LUBBOCK, Texas - Chad Bettis logged 6 2/3 strong innings to help Dan Spencer earn his first career win as a Division I head coach and the Red Raiders posted a 14-3 win over Southern Utah in the season opener at Dan Law Field.
The win gives Texas Tech an all-time record of 24-5 when opening the season at home and a 37-23 overall mark on Opening Day.
Sophomore right-hander Chad Bettis set the tone and the offense followed suit as he held the Thunderbirds to just two runs on eight hits and struckout five over 6 2/3 innings to earn his first win of the year.
Back-to-back doubles by Southern Utah's Keli'i Zablan and Nick Freitas gave the Thunderbirds an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning off of Bettis. Bettis, however, retired the next two batters to limit any further damage and allowed the offense to go to work in the bottom half of the inning.
And the offense did just that as freshman Kevin Whitehead blasted a two-RBI double to the gap in left center field with the bases loaded to plate the first runs of the season and gave the Red Raiders a 2-1 lead. Tech would tack on one more run in the inning before erupting for five runs in the second to take an 8-1 lead.
In the second, Joey Kenworthy came up big in the five-run outburst as he laced a two-run single through the left side with the bases loaded. Chris Richburg drove in his first run of the year with a hard hit single to center that scored Michael Reed who reached on his second walk of the game.
The first home run of the season came in the bottom of the fourth for the Red Raiders as Richburg blasted a solo shot over the left field wall to give Tech a 9-1 lead.
Southern Utah's Bucky Aona hit solo home runs in the sixth and eighth innings to help cut the Texas Tech lead to 12-3.
Texas Tech will face UT-Pan American this afternoon at 4:20 p.m.