OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Texas A&M's Michael Wacha had a no-hitter through five innings and ended up holding Texas Tech to just two runs on two hits over seven innings to guide the Aggies to a 9-2 win in the first game of the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.
The loss gives the Red Raiders a five-game losing skid as Tech drops under .500 at 27-28. Texas A&M improves to 37-19-1 and has won three in a row.
"We need to do a better job offensively early in the game," said Texas Tech head coach Dan Spencer. "Not to take anything away from Micahel Wacha. He did a good job but we need to put a little pressure on them. We had a chance, if we can get on base, to run the bases against Wacha a little bit. That is not his strength yet, holding runners, but we couldn't get on base. We didn't have a runner until the sixth."
After the Aggies staked a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, they rode the right arm of Wacha over the next six frames. Wacha had a no-hitter brewing through 5 1/3 innings before Tech senior right fielder Bonham Hough broke it up with a solo home run to left field. The home run was his sixth of the season and cut the Texas A&M lead to 3-1.
With one outs and a runner at second in the sixth, Texas Tech head coach Dan Spencer was forced to pull starter Ben Flora in favor of freshman right-hander Brandon Petite. Petite walked the first batter he faced to put two Aggie runners on base before striking out Kevin Gonzalez for the second out of the frame. Texas A&M third baseman Caleb Shofner then gave the Aggies a 5-2 lead with a two-run single that just barely went over the head of Tech second baseman Jamodrick McGruder into right field.
Back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning by Matt Juengel and Adam Smith put the game out of reach for the Aggies as they staked a 9-2 lead.
Flora was tagged with the loss for Texas Tech despite turning in the best outing of his two-year career. Flora held the Aggies to four runs (three earned) on six hits and set new career highs in strikeouts (6) and innings pitched (5 1/3).
Texas Tech will look to snap its five-game losing skid on Thursday afternoon when the Red Raiders battled top-ranked Texas at 3 p.m.
R H E
Texas Tech 000 001 100 2 3 1
Texas A&M 200 102 40x 9 10 0
WP = Michael Wacha (8-2)
LP = Ben Flora (3-3)
SV = None
- Texas Tech now stands at 27-28 on the season.
- Today's game marked the 147th all-time meeting between Texas Tech and Texas A&M and is the longest played series in school history. With today's loss, the Aggies increase their overall lead to 91-56.
- Texas Tech has now lost four consecutive games to Texas A&M in the Big 12 Tournament and the Aggies now hold a 4-3 lead in games played in this postseason event.
- The Red Raiders are now 13-21 in Big 12 Championship play.
- Tech has now lost three conference championship opening games dating back to the 2006 season. The last Red Raider opening win in the tournament came in 2005 against No. 1-seeded Nebraska, 5-3.
- Texas Tech went into the finals break (following Missouri series) with a .319 average and since returning to play that average has fallen to .308. Over the last seven games, Tech has posted a .226 batting average with only 30 runs scored, 24 RBIs, 19 extra base hits and struckout 51 times.
- Texas Tech head coach Dan Spencer now has a career record of 52-60 in two seasons with the Red Raiders.
- Sophomore designated hitter Scott LeJeune saw his 17-game hitting streak come to a halt today as he went 0-for-3 in today's loss.
- Freshman Ben Flora was charged with his third loss of the season today after surrendering four runs, three earned, on six hits while striking out a career-high six batters in a career-high five innings of work.
- Senior outfielder Bonham Hough led the Tech offense with two of the team's three hits as he finished the game 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored.