Oklahoma baseball appears to have been underrated. Going into this series, the only relatively good teams OU played were Georgia Tech, who beat them, and Baylor, from whom they took two of three in Waco.
Eventually Tech was going to drop a series, but this might just be the one to drop if they were forced to pick one. Looking at the schedule, this appears to be the toughest road series of the season for the Red Raiders.
Tuesday’s game against Texas Southern was slated as a bullpen start as Erikson Lanning took the mound for 3 innings to start, followed by 2 innings from Jose Quezada, capped off by Ty Harpenau’s 4 inning save. The first two pitchers had scoreless outings, but Harpenau had a bit of a messy 9th inning, allowing 3 runs with an 8-1 lead that would finish 8-4 in favor of the Red Raiders.
Offensively the Red Raiders were led by Hunter Hargrove’s 2 RBI doubles, and John McMillon and Connor Beck’s homers.
The series finale on Wednesday saw Tech score at least one run in each of the first six innings in route to an offensive thumping of Texas Southern. Josh Jung, Hunter Hargrove, Michael Berglund, and Connor Beck each had 3 hits and 2 RBI on the day. Berglund hit his first long ball of the season and John McMillon hit a homer off the top of the scoreboard and closed out the 14-7 win on the mound.
With Davis Martin missing his start this weekend, Tim Tadlock turned to John Henry Gonzalez for the Friday start. Gonzalez lasted 4 innings where he walked 4, struck out none, and let in 3 runs.
At the plate the Red Raiders were over matched by Oklahoma’s Dylan Grove. In his 6 innings Grove limited Tech to 1 run on 2 hits. Though he walked 6, Grove was able to work around it by striking out 11 batters. Tech would lose the opener 6-2.
Tadlock this season has done an excellent job at helping his team bounce back after a tough loss. After that anemic loss in Arlington, Tech rebounded with 10 straight wins. With Gingery on the mound for Saturday’s game, things looked good for the club.
Steven Gingery’s magnificent season continued with another dominant outing Saturday. In his 6 innings, Gingery allowed only 4 hits, 1 walk, while striking out 10 without letting up a run. The bullpen was a bit shaky and gave up 4 runs in their three innings, but the offense gave them enough cushion to do so without causing too much panic.
Texas Tech’s offense was spurred on by multi-hit games from Michael Berglund, Grant Little, Orlando Garcia, and Cody Farhat. The sophomore from Plano had 4 hits, a double, a run, and 3 RBI. Tech would overpower the Sooners on their way to a 9-4 win.
With the series tied, Sunday’s rubber match held a lot of weight for these teams still early in conference play. Ryan Shetter took the hill in Sunday’s game looking to win their first Big 12 road series of the year.
That first inning proved to be crucial in the game. Shetter got the first two outs and walked one batter in between. A two out walk prolonged the inning long enough to let the next two batters drive in 3 runs giving the Sooners an early 3 run lead.
Orlando Garcia hit a lead off double to start the third inning and would eventually come around to score Tech’s first run of the day. Leading off the inning, Berglund launched his second homer of the season. With two outs, Tech put together a big rally, as they’ve been known to this season, and scored 2 more runs to take a 4-3 lead.
Shetter settled down after the first and threw 3 shutout innings then was taken out before the fifth inning. Jacob Patterson took over in the fifth and let up a run on an error, a single, and a fielder’s choice which tied the game at 4.
Neither side would score again until Jose Quezada allowed a walkoff homer in the ninth inning to second baseman Kyle Mendenhall. OU won 5-4 and took the series 2-1.
Tanner Gardner missed this entire series with the ankle injury he sustained in Wednesday’s contest. Stepping up big time in his place was sophomore Cody Farhat. The center fielder had a four hit game in the middle game of the OU series and notched at least one hit in every game in which he registered an at bat in these two series.
Hitter of the week: Cody Farhat stepped up and filled in when one of Tech’s best players sustained an injury before a big series. Tech may not have won, but Farhat was a key contributor in keeping that series so close.
Pitcher of the week: Steven Gingery keeps producing gem after gem this season, few have been bigger than the one he threw Saturday against OU. It’s hard to say where the Red Raiders would be without their ace this season, but lets be thankful we don’t have to see for ourselves.