Senior centerfielder Taylor Ashby dropped a bases clearing, two-RBI triple into deep right field with two strikes and two outs in the bottom of the eighth that broke a 2-2 tie and gave Texas Tech a 4-2 win over Michigan in front of 2,895 fans at Dan Law Field on Saturday evening.
The win moves Tech's record to 2-0 on the season while Michigan suffers its first loss of the year and drops to 2-1.
The Tech offense squandered away two runs earlier in the game with a couple of base running mistakes but Ashby atoned for those sins with a clutch hit in the eighth. Michigan reliever Bobby Brosnahan retired the first two Tech hitters of the inning when he struckout both right fielder/first baseman Barrett Barnes and designated hitter Scott LeJeune. Junior third baseman Nick Popescu kept the Red Raiders alive as he picked up his first hit of the season with a single through the left side of the infield. Junior catcher Jeremy Mayo then reached on a walk to move Popescu over to scoring position at second base and that brought Ashby to the plate. With two strikes on Ashby, Michigan head coach Rich Maloney went out for a mound visit but Ashby made them pay for the delay as he dropped the very next offering from Brosnahan into right field for the go-ahead runs.
Michigan drew first blood in the contest with a two-out RBI single from Ryan LaMarre that scored Anthony Toth who reached on a one-out single and gave the Wolverines the early 1-0 lead.
Tech answered in its half of the first with an RBI double by Scott LeJeune that plated Barnes who reached after being hit by Michigan starter Matt Miller.
The two teams traded runs in the second and third innings and then settled into a pitcher's dual that spanned 4 ½ innings before Ashby's game-winning hit in the eighth.
The Red Raider pitching was dominant on the night as Tech did not allow a single hit after the second inning and only three base runners over the final seven innings. Tech starter Bobby Doran, who earned a no-decision, went five strong innings allowing just two runs on four hits while walking one batter and striking out four. Brett Bruening earned the win in relief for Tech as he logged three shutout frames with one walk and three strikeouts. Jay Johnson picked up his first save of the year by pitching a flawless ninth inning.
Texas Tech returns to action tomorrow morning as the Red Raiders play the first of two games in what will be the final day of the 2010 Red Raider Classic. Tech will face Michigan at 11 a.m. and Jacksonville State at 2 p.m.