Hero’s Abound as Tech Downs Stanford, 10-9, in Extra-Innings Walk-off

LUBBOCK, Texas – One swing of the bat can change a game.

It can change momentum.

It can change an outcome.

Anything’s possible between the white lines.

Up 7-5 heading to the eighth, Texas Tech Baseball was delivered a pair of gut punches.

First in the eighth, Tech (20-9) saw its lead evaporate on a pair of doubles.

Then came the ninth.

With one out and a runner on first in a 7-7 game, Jacob Rogers rolled up a perfect double play ball to short. The ball was fielded cleanly at first, but an errant throw sailed up the right field line.

The miscue plated the go-ahead run for Stanford (11-15) and placed an insurance run 90 feet away. An RBI single one batter later gave the Cardinal a 9-7 lead.

Down? Sure.

Defeated, not this team.

After a lead-off ground out put one out on the board, Damian Bravo ripped a single into right.

The hit brought Tech catcher Kevin Bazzell to the plate as the tying run. Already with one two-run home run on the evening, Bazzell unloaded a 94 MPH fastball from Kassius Thomas.

Enter the one swing trope.

With a mighty hack, Bazzell sent a 105 MPH line drive 436.8 feet to left-center. The ball soared over the wall and clanked halfway up the light pole, tying the game at nine.

In the top of the 10th, freshman Parker Hutyra trotted in from the bullpen and stranded a lead-off double to send the game to the bottom of the 10th.

After a 10-pitch and seven-pitch strikeout, Tracer Lopez worked a walk, but Thomas rebounded from a 2-0 count to strike out Pompey and send the game to the 11th.

Like the 10th, Stanford’s lead-off guy reached, this time on a single through the left side. After a sac bunt advanced the runner to second, Hutyra dug deep and used a four-pitch strike to put two outs on the board.

Battling Stanford’s Owen Cobb, Hutyra fell behind in the count 3-0 before throwing a pair of strikes.

Following a pair of foul balls, Hutyra ultimately won an eight pitch battle with Cobb, getting the leadoff man to pop up to Pompey at second.

Armed with the momentum once again, Tech quickly loaded the bases with nobody out on three straight infield singles from Landon Stripling, Bravo and Bazzell. The three singles loaded the bases for Austin Green, who poked the first pitch he saw from Thomas over the drawn-in infield for a walk-off single that delivered win No. 20 on the season for Texas Tech.

In the end, seven different Red Raider arms combined to strike out 17 batters, as four different Red Raiders punched out at least four.

At the plate, Bazzell and Bravo led the way, as the duo went six-for-10 with five runs scored. In addition to his dramatic two-run blast in the ninth, Bazzell also hit the two-run home run in the bottom of the third.

The Bazzell home runs were two of four that Tech hit in the game, as Pompey hit a 413.5 foot blast to left-center in the fourth and Owen Washburn lifted a 416′ blast the other way (left-center) in the fifth.

In addition to Hutyra’s two scoreless innings, the Red Raiders also got two strong innings from Josh Sanders who struck out five of 10 batters he faced and a shutout inning from Trendan Parish.

“So you’re going to have some adversity from within the game and have some adversity that the game presents and we had that and the guys dealt with it just fine. I think both teams obviously landed some punches within the game and we got lucky was the top of the order was coming up there with Bravo and Baz and they put together two good at-bats to tie the game. Those guys have swung the bats their whole lives, and they put two good at-bats together.”

On Bazzell:
It seems like he’s really staying through the ball. He’s on time, he’s using the whole field, and when guys make some mistakes he’s able to run the ball out every now and then. I think he’s getting his timing back on both sides. He’s catching at a pretty high level and throwing it well. The other day in Orlando he threw out a big runner in the eighth inning, the lead-off hitter, and made it look easy. He’s that kind of baseball player. When things are going good it’s going to look easy for him.”

On the 11th inning:
Yeah so they shift on Stripling a little bit, the second baseman is playing to pull. He hit it hard enough for it to be a hard play for the second baseman. And another two are just really good fortune, I mean, you’re really talking about two balls hitting the right spot… And so they hit a ball a little to the guy’s left and beat him out, and Baz did the same thing.”

The Red Raiders will look for the two-game sweep over the Cardinal on Tuesday afternoon. First pitch from Rip Griffin Park at Dan Law Field is set for Noon.


Release Provided By Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics

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