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Five Thoughts on Texas Tech's 5-3 Loss to TCU

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A recap of Sunday's loss in the College World Series opener

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

1. Tanner Gardner is the man. The CF scored Texas Tech's first run of the afternoon on a Corey Raley double. Gardner motored around the bases all the way from first, barely beating the tag. He drove in the second run of the day, scoring Tyler Floyd on a double down the right field line. He battled through an apparent hamstring injury as well, which hopefully doesn’t linger into Tuesday’s matchup.

2. Missed opportunities. In the 4th inning, a few fielding mistakes led to a TCU run. Floyd lost a pop up in the sun, and the batter eventually reached base. Michael Davis misplayed a hop at second base and Tyler Neslony was apparently caught off guard when a TCU base runner tagged up at third base and scored. At the plate, the Red Raiders left five runners in scoring position on base. Tech will have to clean up these mistakes moving forward if they want to keep winning.

3. Smith and Neslony struggling. Two of Texas Tech's biggest bats need to wake up. RF Stephen Smith and LF Tyler Neslony combined to go 0-9 at the plate, including a handful of strikeouts. These two are crucial in the top of the lineup and in the middle of the lineup, respectively, if Tech wants to produce a lot of runs.

4. The long ball killed us. “Thank you, Captain Obvious”. Four of TCU’s five runs came off a pair of home runs. Just goes to show how a couple big swings of the bat can totally change the dynamic of a game. If Texas Tech could just take back those two pitches, we could be talking about a completely different postseason.

5. The curse of TCU. This is the third time in a third sport that TCU has dashed Texas Tech’s hopes. In football, TCU scored a miraculous last second touchdown on a 4th and goal as the Red Raiders were on the verge of upsetting a top five team. In basketball, TCU upset Texas Tech in the Big 12 tournament, likely harming Tech’s seeding in the NCAA tournament. And today, they smacked a three run homer when the Red Raiders were two outs away from starting the tournament 1-0 and recording their first ever victory in the College World Series.