Red Raiders Sweep Midland College Classic, Down St. John's 7-5|
Feb. 18, 2007
MIDLAND, Texas - Texas Tech picked up its third consecutive sweep of the Midland College Classic as the Red Raiders defeated St. John's 7-5 on Sunday afternoon in the tournament finale at Citibank Ballpark.
The win pushes the Tech win streak to six games as the Red Raiders are now 7-3 on the season while St. John's falls to 0-3.
Senior left-hander Aaron Odom got off to a rocky start in the first inning and St. John's took full advantage by plating four runs on five hits and a walk to gain an early 4-0 lead. St. John's plated all four runs with two outs in the frame as Odom retired the first two hitters on a groundout and a strikeout.
Tech came firing back in the bottom half of the first inning with a four-run rally that gave Odom a fresh start heading into the second. The Red Raiders took advantage of two fielding errors in the inning by St. John's third baseman Daniel Rose and a wild pitch by starter Jared Yecker.
Odom settled down over the next three innings and Texas Tech was able to take the lead for good in the bottom half of the third. Matt Smith reached on a hit by pitch and Geoff Byrns moved him over to third with a double to right field. Junior left fielder Doug Thennis plated Smith with an RBI sacrifice fly to left that made the score 5-4.
Perfect execution in the bottom of the eighth led to a pair of needed insurance runs as Tech took a 7-4 lead on a safety squeeze bunt and an RBI groundout. Sophomore third baseman Ben Baker executed a perfect safety squeeze when he laid down a bunt in front of home plate that allowed Doug Thennis to score from third. Sophomore second baseman Willie Rueda's RBI groundout allowed Taylor Ashby to score the final run of the frame to give the Red Raiders a three-run cushion heading into the ninth.
Junior right-hander Collin Auten picked up his third save of the season by pitching the final two innings of the game, allowing just one unearned run and no hits. Senior Travis Young (1-0), a native of nearby Odessa, picked up his first career win at Texas Tech by tossing 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief.
Texas Tech will take the next four days off from action before opening a three-game series against Northern Illinois on Friday at Dan Law Field. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.