Texas Tech’s great season came to an end after a 9-6 loss to the Florida Gators. The Red Raiders ended with a record of 45-20 and went 1-2 in the College World Series.
It was a slow start for the teams as both went scoreless until the fourth inning. However, it wasn’t without another highlight catch by Grant Little, who twice robbed Florida’s Deacon Liput of extra bases.
Jonathan India was the first runner to score for Florida in the fourth after walking, stealing second and advancing to third and home on wild pitches. Florida would score two more in the fifth and sixth innings on an RBI-double by Liput, an RBI-groundout by Nelson Maldonado and a two-run homer by JJ Schwarz.
Cameron Warren would give the Red Raiders some life in the bottom of the seventh with a long double to left-centerfield. Braxton Fulford followed with a one-out single to left advancing Warren to third. Florida would go the bullpen for lefty pitcher Andrew Baker. Baker walked Gabe Holt, the first batter he saw, and Brian Klein sent a single to shallow center to score Warren, making it 5-1.
In the same inning, Florida changed pitchers, going with right-hander Tommy Mace. Josh Jung kept the sequence going with a one-out liner right over Florida second baseman Blake Reese to score Fulford. Little hit a hard grounder to Liput, who misplayed the ball scoring Holt and making it 5-3. The Gators would change pitchers yet again, putting in Jordan Butler who Texas Tech saw in its first game against Florida. Butler would get a strike out and fly out to end the bases-loaded threat.
In the top of the eighth, Wil Dalton hit a leadoff double to left center and Schwarz advanced Dalton to third on a slow groundout to Klein. A sac fly would score another runner for Florida. Reese then hit a double to left field and Brady Smith tripled to bring in Reese. Nick Horvath hit a line drive single right over Michael Davis to score Smith, making it 8-3. Connor Queen would get out of the inning with a foul ball flyout.
Texas Tech scored three runs in the eighth, starting with a walk to Warren. After Holt singled up the middle and Klein walked, the bases were loaded for Jung, who hit an RBI-single to right. Florida would go to its top closer in Michael Byrne, who the Red Raiders also saw in the previous matchup.
Byrne left a pitch up in the zone and Little took advantage of it hitting a two-RBI single to left. The score would be 8-6 going into the ninth, but that would be all for the Red Raiders. The Gators added one more run in the ninth on an error to make it 9-6, which would be the final score as the Red Raiders couldn’t answer.
Caleb Kilian started on the mound for the Red Raiders. He went 4.1 innings giving up three earned runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out four Gators. Ty Harpenau replaced Kilian on the mound and pitched for 1.2 innings. Harpenau allowed two earned runs on four hits and struck out a batter.
Caleb Freeman also pitched for 1.2 innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits and struck out a batter. Dane Haveman came in and pitched to one batter to allow Connor Queen to warm up in the bullpen. In his short outing, Queen gave up one hit and no earned runs. Righty John McMillon would close the game for the Red Raiders. McMillon struck out one and gave up no runs.
Freshman Jack Leftwich got the start on the mound for the Gators. Over 6.1 innings, he gave up two earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out five. Andrew Baker, Tommy Mace and Jordan Butler would all come in to pitch in the seventh inning only giving up one run all together. Hunter McMullen came in for Butler and gave up three earned runs on two hits. Michael Byrne closed for the Gators and allowed no earned runs and one hit.
Congratulations to the Red Raiders on a great season!!!