The 11th ranked Red Raiders had an extremely successful week playing and winning five home games. This team has been crushing their opponents this season. Over the course of 9 games, Tech has scored 77 runs and allowed only 24. Tech hitters are batting .315 on the year to opponents .188. TTU has hit 9 homers and allowed 3.
When this week’s rankings come out, this team should be in everyone’s top 10. The week began with a Tuesday home opener single game against New Mexico State. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Tech would score 15 unanswered runs to win 15-1.
Orlando Garcia went ballistic on the NMSU pitchers, notching 4 hits, a 3-run homer and a grand slam.
Game 1 of the Cal series breezed by since the first six innings only took about an hour to complete. Through 7 the game was tied 1-1 but in the bottom of the 9th things got nuts.
Ryan Long and Michael Berglund walked to lead off the inning bringing up the OG Orlando Garcia. Tadlock made a decision I vehemently disagree with to send his hottest hitter up to bunt, even on an 0-2 count.
Garcia got the bunt down, not a great one, and the catcher got to it easily. He had a play on the runner at third, but well overthrew his target allowing 2 runs to score giving Tech a very late lead.
Saturday’s early game was a weird one, fueled by Hunter Hargrove’s bat, Steven Gingery’s 7 shutout innings, and a couple of balks. The big blow came off Ryan Long’s 3-run sixth inning homer.
That second game of the double header was the closest of the week. Ryan Shetter pitched brilliantly, striking out 10 Golden Bears in 6.2 innings and allowing just 1 run. Tech took a 2-1 lead into the top of the 9th, but would lose it as a run scored on a balk.
Into the bottom of the 11th inning the game was still tied 2-2. Ryan Long led off with a single and was promptly bunted to second base. Orlando Garcia was walked intentionally walked. Tadlock brought in freshman catcher Michael Berglund to pinch hit. Berglund got the job done, singling through the right side to score the walk off run.
Sunday’s series finale was an even contest until the bottom of the fifth inning came. The Red Raiders broke the 2-2 tie by scoring 4 runs in the half inning all coming on one grand slam from Hunter Hargrove. Tech scored 4 more in the seventh and 1 for good measure in the eighth inning to finish the game winning 11-2.
Other offensive stars of the day included Grant Little, who went 3-3 with 2 walks and Tanner Gardner’s first multi-hit performance of the year. Tech is 8-1 this season against good competition even though last year’s offensive juggernaut Gardner has been a non-factor so far this season.
This team is a legitimate contender, fueled by an overpowering offense and a stout starting rotation. The top 3 in Gingery, Martin, and Shetter have pitched 6 starts. They have combined for 39.2 innings, 41 Ks, 5 BBs and 7 runs.
In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, Texas Tech might have its best team yet under coach Tadlock. It’s too early to tell but every sign so far this year is coming up scarlet.