LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech secured its third consecutive Big 12 series win for the first time since 2004 this afternoon as the Red Raiders dealt No. 11 Oklahoma an 8-3 loss in the rubber match of this three game series in front of 3,100 fans at Dan Law Field.
The win moves Tech over the .500 mark for the first time since March 12 as the Red Raiders are 20-19 on the year and 8-7 in Big 12 Conference play. Tech's win over the Sooners (26-10; 6-7 Big 12) gives the Red Raiders sole possession of third place heading into next weekend's series at fifth place Kansas at Hoglund Balllpark in Lawrence.
Just as they did in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader, the Red Raiders struck in the first inning but this time they grabbed more than a one-run lead. Jamodrick McGruder, who led off game-two of yesterday's doubleheader with a solo home run, was hit by a pitch to start the first today and that jumpstarted a five-run outburst by the Red Raiders. Freshman Scott LeJeune plated the first run of the day when he grounded into a fielder's choice that allowed Joey Kenworthy to score from third. After Barrett Barnes gave Tech a 2-0 lead by scoring on a fielding error by OU second baseman Cale Ellis, sophomore designated hitter Kevin Whitehead delivered the big blow. With two outs and runners at first and third, Whitehead belted a three-run home run into the Oklahoma bullpen that gave the Red Raiders an early 5-0 lead.
Tech made it 6-0 in the bottom of the second when Barrett Barnes knocked an RBI double to the gap in left-center. Barnes' double plated McGruder who reached on a one-out single.
After an RBI double by Michael Reed made it 7-0 in the fourth, Oklahoma scratched across its first run of the afternoon in the fifth. A leadoff single by Chris Ellison and a double from Garrett Buechele set up a scoring chance for Cody Reine and he came through with an RBI single to left that cut the Tech lead to six runs (7-1).
Oklahoma added two more runs in the sixth to cut the Tech lead to 7-3 before Barnes silenced the Sooners in the bottom half of the sixth. Barnes, who homered in last night's game, led off the sixth inning with a solo home run to push the Tech lead to 8-3.
Chad Bettis picked up his sixth save of the year by logging four innings of relief and allowing just two runs while Colt Farrar snatched up his first win of the year and improved to 1-1. Oklahoma's Jeremy Erben (6-1) suffered his first loss of season after giving up seven runs on 10 hits over 3 1/3 innings.
Texas Tech will wrap up its five-game homestand this week when the Red Raiders host the Alabama A&M Bulldogs in a two-game midweek series at Dan Law Field. The series gets underway at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and will conclude at noon on Wednesday.
Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved. The Texas Tech Athletics Department contributed to this report.