No. 16 Texas Tech baseball wins series, splits DH versus Baylor
Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 16 Texas Tech won its series versus Baylor but split its doubleheader on Saturday as the series wrapped up a day early at Rip Griffin Park due to weather concerns. The Red Raiders offense kept pace with their Friday night performance in game one racing away with a 14-9 win but failed to clinch the sweep in game two of the doubleheader in a 6-4 loss.
“It’s never good when your pitchers give you every opportunity in the world to stay in the game and the bats are cold,” said junior centerfielder Dillon Carter, who returned to the lineup this weekend after a 22-game absence due to injury. “It’s usually not the way it is when we’re at home, but it just happened to us in the second game. It’s not fun, but winning the first two is always good. It’s not fun losing the third.”
As Tech (29-13, 8-7 Big 12) pounded the scoreboard for double-digit runs in both its wins in the series, the Red Raiders improved to 18-1 this season when scoring 10 or more runs in a game. On the flip side, with its narrow loss in the series finale, the Red Raiders drop to 0-9 when scoring five runs or less this season.
“I think the second game we thought we had it because we put up 14 runs in a game and we just thought it was going to do it on its own,” added freshman catcher Dylan Maxcey. “As long as we go into it every day knowing nothing is easy, and we got to earn every pitch, we got to earn every run, we got to earn every out. I think no matter where we are we can beat anybody.”
Texas Tech’s fast 5-0 start in game one of the doubleheader, its most runs scored in a first inning this season, helped pave the way to its 14-9 win. The Red Raiders were cruising along until Baylor burst for five runs off of five hits in the top of the sixth to tie the game, 6-6. As Tech has done so often this season, it rebounded the next half inning and plated four runs to bounce the lead back to 10-6, ending a sixth inning that saw nine runs scored between the two teams.
In Maxcey’s sixth-inning at-bat, he worked the count full, after starting down 0-2 in the count, and slapped his second double of the game, this one off the right field wall, scoring two more for the Red Raiders to give them the four-run advantage. Kevin Bazzell hit an RBI single for the go-ahead run, which plated Nolen Hester who reached on a leadoff walk. Austin Green would later earn a free pass with the bases loaded to score one more run before Maxcey’s double.
Maxcey followed two doubles over his first four at-bats in game one with his second home run of the season in the eighth inning to build on the Red Raiders’ lead. The freshman finished a career game leading the team in hits (3) and RBIs (6).
In the second game of the doubleheader, Tech fell behind for the first time in the series after Baylor scored two runs in the top of the third inning to open a 2-0 lead. The Red Raiders battled back scoring one in the home half of the third and tied the game, 2-2, in the fourth inning with timely back-to-back doubles from Green, while Hudson White’s two-bagger next in line plated Green to knot the game.
The seesaw battle continued over the sixth and seventh innings as Baylor regained the lead, 3-2, before Tech tied it 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh. The Bears exploded for a three-run eighth, taking a 6-3 advantage that they would not relinquish. Tech made it a 6-4 game in the eighth in a frame it loaded the bases thanks to three walks and a single but could not take further advantage of the free passes. With the bases loaded, Gavin Kash raced home from third base using a wild pitch to score the run. Tracer Lopez walked to load the bases once again, setting up Hester. He would fly out to centerfield on the first pitch delivered. In the ninth, Bazzell hit a two-out single to bring Kash to the plate, representing the game-tying run, but the sophomore struck out ending an 0-for-7 day at the plate in the Saturday doubleheader.
Bazzell (5-for-9) and Carter (3-for-6) led the Red Raiders at the plate over the two games as they both hit .500 or better. Each of Carter’s three hits went for doubles on Saturday.
“Teams that play good at the end continue to improve through the year,” said head coach Tim Tadlock. “That really comes down to individuals deciding ‘Hey I’m going to keep trying to work at it, keep getting better, get better at the craft’. I think there’s things we can do, as far as within the game and stuff like that. I think that’d be the simplest thing.”
Texas Tech hits the road for the next four games, starting with Abilene Christian on Tuesday before a weekend series at Kansas State.
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