Texas Tech Walks-Off BYU, 4-3 on Friday

LUBBOCK, Texas — Baseball can flip on a dime.

It can be funny. It can be cruel. It can be ironic.

It can flip on a singular pitch or a singular batter.

Enter Friday’s second game of Texas Tech’s weekend series against BYU.

Up 3-1 in the ninth, Texas Tech (16-7, 3-5 Big 12) reliever Josh Sanders was cruising. The righty, who entered the game in seventh, had allowed just a hit and had three strikeouts.

On an 0-1 pitch to catcher Parker Goff, Sanders took a comebacker off his foot. The ball bounded up the first base line and allowed the catcher to reach safely. Ironically, Goff was not in the original BYU (11-9, 4-4 Big 12), as the catcher entered when BYUs original backstop, Collin Reuter went down with an injury in the bottom of the first inning.

After Sanders departed due to injury, Tech turned to lefty Ryan Free who coaxed a pair of outs on a flyout to center and a pop-up to first.

Down to its last out, BYU went to the bench for righty Bryker Hurdsman. Hurdsman deposited the second pitch he saw from the lefty over the right field wall for a game-tying two-run home that tied the game at three all.

With the game tied at three, Free won a battle with the next Cougar batter, snapping off a nasty curveball to end the frame and send the game to the bottom of the ninth where Tech had batters 9-1-2 due up.

Facing BYUs Candon Dahle, Tech’s catcher Dylan Maxcey ripped an 88 MPH offering from Dahle into the right field corner for a lead-off double.

Five pitches later, freshman Landon Stripling turned around a 93 MPH pitch from Dahle for a walk-off single that exited his bat a 102 MPH. Making his first career start in the lead-off spot in the lineup, Stripling went 2-for-5 with the crucial RBI.

The win came at a key time for the Red Raiders, as they got six more strong innings from junior Kyle Robinson, who for the second straight Friday, didn’t allow an earned run.

Robinson threw six innings of five-hit ball and allowed just one unearned run in the third inning. He struck out five and has now not allowed an earned run in his last 13 innings dating back to a seven-inning shutout performance last Friday in a win over Baylor.

The win for Tech snapped a three-game losing streak in Big 12 Conference play and moved Tech to 6-1 this season following a loss.

Other key performances in the victory included junior Cade McGee going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI doubles and sophomore Damian Bravo going 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored. Bravo also added his 16th double of the season.

The Red Raiders will look to take the series from BYU on Saturday afternoon in another key rubber-match. First pitch from Rip Griffin Park is set for 2 p.m.


Release Provided By Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics

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