Texas Uses 4-Run Sixth Inning to Take Game One Against Texas Tech [PICS]
A fifth inning, 3-run homer from Texas Tech (17-14, 2-8 Big 12) 1B Scott LeJeune wasn’t enough for the Red Raiders as the Texas Longhorns (16-11, 6-1 Big 12) won game one of their weekend series 7-4 at Rip Griffin Park.
The Red Raiders struck first offensively, scoring a single run in the bottom of the third inning off of Texas starter Nathan Thornhill.
With one out in the inning, Brennan Moore hit a rope to deep left field. The Longhorns left fielder, Jonathan Walsh tried to track the ball down, but ended up running full speed into the wooden, non-padded, outfield wall (pictured). The ball trickled out to left center where center fielder Tim Maitland picked up the ball and fired it back into the infield to hold Moore to a double. The game was delayed several minutes as a collection of Texas players, coaches and their trainer ran out left field to check on Walsh. Walsh ended up staying in the game through the fifth inning.
Texas then took their first lead of the game in the top of the fifth. A bases loaded single by DH Taylor Stell scored Brooks Marlow. Then Tech pitcher Trey Masek walked in a run to make the score 2-1 Texas.
The Red Raiders then immediately answered in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Jamodrick McGruder tripled to right center. He barely beat the relay throw to third as he needed all of his speed to get around the bases. Augie Garrido then ordered an intentional walk to Barrett Barnes to set up a force at second with two outs.
So, with runners at first and third, it was 1B Scott LeJeune (pictured, right) going up against Texas starter Nathan Thornhill. Thornhill challenged LeJeune with multiple fastballs working the count to 1-2, plus a fourth pitch which was fouled off. However, at that point LeJeune had Thornhill timed and he deposited the next pitch beyond the right center field wall for a 3-run homer. LeJeune’s homer gave Tech a 4-2 lead after five innings.
However, the Tech lead would be short-lived as the Longhorns scored four runs in the sixth inning. A leadoff walk forced Dan Spencer to pull Masek for Brennan Stewart. However Stewart wasn’t able to keep the Longhorns at bay. A Brooks Marlow single scored two runs. Then Stewart was pulled for Rusty Shellhorn after giving up another single, and another run. Taylor Stell then doubled, plating Alex Silver from second.
The Longhorns added an insurance run in the seventh inning to seal up the 7-4 win.
Tech Head Coach Dan Spencer was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing with home plate umpire Mike Morris.
Texas starter Nathan Thornhill picked up the win and Corey Knebel pitched the final two innings for his sixth save of the season.
Reliever Brennan Stewart took the loss for Tech after getting three runs charged to him in the sixth inning.
Game 2 of the series is Friday night at 6:35p at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
Numerous photos from the game can be seen in the gallery below.