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Red Raiders top Sooners on a walk-off balk

Streaky hitting, a great bullpen performance, and a bit of luck put the Red Raiders over the Sooners.

Nikopoia

Texas Tech entered this weekend with their eyes towards making headway on the conference leaders, but stumbled out of the gate. Davis Martin struggled to close out innings, and Oklahoma executed with two outs and runners in scoring position. All the credit in the world to the Sooners though, Jake Irvin went 8th innings and spun an absolute gem. Anytime you throw 115 pitches, and 79 are for strikes - you’re zoned in. But, despite his great performance the Sooners couldn’t hold down the Red Raiders all game.

Despite their poor hitting performance, the Texas Tech bullpen put the team in a position to win allowing only two runs over the final six frames. Jose Quezada was especially outstanding in 3 innings, and we got one good inning from John Henry Gonzalez. Equally, Caleb Freeman did his part in the 9th to give us a chance to win/tie. But, Ty Harpenau earned the win pitching the 10th inning.

So it typically goes, things did get interesting in the 9th inning. Grant Little legged out an infield single, and Tim Tadlock made the difficult decision to pinch hit Zach Rheams (who had gone yard earlier in the game), for freshman Cody Masters. But, it wound up paying off as Cody Masters did his absolute best to bunt the ball, but the Sooner freshman Levi Prater couldn’t get a strike over. With runners on 1st and 2nd, up strolled Cam Warren. Oklahoma made the call to the bullpen once again, and brought on Austen Hansen. Yet, Warren flew out to left-center, and Skip Johnson went to lefty specialist Braidyn Fink to face Michael Davis. If you’re counting, that’s three pitchers to get one out...regardless, Fink walks Davis on four pitches - and up strolled Cody Farhat with the bases loaded and one out. Naturally, the Sooners made their fourth call to the bullpen to finally bring in their closer, Connor Berry. Berry walked home the tying run, but third baseman Brylie Ware made a game saving play to send this one to extra innings.

To start the 10th inning, Harpenau was outstanding, but did allow a run to make Red Raider fans nervous heading into the bottom inning. Naturally, Oklahoma went to the bullpen AGAIN, bringing in their first baseman of all people. Shockingly, he was wild, and allowed several base runners. An RBI ground out by Grant Little allowed the tying run to score, and brought Cody Masters to the plate....the rest is history. A clearly shaken Cavalli balked home Josh Jung - Red Raiders win.

If you had told me our top five hitters would go 5/27, I’d confidently tell you that we were likely to be blown out. But, that wasn’t the case today. Despite their accolades, it’s uncommon to see a staff hold down a lineup as potent as Texas Tech’s down for nine innings. Give us 10 innings? We’ll tend to come through.

Catch the Red Raiders tomorrow at 2pm CST. Caleb Killian will toe the rubber, against Devon Perez for Oklahoma.