Freshman right-hander Chad Bettis logged six strong innings and Zach Stewart earned his first career save to lead the Texas Tech Red Raiders to an 8-5 win over Northern Illinois on Sunday afternoon at Bobcat Field in San Marcos.
Northern Illinois (2-6) jumped out to an early lead in the top half of the first inning thanks to a clutch two-out, two RBI single by Danny Reed that scored Jordin Hood and Dave Reynolds.
Texas Tech (7-6) scratched out a run in the bottom half of the first to pull within a run as Taylor Ashby drove in Chris Hall who led off the inning on a two-base throwing error by Husky third baseman Jordin Hood.
The Red Raiders grabbed their first lead of the game in the bottom half of the third as Tech pounded out three runs to take a 4-2 advantage. Junior right fielder Roger Kieschnick got Tech going with a single up the middle and senior first baseman Doug Thennis moved him to third with a double down the left field line. Sophomore left fielder Taylor Ashby drove in the first run with a single to left and James Leverton reached on an error by Hood in the next at-bat but that was enough to bring home Thennis as the go ahead run. Junior center fielder Tanner Rindels, who finished the game with a season-high three hits, drove in the final run with an RBI single to right.
Tech built its lead to 6-3 with single runs in the fourth and sixth innings before the Huskies mounted a late rally in the seventh. Northern Illinois finally chased away Tech right-hander Chad Bettis in the top half of the seventh as the Huskies got Joe Bonavalonto on base via a fielding error by shortstop Chris Hall and then a double by center fielder Pat Minogue. Tech went to its bullpen for designated hitter James Leverton who came in and gave up a single to center that scored Bonavalonto but a throwing error by third baseman Jason Seefeld allowed the Huskies to cut the Tech lead to one (6-5) as Minogue scored easily on the play. Leverton retired the next two batters on strikeouts and closer Zach Stewart entered the game and ended the threat by striking out Danny Reed.
As he has done all season long, Roger Kieschnick came through for the Red Raiders in the bottom of the eighth as he blasted a solo home run to right-center field on the first offering from Husky reliever Andy Deain. An RBI single by Leverton gave Tech a three-run cushion at 8-5.
Freshman right-hander Chad Bettis (2-0) turned in his third solid outing of the year as he logged six strong innings and allowed just three earned runs (five total) and struckout seven. Adam Holdenrid (1-1) was charged with the loss for Northern Illinois as he gave up five runs (three earned) on 10 hits and struckout three over 4 1/3 innings.
Texas Tech will wrap up play here in San Marcos on Monday afternoon as the Red Raiders will get a rematch with Texas State at 2:30 p.m. Texas State defeated the Red Raiders 14-3 on Saturday evening.
WP = Chad Bettis (2-0)
LP = Adam Holdenrid (1-1)
SV = Stewart (1)
- Junior right fielder Roger Kieschnick now owns seven home runs on the season and his career total improves to 29. He also added his team-leading eighth multiple-hit game of the season and his third three-hit game.
- Senior third baseman Jason Seefeld blasted his second home run of the year in the fourth and now owns six in his Tech career.
- Freshman right-hander Chad Bettis continues to lead the Tech pitching staff as he stand at 2-0 on the season and leads the squad with 18 2/3 innings pitched. He has struckout 14 batters compared to seven walks and only allowed seven earned runs for a 3.38 ERA.
- Junior RHP Zach Stewart registered the first save of the season for Tech as he held the Huskies scoreless over the final 2 1/3 innings and dropped his overall ERA to 1.08.
- Texas Tech now leads the all-time series against Northern Illinois 9-2 and has won the last three meetings.
- Tech Head Coach Larry Hays is now just nine wins away from the 1,500th of his outstanding coaching career than spans 37 seasons. He is also four wins shy of his 800th career win as the skipper of the Red Raiders.
TEXAS TECH BASEBALL
Red Raider Baseball, the third oldest sport on the Texas Tech campus, is in the midst of its 59th season in 2008 and its 22nd season under the guidance of the legendary Larry Hays. Hays is the winningest coach in school history and the third winningest coach in the history of NCAA Baseball. Texas Tech Baseball has claimed four conference championships (two in the Southwest Conference and two in the Big 12), produced 31 All-Americans, 152 all-conference selections, 84 MLB draftees, 19 major leaguer's and six Team USA participants.