What a game. What a series.
The Texas Tech baseball team had to fight for 27 consecutive innings against Oklahoma State, but at the end of the day it was Dane Haveman’s fastball that caught Colin Simpson swinging and clinched a College World Series appearance for the Red Raiders in an 8-6 shootout.
Bryce Bonnin got the start for the Red Raiders tonight and was able to stretch out nearly five innings of work for the second time this postseason. He allowed three runs, however his six strikeouts kept Oklahoma State’s dangerous lineup in check for the first two lineup cycles. In that time, Tech managed to pick up three runs, taking what was at the time a 3-1 lead on a Josh Jung solo homer, which would foreshadow what was to come.
Braxton Fulford would hit his fourth homerun of the season in the 5th to take a 4-3 lead, however Oklahoma State would respond with an unanswered homer by Cade Cabbiness in the top of the 7th. The homer combined with two runs in the top of the 8th put the Pokes up 6-4. John McMillon was at the mound for both homers in the 7th and 8th, however his fastball-breaking ball combo was lethal last night, as he struck out six in three innings of work, and did not allow a single hit aside from the two homers.
Josh Jung brought Tech back within one with his 14th homerun of the season and second on the day, while both Cameron Warren and Cody Masters walked following Jung. Max Marusak came in as a pinch runner for Warren and was able to advance to third off a stolen base and a fielding error from the Cowboys. Unsurprisingly, Oklahoma State kept their dependable closer in Ben Leeper on the mound to navigate a two on, no out jam in the 8th. Dru Baker struck out but brought Masters to second and Kurt Wilson to the plate. Wlson went to 1-1 in the count, and then this happened:
The deep shot was Wilson’s fourth home run of the season and Tech was able to take an 8-6 lead to the top of the 9th. Haveman came in to replace McMillon after a four pitch walk sequence that featured a wild pitch. Haveman walked his first batter in Cabbiness, however he would retire the first three batters in Oklahoma State’s lineup with a series of clutch pitches to seal the win for the Red Raiders.
This win sends Tech to its fourth College World Series in six years, and it marks the ninth win against Oklahoma State in the last ten matches. Tech will face Michigan, who defeated top-seeded UCLA. Stay tuned to Viva The Matadors for more detailed analysis of this elite baseball program, and enjoy yet another huge win for Texas Tech athletics!