LUBBOCK, Texas - Senior second baseman Willie Rueda scored on a two-out fielding error by Oklahoma State shortstop Tom Belza in the ninth to lift Texas Tech to a 9-8 win over the Cowboys in the series opener at Dan Law Field.
The win coupled with Nebraska's 10-4 victory over Baylor gives the Red Raiders a solid grip on seventh place in the Big 12 Standings as they improve to 12-13 (24-28 overall). Oklahoma State was officially eliminated from the Big 12 Championship as they dropped to 7-16 in the league and to 30-22 overall.
With the scored tied at eight and runners at first and second, senior first baseman Chris Richburg hit what should have been a routine fly ball to shallow center field to end the inning. Oklahoma State shortstop Tom Belza, however, watched the ball go in and out of his glove for the first error of the night by the Cowboys and that turned out to be the winning run as Rueda scored easily from second.
Texas Tech had built a six-run lead after exploding for seven runs in the second and adding one more in the third. OSU reliever Brab Propst then held the Tech offense in check as he tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings and that allowed the Cowboy offense to chip away at the lead.
Oklahoma State scored seven of its eight runs on the night by virtue of home runs as the Cowboys knocked in a total of four, including two by center fielder Michael Dabbs. The biggest though came by Neil Medchill as he led off the eighth inning with a solo home run off Tech reliever Chad Bettis that tied the game at 8-8.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first, the Red Raiders came storming back in the bottom of the second as they pounded Oklahoma State's Andrew Oliver for seven runs to take a 7-2 lead. The Red Raiders plated five runs before OSU was able to get a single out. Richburg drove in both of his runs on the night with a one-out, two-RBI single to give Tech the five-run cushion.
Bettis earned the win for the Red Raiders in relief and improves to 5-0 on the season. Propst (1-1) was charged with the loss for OSU as he gave up the unearned run in the eighth.
Texas Tech will go for its fifth series win of the season tomorrow afternoon when the two teams meet for game-two of this three-game series. Tomorrow's game will be the "At-Bat For The Cure Game" as the Red Raiders will support the Lubbock Chapter of the Susan G. Komen For The Cure. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
R H E
Oklahoma State 200 400 110 8 14 1
Texas Tech 071 000 01x 9 10 1
WP = Chad Bettis (5-0)
LP = Brad Propst (1-1)
SV = None