Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Tech scored four unanswered runs and used seven scoreless innings from its bullpen to win its Big 12 opening series 4-2 over Texas on Sunday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in front of 6,373 fans in attendance.
The Red Raiders (14-8, 2-1 Big 12) won their first conference series over the Longhorns (12-7, 1-2 Big 12) since 2002 and claimed its first series win in Austin since 2001.
Junior left-handed pitcher Jonny Drozd (3-1) earned the win pitching 5.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen while retiring 13 of the first 14 batters he faced from the third to seventh inning.
Senior right-handed pitcher Jerad McCrummen picked up his third save of the season – and second save of the series – striking out three batters in a scoreless 1.2 innings and not allowing a hit to finish the game.
Texas' starting pitcher Nathan Thornhill (1-2) took the loss while giving up three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts.
Texas took an early 2-0 lead, scoring its only runs of the game in the second inning on designated hitter Ben Johnson's two-run homer over the left-field wall.
Tech immediately answered scoring a pair of runs in the third inning on an RBI single through the left side by second baseman Bryant Burleson and tying the game on right fielder Devon Conley's safety squeeze bunt.
By the time Tech took the lead in the sixth inning, Drozd had allowed only two batted balls to leave the infield as he limited Texas to just one base runner from the third to sixth inning. In addition, Drozd went to a two-ball count on just two occasions – both coming in the seventh inning.
Freshman designated hitter Jarrard Poteete delivered the eventual game-winning RBI with a two-out single through the right side in the sixth, scoring Conley who singled and stole second base earlier in the inning.
The Red Raiders added an insurance run in the seventh inning when third baseman Jake Barrios hit a one-out triple to deep center field. Moments later, a passed ball allowed Barrios to score giving Tech the two-run advantage, 4-2.
McCrummen entered in the eighth inning with a runner at second base and followed with a pair of strikeouts around a full-count walk to end the Longhorns' eighth-inning.
McCrummen retired Texas in order in the ninth with back-to-back groundouts and then struck out Johnson looking to end the game.
Texas Tech will return home on Tuesday, March 19 to host No. 14 Arizona State for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park. It marks the first time since 2006 that the Sun Devils will travel to Lubbock.
In addition, Tech head football coach Kliff Kingsbury will be in attendance at the Arizona State game while throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.