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Mar. 30, 1997

Baseball Wins Crucial Big 12 Series

Texas Tech defeats Oklahoma State to remain in league lead

LUBBOCK, Texas -- In the third and deciding game in their series with Oklahoma State, Texas Tech topped the Cowboys, 7-6, in front of a home crowd of 3,913 and took over first place in the Big 12.

Catcher Josh Bard celebrated his 19th birthday on Sunday by hitting a three run homerun in the first inning to give Texas Tech a 3-1 lead. The round-tripper was the third of the series for the Red Raider catcher, who is batting .500 with five homeruns in his last seven games.

Oklahoma State tied the game in the top of the second inning on a two run homerun by designated hitter Ryan Folmar that scored Tony Roossien.

Texas Tech regained the lead in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI double by designated hitter Joe Dillon that scored Shane Langen from first base. The Red Raiders then extended their lead to 7-3 in the fourth inning when Langen doubled to score Jason Huth and Jess Oliveras, and Joe Dillon grounded out to third scoring Keith Ginter.

After losing starter Monty Ward with two out in the third inning, a quartet of Raider relievers came on to hold Oklahoma State to three runs over the final seven innings. Brad Ralston worked the final four innings and allowed only one run on five hits to get the win.

"If they were going to get a hit, it was going to be on one of my best pitches," Ralston said. "I really had a good slider today. I was able to get it down in the zone and they were going to have to hit my best pitch."

The largest crowd for a series in the history of Dan Law Field (12,835) witnessed as Texas Tech battled back to win thrillers on Saturday (12-10) and Sunday (7-6) after dropping the series opener 6-4 on Friday night. Oklahoma's loss to Texas on Sunday puts the Red Raiders atop the Big 12 standings at 25-4 and 9-3 in conference play.

"You have to respect our effort today," Texas Tech coach Larry Hays said. "We overcame a lot of obstacles in this series. OSU just keeps sending guys who can change the outcome with just one swing. They are an awesome hitting club. We weren't mentally prepared but we made the right plays at the right time."

Oklahoma State   120 002 001    6-10-1
Texas Tech       301 300 00x    7- 9-0
Jon Adkins, Elvin Nina (5); Monty Ward, Jeff Peck (3), Shane
Wright (5), Zach Stewart (6), Brad Ralston (6). WP -- Ralston
(3-1); LP -- Adkins (5-4). 

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