|Date||Start Time||Texas Tech
|2.19.10||4:00 p.m.||Chad Bettis
|Malcom Thomas-Jacksonville St.
|2.20.10||4:00 p.m.||Brett Bruening
|2.21.10||11:00 p.m.||Louis Head
LF - Michael Reed (Sr.); CF - Taylor Ashby (Sr.); RF - Barrett Barnes (Fr.)
SS - Joey Kenworthy (Sr.) 2ND - Garrett Totten (So.);
3RD - Nick Popescu (Jr.) 1ST - Stephen Hagen (Jr.)
C - Jeremy Mayo (So.)
DH - Scott LeJeune (So.)
*Click on the score for boxscore. Texas Tech series preview (pdf).
The Game: Another solid pitching performance and some clutch hitting by a senior leads the way for a 4-2 win over Michigan. Starter P Bobby Doran (5.0 IP; 4 H; 2 ER; 1 BB; 4 SO) was solid in his starting debut for Texas Tech, throwing over 60% of his pitches for strikes. Perhpas even more impressive was the work of reliever P Brett Bruening, who earned the win (3.0 IP; 0 H; 0 ER; 1 BB; 3 SO). For those of you who followed Texas Tech baseball last year, you know that other that the work of Bettis, this team struggled mightily from the bullpen, especially from a consistency standpoint. P Jay Johnson (1.0 IP; 0 H; 0 ER; 0 BB; 0 SO) grabbed his first save of the year.
For those of you keeping track, all three pitchers who had a hand in yesterday's win are all newcomers, who have a pretty good pedigree as Doran was drafted in the 36th round, Bruening 35th round, and Johnson in the 25th round in last year's MLB draft. Spencer is doing his part ot attract talent to the South Plains, let's hope that this keeps up this year.
Offensively, CF Taylor Ashby broke the game open in the botton of the 8th inning as 3B Nick Popescu singled to left, C Jeremy Mayo walked and Ashby tripled to right field breaking open an 2-2 tie. Sophomore DH Scott LeJeune (1-4; 1 RBI) and freshman RF/1B Barrett Barnes (1-3; 1 R; 1 RBI) also each had an RBI early in the game.
One more note, through 2 games this year, this team has 0 errors. That's a big statistic to watch as the season moves forward. This was a pretty awful fielding team last year and if it can get relatively error free ball, then this is going to be a much better team.
Recaps: LAJ's George Watson focuses on the pitching:
The rest was left up to the pitching staff, and it came through beautifully, holding a Michigan (2-1) team that had racked up 32 runs in its first two games to just two and not allowing a hit after the second inning.
Starter Bobby Doran, a junior right-hander, gave up a couple of early runs but settled down to toss five effective innings, scattering four hits and just one walk with four strikeouts. He was taken out before the start of the sixth inning after throwing 83 pitches, 31 of which came in the first two innings. From the third through fifth, he retired eight of the last nine batters he faced.
"It felt good to get out there and get the first one over with," Doran said. "I definitely settled down after the first couple (innings). I got into a groove and felt ready to go. I wasn’t struggling with anything, it was more or less just getting acclimated."
Doran turned it over to junior right-hander Brett Bruening in the sixth, and Bruening responded with three shutout innings, walking one and striking out three. Johnson, a junior left-hander, then closed it out with a perfect ninth for his first save as a Red Raider.
Official site Post Game Quotes:
On the team's performance:
"There was some frustration there for a little bit because we ran around the bases like we didn't know what was going on a little bit. I know we could have gotten some more pitches thrown to us, scored a few extra runs if we had taken care of that. We had dominant pitching from those three guys tonight. They were outstanding. We played great defense and when you do that, you have a chance to win even if you don't hit well offensively. The home crowd really helped us. Taylor Ashby, Mr. Reliable, with two outs and men on base, he nailed one. That's the script. We would have liked to have a few more runs but that was exciting win. It was a well-played game from both clubs this early in the year."