LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech became the second team in the Big 12 Conference to clinch a spot in the upcoming Big 12 Championships in Oklahoma City (May 26-30; Bricktown Ballpark) by virtue of a 5-2 win over Baylor in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Dan Law Field.
The win gives Texas Tech a 27-23 overall record and a 13-10 mark in the Big 12 Conference and sets up a Sunday afternoon rubber match against Baylor (26-21; 8-13). Sunday's game (1 p.m. CT) will decide the winner of this series and will be the final home game for seniors Michael Reed, Joey Kenworthy, Taylor Ashby and Bonham Hough.
Freshman first baseman Barrett Barnes added to his freshman of the year resume in the bottom of the first when he blasted a two-run home run over the wall in right-center to give the Red Raiders an early 2-0 lead. The home run was his 12th of the season and RBI's No. 47 and 48.
A ball that ricocheted off the leg of Baylor starting pitcher Shawn Tolleson in the fourth inning, led to a an RBI base hit for Nick Popescu and then another run as Tolleson threw it way trying to get Popescu out at first and that allowed Reed to score from second. The hit by Popescu and throwing error by Tolleson gave the Red Raiders a 4-0 lead.
A costly fielding error by freshman second baseman Jamodrick McGruder in the sixth opened the door for the Bears as they plated two unearned runs and cut the deficit in half (4-2). Cal Towey drove in the first run with an RBI triple while Max Muncy brought home the second with an RBI groundout.
Tech starter Bobby Doran, who had held Baylor to just two runs on five hits through the first six innings, was replaced by Chad Bettis after allowing a leadoff single to Kenton Gedwed in the top of the seventh. Baylor plated what turned out to be its final run of the game in the next at-bat as Raynor Campbell drove a ball to left-center that allowed Gedwed to score after stealing second.
The Red Raiders answered the Baylor run in their half of the seventh as Reed drove an RBI single up the middle with two outs that brought home Barnes from second. Barnes kept Tech alive in the frame when he reached on a two-out double to left.
Bobby Doran (5-2) earned the win for Tech after holding the Bears to three runs (one earned) on six hits over six innings of work. Chad Bettis tied the Texas Tech single-season school record with his 10th save as he held Baylor to just three hits over three innings of relief.
R H E
Baylor 000 002 100 3 9 1
Texas Tech 200 200 10x 5 10 1
WP = Bobby Doran (5-2)
LP = Shawn Tolleson (2-6)
SV = Chad Bettis (10)