SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The No. 3 Texas Tech baseball team completed the sweep of UTSA behind a 10-6 victory in the series finale on Monday afternoon at Roadrunner Stadium.
The Red Raiders (8-0) picked up shutout victories over the Roadrunners (2-4) in the first two games of the weather-delayed series, 5-0 & 3-0, respectively. Tech finished the day with 10 runs on seven hits, along with 13 walks, making it the fifth time this season Tech has scored at least 10 runs in a game.
It’s the first time since 1996 the Red Raiders have started a season 8-0, when that team began the year with nine-straight wins.
Sophomore & freshman outfielders Grant Little & Kurt Wilson both recorded multi-hit performances, both driving in a run, while Little scored twice. It was the second-straight game the duo each had two hits in a game.
Junior left-handed pitcher Erikson Lanning picked up the start for the Red Raiders on Monday afternoon. The Woodstock, Georgia, native went 2.2 innings, giving up just two hits and two walks, while recording a strikeout. He gave way to sophomore righty Connor Queen, a near-local student-athlete from Boerne, Texas, who induced a fly out to strand a runner at third and keep the game scoreless after three innings.
In the next frame, the Red Raiders broke through for the first run of the day, ending up with four in the inning to take a 4-0 lead. Josh Jung, the San Antonio native, kicked things off by getting hit-by-a-pitch, the 25th of the season for the Red Raiders. Four pitches later, sophomore infielder Brian Klein walks to put two on for Little, who roped an RBI single to center field to drive in Jung for the 1-0 lead.
Another walk to freshman outfielder Cody Masters loaded the bases for senior infielder Michael Davis, who hit a tough grounder to the shortstop, resulting in a fielder’s choice that brought in Klein to go up, 2-0. It only took four more pitches to load the bases again after a walk to sophomore catcher Clay Koelzer, then sophomore designated hitter John McMillon brought in two more with an infield single & an error on the throw to complete the four-spot.
The four-run inning marked the seventh game in eight contests the Red Raiders have recorded at least three runs in a single frame. Sunday’s outing against the Roadrunners was the first time this season Tech did not accomplish the feat.
Tech added three more in the fifth thanks to a combined six walks in the inning. The Red Raiders did not register a hit in the frame, but added three runs after bases-loaded free passes to Koelzer, McMillon & freshman infielder Gabe Holt, all with two outs in the inning.
The scoreless streak by the Red Raider pitchers came to an end on Monday, as a two-run homer by Arias cut the Tech lead to 7-2. Before the home run, Tech hadn’t allowed a run in 37.0 innings of work.
Queen capped off his day on the mound with 2.1 innings pitched, giving up two runs on two hits, to earn his first win of the year.
Masters helped get a run back in the sixth for Tech’s third-straight inning with a run. After Jung was hit-by-a-pitch to begin the frame and moved over to third, Masters lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to push the advantage to 8-2.
However, the Roadrunners racked up four runs in the sixth to cut the deficit to 8-6. A bases-loaded, two-out double from Tapia that went just past a diving Masters in right field brought in three runs, then a single up the middle from Arias scored him to make it a two-run game.
Tech got one of the runs back in the seventh thanks to a two-out, RBI double from Wilson to the gap in right-center field. The knock scored Holt from first, who walked with two away in the frame. In the eighth, Holt ripped a single up the middle to plate Davis for the 10-6 lead.
Sophomore lefty Dane Haveman tossed the final 2.0 frames, keeping the Roadrunners off the base path to pick up his second save as a Red Raider.
The Red Raiders face a quick turnaround & head to Edinburg to take on UTRGV on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at noon at UTRGV Stadium.
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