OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Senior Nick Popescu went 4-for-5 tying the Texas Tech school record for most hits in a Big 12 Championship game while the Red Raiders fell 10-5 against No. 13 Texas A&M in the first round of the conference tournament at RedHawks Field at Bricktown.
The No. 7 seeded Red Raiders (33-24) will play an elimination game Thursday at 12:30 p.m. against the loser of the Oklahoma/Kansas State game that is being played this evening. The No. 2 seeded Aggies advance and will face the winner of the Sooners and Wildcats tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m.
Red Raiders reliever David Paiz (3-5) suffered the loss pitching 0.1 inning allowing four runs on four hits. Texas A&M reliever Steve Martin (1-0) earned his first win of the season pitching 1.1 scoreless innings out of relief without allowing a base hit.
Texas Tech jumped out to a 5-0 lead with eight hits in the first five innings. The Red Raiders scored a pair of runs in the third on a sacrifice fly from Barrett Barnes and an RBI single to right field from Nick Popescu.
Tech added to its lead in the fifth with sacrifice flies from Kevin Whitehead and David Paiz – in consecutive plate appearances – before Andre Wheeler drove in Hagen with a single to left field.
In the bottom of the fifth, Texas A&M scored its first three runs of the game – all unearned – with three base hits in the inning. The Red Raiders had their lead slip away in the sixth inning when the Aggies plated six runs on seven base hits (six singles, two doubles) while Tech used three pitchers in the inning. That gave A&M a 9-5 lead.
Texas Tech starting pitcher Brennan Stewart allowed five runs (two earned) on 11 hits in 5.1 innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
Popescu singled in each of his first four plate appearances which tied the Texas Tech single-game record for base hits in a Big 12 Tournament game. He is the fifth Red Raider to have four hits in a game at the Big 12 Championship and the first since 2001 when Chad Landry went 4-for-5 against Oklahoma on May 16.
Kelby Tomlinson finished the game 2-for-4 with a run scored as the only other Red Raider with a multi-hit game.
Texas Tech falls to 14-23 all-time in Big 12 Championship history while in its 12th appearance at the tournament.