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Red Raider Hardball :: Texas Tech Loses to Rice in the 9th

Texas Tech (7-4) vs. TCU (6-1), Rice (5-4) and Houston (2-5)
Location: Minute Maid Park : Houston, TX
Radio: Affiliates
Date Start Time Texas Tech
Starting Pitcher
Starting Pitcher
3.5.10 12:00 p.m. Chad Bettis
L, 2-1
Steven Maxwell-TCU
W, 3-0
L: 2-11
3.6.10 7:00 p.m. Jay Johnson
L, 0-2
Matthew Reckling-Rice
W, 1-0
L: 2-3
3.7.10 2:30 p.m. TBA
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: A tough, well-played game where the starting pitcher only gives up 2 runs in over 7 innings. It's a loss, a tough loss in the 9th inning, but I'll take a tough competitive performance in non-conference play. Still, this team needs a win today against Houston. SP Bobby Doran (7.0 IP; 7 H; 2 ER; 0 BB; 5 SO) was tremendous from the mound, but the bullpen gave up the lead in the 9th inning as closer Jay Johnson (1.2 IP; 1 H; 1 ER; 2 BB; 2 SO) lost his second game of the year. The only worrisome part is that Johnson is supposed to be this team's closer and I hope that he's learning from his mistakes. At the heart of Johnson's problems was starting off the 9th inning by issuing a walk, hitting a batter, and then Rice manufactured a run. The offense was even more quiet than it was yesterday, managing only two hits for the game. Little used RF Bonham Hough (1-4; 2 RBI; 1 R; 1 HR) homered with CF Taylor Ashby on base for Texas Tech's only runs of the game.

Recaps: LAJ's George Watson has the recap:

Trailing 2-0, Tech tied the game in the seventh when senior outfielder Bonham Hough crushed a two-run home run to left after senior outfielder Taylor Ashby drew a two-out walk. The Red Raiders then put the go-ahead run at third with less than one out when senior shorstop Joey Kenworthy walked, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch.

But Rice reliever Craig Manuel rallied to end the threat by striking out sophomore designated hitter Scott LeJeune and getting junior catcher Jeremy Mayo to pop up to end the inning. Rice then got the go-ahead run in the ninth against Tech closer Jay Johnson (0-2). The junior left-hander gave up a leadoff walk to Jeremy Rathjen and hit Anthony Rendon. Chad Mozingo then hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Rendon and kept the double play in order, but Hague fisted an inside pitch from Johnson just over the infield into shallow left to score Rathjen.

The loss wasted another solid performance by Tech starter Bobby Doran, who took his third straight no-decision in as many starts.

Official Site Post Game Quotes (link):

Head Coach Dan Spencer Opening Statement:
That's a tough game to lose. We got back in the game and we had a runner on third in the eighth with less than two outs and had the guy we wanted hitting and their guy made a pitch and our guy struck out. We didn't get a lot of hits. We had some opportunities because I thought we were patient with their left-hander and got some walks and had some runners on base.

We gave ourselves some opportunities to maybe lose some battles early but win the war in the end and we just didn't finish it outside of Bonham (Hough) really jumping a ball and really getting us going, getting us even. Offensively, we were average at best, but we really pitched well. Bobby (Doran) gave us a chance to win and Jay kept us in the game in the eighth and it came down to giving them a couple of free bases in the ninth and a bloop single makes us pay.

SS Joey Kenworthy on the level of competition at the Houston College Classic::
I think what we saw was that's the difference between being good and being great. Spence told us in the postgame talk that you can be good if you want, but if you want to be great you have to win late in ballgames and be clutch in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings like they did.