hopefully, we did it some.”
Next on the schedule for Texas Tech is a trip to Iowa for a three-game series this weekend, which will be its last nonconference weekend series before Big 12 conference play begins. The Red Raiders return home for a nonconference game against Cal Baptist on Tuesday and march forward to conference action opening against Texas at Rip Griffin Park next weekend.
Release provided by MATT BURKHOLDER Texas Tech Athletics