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Texas Tech wins its Regional opener against New Mexico State

Strong pitching and offense helped propel the Red Raiders to a 9-2 victory.

In a scorching hot Lubbock Regional opener, the No. 1 seed Texas Tech Red Raiders (40-17) won its third game this season against the No. 4 seed New Mexico State Aggies (40-21), 9-2.

The Red Raiders had a strong first inning against senior, All-American pitcher Jonathan Groff. Sophomore Josh Jung started the inning with a single up the middle and sophomore Grant Little followed with a double to left-center field, scoring Jung from first. Senior Zach Rheams came up to the plate and homered the first pitch he saw, making the game 3-0.

The Aggies added a run in the top of the third inning with a solo shot over the left field fence by sophomore Joey Ortiz, but the Red Raiders got the run back in the bottom of the third inning when junior Cameron Warren ripped an RBI-single to left-center field, scoring Jung from second. Senior Michael Davis kept the inning going with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Rheams and putting the Red Raiders up 5-1 over the Aggies.

Little began the bottom of the fifth inning with a five-pitch walk. After giving up five earned runs and two walks, New Mexico State took out Groff and brought in senior left-handed pitcher Matthew Perea, who faced the Red Raiders in both previous matchups this season. Perea struck out the next three batters to end the fifth.

After the Aggies gave up walks to both Little and Rheams, the Red Raiders, who had not had a hit since the fourth inning, finally got one in the bottom of the seventh when Warren hit a single to left field, scoring Little from second.

Davis then hit a double off the center field wall to score both Rheams and Warren to make it 8-1. Junior Cody Farhat kept the runs going with a single to right field, scoring Davis from second. The Red Raiders added four runs on three hits in the inning, taking a 9-1 lead over New Mexico State.

The Red Raiders put sophomore Dane Haveman on the mound in the top of the eighth, but after a walk was issued to the first New Mexico State batter of the inning, sophomore Connor Queen entered to pitch. Queen gave up three hits but got out of the inning with a 5-4-3 double play.

The Aggies scored a run to make it 9-2 but couldn’t make take advantage of the bases being loaded with one out. Connor Queen retired the Aggies in order to end the game and help the Red Raiders improve to 40-17 on the season.

Strong pitching for Texas Tech helped clinch the win today and it started with senior Dylan Dusek. Dusek got the start for the Red Raiders on the mound and pitched two scoreless innings, only allowing two hits.

Junior Ryan Shetter came in relief for Dusek, who re-aggravated a blister on his hand, in the top of the third inning. Shetter threw for five innings, only allowed one run on three hits, gave up one walk and struck out five, giving him another win on the season.

The Red Raiders will play the winner between No. 2 seed Louisville (43-17) and No. 3 Seed Kent State (39-16), tomorrow at 7 p.m.