Tech drops 8-7, 9th Inning Heartbreaker to No. 22 OU

LUBBOCK, Texas – Despite a ninth inning home run from Gavin Kash and placing the tying run in scoring position with nobody out, the Texas Tech Red Raiders fell 8-7 Sunday afternoon to No. 22 Oklahoma at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.

Facing early deficits of 2-0 and 6-1, Texas Tech (30-20, 12-15 Big 12) fought back, twice cutting the Oklahoma (28-17, 17-6 Big 12) lead to a singular run before suffering the first home Big 12 series sweep since the 2007 season.

Freshman Mac Heuer took the ball Sunday, and lasted just two-thirds of an inning exiting with an injury.

The righty looked to be off to a good start in the first using a strike out to record the games first out, but a fielding error at second to the second batter put a runner on first.

Heuer rebounded from the error and a wild pitch which advanced the runner to second to get a grounder to third, but a two-run home run by OUs Michael Snyder gave the Sooners a 2-0 lead.

After the home run, Heuer exited the game due to injury, as Parker Hutyra entered to record the innings final out.

Down 2-0, the Red Raiders used a lead-off triple from Tracer Lopez and an RBI ground out from Kash to pull to within 2-1.

The game remained 2-1 OU, until the third, when the Sooners used a leadoff single and a home run from John Spikerman to take a 4-1 lead.

OU again threatened in the fourth using a walk and a single to place runners on the corners with one out.

On senior day, Tech turned to Josh Sanders, who allowed a 2-0 single to Bryce Madron. The hit scored Jason Walk from third and gave the Sooners a 5-1 lead.

Midway through the next at-bat to Easton Carmichael, Sanders stepped off and had Spikerman picked off between second and third, but an errant throw by second baseman TJ Pompey not only advanced the runners to second and third but also took an out off the board.

With a second life, the Sooners took advantage, as Carmichael plated Spikerman from third on a sac-fly.

Down 6-1, the Red Raiders mounted a comeback off OU starter Carson Atwood, using back-to-back one out walks to put traffic on the basepaths.

The second walk came on just four pitches and forced a pitching change.

OU turned to former Red Raider lefty Jamie Hitt, who retired Gage Harrelson on a flyball to center.

With two outs and runners on first and second, Will Burns pinch hit for Pompey and laced a single into the left centerfield gap. With freshman Landon Stripling turning third and racing for home, Spikerman uncorked a perfect throw that beat a diving Stripling by half a step at home.

The outfield assist both ending the inning and kept the Sooners in front 6-1.

After Sanders worked around a pair of two-out base runners in the fifth, the Red Raiders used a single and a walk to force a pitching change. OU summoned another former Red Raider, as this time Brendan Girton emerged from the Sooners ‘pen.

Girton issues an 0-2 single to Green that loaded the bases with one out for Drew Woodcox who struck out.

The Red Raiders next batter, Stripling, worked out a nine-pitch walk that plated a run.

With the bases once again loaded, Girton uncorked a wild pitch that flew to the backstop. Catcher Kevin Bazzell sprinted towards home. Looking to nab his fellow backstop at the plate, OUs Scott Mudler flipped a wild toss that eluded Girton for a throwing error that allowed Green to get third.

The throw fell to Snyder who also threw wide of his target, allowing Green to race home with the third run of the inning and the second of the sequence.

With Stripling on third base and a 2-0 count, Cade McGee ripped a liner that fell into the glove of OUs Anthony McKenzie at third base. The liner ended the inning and kept OU up 6-4.

OU immediately answered in the sixth, using a leadoff single from Spikerman and a two-run home run from Carmichael to take an 8-4 lead.

The game remained 8-4 until the bottom of the seventh when a Green single and a Woodcox double put a pair of runners in scoring position with one out.

In a lefty-left matchup, Stripling ripped a flyball that Spikerman was able to grab in the left-center field gap. On the play, the Red Raiders did score a run, as Green trotted home from third to cut the deficit to 8-5.

Replacing Derek Bridges, who threw a strong inning and two thirds, sophomore Zach Erdman tossed a 1-2-3 eighth and scoreless ninth to keep the Red Raiders within three runs.

Leading off the ninth, Kash ripped the third offering he saw from Dylan Crooks over the right field wall for his 13th home run of the season. The homer, was career dinger number 39, as it tied the Sour Lake native with Roger Kieschnick and Jace Jung for fifth all-time on the Red Raiders all-time home run list.

More importantly it brought his Red Raider side to within 8-6 and forced another OU pitching change.

Facing new reliever Ryan Lambert, Bazzell worked out a seven pitch walk and Green ripped an 0-2 double into the corner that placed the tying runs in scoring position with nobody out.

The double to Green marked the end of the road for the hard-throwing Lambert, who was replaced instead by the Sooners closer Malachi Witherspoon.

Facing Witherspoon as the game-winning run, Woodcox battled to run the count full before striking out on a checked swing.

With one out and the tying run on second, an RBI groundout from Stripling scored Bazzell and brought Tech to within a run.

In an 8-7 game, Tech’s next batter, McGee got ahead 2-0 in the count, before flying out to right field for the game’s final out.

With the setback, the Red Raiders have now been swept in back-to-back Big 12 series for the first time since the 2008 season when the Red Raiders lost eight straight Big 12 games to No. 9 Nebraska (three), Kansas (three) and K-State (two).

The Red Raiders close out Big 12 play next weekend when they head to Stillwater to face nationally-ranked Oklahoma State. First pitch from O’Brate Stadium is set for 6 p.m. on Friday night.


Release Provided By Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics

More about: