After Tuesday night’s game against New Mexico was cancelled due to weather, the Red Raiders traveled to Austin to open Big 12 play against the Longhorns. Texas Tech was hoping to retain their winning streak in Austin, but were unable to pull out a series win.
While the Red Raiders held the lead for four innings on Friday, they met calamity late. Starting pitcher Erik Lanning had no problem through the first three innings of the game. In the fourth, however, he allowed his first hit of the evening. Junior Dane Haveman received the loss. He replaced Lanning in the sixth, while Micah Dallas closed out the game. The Red Raiders, who outhit the Longhorns 7-5, did all of its damage with two outs in the third inning, but they failed to get a runner on base through the last four innings of the game. Junior Josh Jung drew one of his two walks on the day to start the rally while a pair of walks behind him to load the bases for senior Cam Warren. Warren singled to drive in a pair of runs. He led the Red Raiders at bat on Friday, going 3-for-4 with two RBI. The loss snaps a five-game winning streak for the Red Raiders in Austin that dated back to 2015.
The Red Raiders evened out the series on Saturday recording a shutout against the Longhorns. Caleb Kilian and redshirt freshman Clayton Beeter came together to deliver the victory on the mound. Killian pitched a career-long seven innings while allowing only three hits with runners on base and two walks while striking out four. Beeter closed out the final two innings. He collected a career-high four strikeouts and earned his third save of the season. Both teams remained scoreless until a sacrifice fly from junior second baseman Brian Klein finally put the Red Raiders on the board in the eighth inning. Sophomore designated hitter Cody Masters delivered a clutch two-out single later in the inning solidifying the Red Raider victory. Saturday’s shutout marked Tech’s first shutout of Texas since a 1-0 win in 2013.
Saturday’s performance just made Sunday’s 4-3 loss even more heartbreaking. Freshman left-hand pitcher Mason Montgomery carried a no-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning, but that came to an end with a leadoff single up the middle from Texas. John McMillon received the loss, his first this season, after giving up two runs on two hits with a walk in an inning. Kurt Wilson finished the last two innings only allowing one hit and one run. Junior Josh Jung was first to score in the top of the fifth with a double that scored sophomore catcher Braxton Fulford. In the ninth, Jung also recorded a two-run home run that pulled Tech to within one run of Texas at 4-3. It was his first home run of the season. He reached base in 8-of-14 trips to the plate with a team-high five walks in the series. Sophomore Dylan Neuse went 2-for-5 on the day with a steal and a run. He led the Red Raiders at the plate over the weekend, hitting .455 with three walks, a pair of steals and three runs scored. Gabe Holt only had one hit on Sunday, but it was enough to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. By the end of the weekend, he had reached base safely in a career-best 32 straight games.
Overall, the Texas Tech Red Raiders outhit the Longhorns 22-10 for the series. Though the score didn’t show it, Tech pitchers held the Longhorns scoreless for 16 consecutive innings from Friday to Sunday. In the end, however, the Longhorns took the series in Austin this time around.
Next, the Red Raiders will return home for an extended weekend. They will host No. 23 Michigan and 2018 super-regional qualifier Stetson, for five games from Thursday through Monday. Thursday’s game is set for 6:30 p.m. against the Wolverines.