Coming into the weekend TCU was 2 games ahead of both West Virginia and Tech in the conference standings. It was a pivotal series that the Red Raiders really could not afford to lose to stay in the Big 12 race.
Game 1 - Friday Night
With Davis Martin still on the shelf, Erikson Lanning got the start against Nick Lodolo in the series opener. It was a great night for baseball at Dan Law, but quickly turned into the Lodolo show. Nick would cruise through the first three innings, allowing just a single that was wiped out by a double play. However, the command struggles from the Albuquerque series continued to haunt the Tech pitchers as a hit batter and wild pitch allowed a Luken Baker single to score a TCU run. Then in the top of the fourth a double, passed ball, and single scored another. In the bottom of the inning Tech would answer with a sacrifice RBI but that would be it for the Red Raiders. Lodolo went 8 strong innings and at this point it looked like the hot Red Raider bats were cooled off. The highlight of the game for Tech on Friday night was freshman John McMillon striking out Luken Baker on 3 straight 98+ mph fastballs.
With 2 on and 1 out, Luken Baker came to the plate for TCU. @TTU_Baseball RHP John McMillon struck him out on 3 straight 98 mph fastballs.— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) April 29, 2017
Final score: Tech 1 TCU 4
Erikson Lanning - 4.0 IP, 4H, 2R, 2BB, 2K (Loss)
Nick Lodolo - 8.0 IP, 4H, 1R, 3BB, 4K (Win)
Game 2 - Saturday Afternoon
It was a cool/cold, windy, and rainy day on Saturday. There was snow in the panhandle that was threatening to dip down into Lubbock county but it never did. Instead it was just a cold day that kept more than a few fans from attending the game. The Tech bats didn;t light up in the weather, but they did manage to score in the bottom of the first on a couple of walks and wild pitch. Tech-killer Luken Baker hit a solo shot to make it 2-1 TCU, and added a rather emphatic bat-flip. The next time he was up, he took a fastball to the ribs or chest area. If that was intentional, we don;t know, but Gingery may have wanted to send a message. By the third inning the rain definitely picked up and the pitchers mound, being the only natural surface of the field was starting to get muddy enough that Gingery had the scrape it out of his cleats. The managers and umpires decided to call the game, resuming Sunday at 11:00.
The weather delay was the entire turning point of the series. The Red Raider bats woke up, and a solo shot by McMillon followed by a three run blast from Klein would seal the victory for Tech, evening up the series, and setting up for what most would have thought would be a great game.
Final Score: Tech 6 TCU 4
Caleb Killian - 3.1 IP, 3H, 2R, 2BB, 1K (Win)
Charles King - 3.0IP, 7H, 5R, 2BB, 3K
Game 3 - Sunday Afternoon
Game 3 started out looking like it would be a high scoring affair on both sides. TCU grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the first that Tech answered with three of their own. Then Ryan Shetter took over and shut down the Frogs. McMillon led off the 3rd inning and obliterated a ball way over the center field fence.
The shot was an omen of things to come for Tech as the Red Raiders absolutely destroyed TCU, scoring 21 (!!!) runs over 6 innings before the game was called due to runs scored. Yes, Tech run-ruled TCU. The only Tech players to not have an RBI were the two pitchers that were used. The Red Raiders had four doubles, a triple, and four home runs, and they only came up to bat in six innings. All six TCU pitchers allowed at least two hits and two runs, including Dalton Horton who gave up 3 hits and 3 runs with no outs on just eight pitches. The Tech bats were alive today, and made a statement on a nationally televised game against a perennial Omaha participant.
Final Score :Tech 21 TCU 3
Ryan Shetter - 5.0IP, 6H, 2R, 5BB, 6K (Win)
Brian Howard - 2.1IP, 5H, 7R, 3BB, 3K (Loss)
Other Big 12 Weekend Series Results
Texas over OSU 2-0
Baylor over Kansas 2-1
Oklahoma over West Virginia 2-1
With the Sooners taking the series over the Mountaineers, Tech now sits a single game ahead of West Virginia and a game back of TCU.