OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Texas Tech rallied for three runs with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and got outstanding pitching from Nate Karns and Chad Bettis as the Red Raiders dropped No. 15 Missouri 4-2 on Friday afternoon in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.
The win keeps Tech's chances alive of reaching Sunday's championship game as the Red Raiders stand at 1-1 in pool play. Texas Tech must have a Texas A&M win over Oklahoma in tonight's evening session in order to go into Saturday with championship hopes.
Trailing 2-1 in the eighth, the Red Raiders put runners at first and second with two outs on a fielder's choice by Joey Kenworthy and Chris Richburg's hit-by-pitch. Junior center fielder Taylor Ashby, Tech's best two-out run producer all season, came through in the clutch yet again as he tied the game with an RBI single through the left side that scored Kenworthy and evened the game at 2-2. Ashby's two-out RBI was his 25th of the season. Junior left fielder Michael Reed then gave the Red Raiders their first lead of the day with a single to center that scored Richburg and eventually Ashby as Greg Folgia's throw to home was mishandled by catcher Ryan Ampleman. Folgia's throw appeared to be on target and could have gotten Richburg down the line instead the ball came out of Ampleman's glove and rolled all the way past the Missouri dugout allowing Ashby to score easily.
The Red Raiders found themselves behind after the top of the eighth when left fielder Aaron Senne came up with a big two-out RBI single that scored Ryan Lollis. Senne's single gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
Both teams struck for single runs in the sixth as the Tigers took a 1-0 lead on an unearned run off Tech starter Nate Karns while Tech got a couple of hits off Ian Berger in the bottom half to tie things up.
Junior right-hander Nate Karns turned in one of his most impressive outings of the year as he held the Tigers to one unearned run on two hits over six innings of work. He also struckout seven and walked just one batter in the no-decision.
Sophomore right-hander Chad Bettis (6-1) earned the win in relief for the Red Raiders as he held Missouri to one run on two hits and struckout three in three innings of work. Brad Buehler took the loss for Missouri as he allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits in 1/3 of an inning of relief.
Texas Tech will close out pool play tomorrow evening as the Red Raiders face rival Texas A&M at 7:30 p.m. Tech's starter for the game has not been determined.
R H E
Missouri 000 001 010 2 4 1
Texas Tech 000 001 03x 4 8 1
WP = Chad Bettis (6-1)
LP = Brad Buehler (1-3)
SV = None