Pompey’s Blast Highlights 10-run Fourth Inning, that Pushed No. 19 Tech to 20-4 win over Texas Southern

LUBBOCK, Texas – Freshman SS TJ Pompey went 4-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs, while senior lefty Ryan Free pitched 3.1 strong innings to push No. 19 Texas Tech Baseball past Texas Southern, 20-4 Saturday afternoon in front of a sold-out crowd at Rip Griffin Park at Dan Law Field.

The victory for Texas Tech (5-2) comes on the heels of yesterday’s 32-5 victory over Texas Southern (2-4) in which the Red Raiders set a new school record for most run scored.

Pompey’s home run in the fourth, capped a 10-run fourth inning, that flipped a 3-0 Tigers lead into a 10-3 Red Raider lead.

After driving in five in the opening weekend in Arlington, Pompey now has seven RBIs in two games this weekend, as he has gone 8-for-12 with six runs scored. Through his first seven collegiate games, Pompey is now hitting 13-for-30, with 10 runs scored and 12 RBIs.

Other strong performances in game two of the series included Dylan Maxcey going 3-for-5 with a two-run home run and two runs scored in his first start of the season and Gavin Kash going 2-for-5 with a two-run home run to center.

Outfielder Damian Bravo continued his torrid start to the season, going 3-for-3 with RBIs on Saturday, while designated hitter Kevin Bazzell scored four times in the win.

Tech turned to sophomore Zane Petty who allowed three runs and six hits in 3.2 innings pitched to earn the no-decision.

The Red Raiders relief combo of Free, Cole Kaase and Zach Erdman went 5.1 innings allowing three hits and just one run.

After today’s 3.1 innings of one-run ball, Free has now thrown six innings and pitched to a 1.50 ERA over the season’s first seven games. The lefty also has earned the victory in both Saturday wins.

The Red Raiders faced an early 3-0 deficit on Saturday, but quickly answered in the fourth using a pair of walks and two-run double from Austin Green to pull to within 3-2.

After a dropped flyout that should have been a sac-fly placed runners on the corners in a 3-3 game, Pompey delivered the big blow of the inning, depositing his first career home run over the left field wall.

The blast gave the Red Raiders the lead for good at 6-3. After a single and a walk chased the starting pitcher Dominic Martinez (0-1), Tech used a two-run single from right fielder Drew Woodcox and an RBI double from Bazzell to go-ahead 9-3. The Red Raiders ultimately capped the 10-run inning on an RBI single from Cade McGee.

Armed with a 10-3 lead, Free cruised through the fifth, allowing the Red Raiders to score another run to take a 11-3 lead through five.

After the Tigers answered with their fourth and final run on a two-out RBI single in the sixth, Tech used the two-run homer from Kash to highlight a four-run sixth inning that made the score 15-4 in favor of the home team.

Free pitched a scoreless seventh, which set the table for the Red Raiders to use back-to-back RBI doubles from freshman Travis Sanders and Bravo to pull in front 17-4. Tech closed the five-run frame with another RBI hit from Pompey and a two-run home run from Maxcey.

In clear control of the game, Kaase and Erdman combined to pitch two scoreless innings allowing just one hit with four strikeouts.

Through two games played this weekend, Tech has scored 52 runs and recorded 43 hits. The 52 total runs scored over the two games tie are the most runs scored in back-to-back games since 1997 when Tech scored 24 against Howard Payne and then 31 against College of the Southwest.

On the 10-run fourth inning:
“We had Green early in the inning because he was hitting in the six hole today, and then Baz [Bazzell] and Kash really just went up there and took what they gave them. They did a good job of getting the line moving. Then McGee did the same. Green had a big swing to kind of kind of get things going. You have to be able to win that battle in the 17 inches the home plate first and foremost. Today, guys were being team guys, getting on the base and setting it up for some other guys.

On Kash’s home run and how his process has been up to this point:
“He’s chasing results a little bit like a lot of amateur baseball players do, but he had a couple of hits today and that’s a good sign. For a guy who had as good a year as he did last year, we definitely got to get him going. And the hardest thing today is you’re looking at a not starting the kid [Stripling] that had five hits and played first base yesterday, because we had Baz DHing, and you basically have one spot [for both Kash and Stripling]. Baz is gonna DH on the days he doesn’t catch it, especially if it’s a right or left handed pitcher. And last time I checked you know, right or left hand, those are the only two options. So he’s going to be in there. I mean, he’s your three hole hitter. It’s hard on our guys, but good college baseball teams have some of that,  and you’re going to have to have guys understand that. There’s going to be those days like that and at the same time we’re getting a lot of feedback.”

On the depth in the lineup:
“It’s a real good problem. I mean, Maxcey threw the ball good today, he created some competition there. Guys are moving around the diamond, we do have a lot of guys that can play baseball. In other words, they’re not locked into one spot. You saw the seventh inning, we pinch hit Sanders and Burns. You probably could have put Burns at third if you really wanted to and because Sanders hit behind him it allowed Burns to go to center. We have guys that are pretty good baseball players.”

The Red Raiders look to close the weekend strong on Sunday afternoon by clinching a three-game sweep of the Tigers. Sunday’s finale will be the end of an eight-game in 10 stretch that began in Arlington last weekend.

The Red Raiders will turn to junior Jack Washburn who will be making his home debut. First pitch from Rip Griffin Park is set for 1 p.m.


Release Provided By Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics

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