Red Raiders' Big Innings Lead to Victory Over BYU
Feb. 24, 2011
LUBBOCK, Texas - A three-run seventh inning - sparked by the eventual game-winning hit by Nick Popescu - led Texas Tech to a 7-4 victory over BYU in the first game of the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic at Dan Law Field Thursday evening.
Both teams combined used 12 pitchers, but it was the Texas Tech (5-0) bullpen that guided the Red Raiders to their second 5-0 start in as many years. BYU (1-3) hit two home runs, but were never allowed more than one run in an inning.
Tech reliever Zach Fowler (1-0) earned his first career win pitching 1.0 inning in relief with two strikeouts. Junior right-handed pitcher John Neely pitched in the eighth and ninth innings (1.2 IP) to collect his second consecutive save.
Offensively, Texas Tech was led by Reid Redman (2-for-3, 3 RBI) and Popescu (2-for-5, RBI).
Clinging to a three-run lead in the eighth, Neely came in with a runner at second base and got a groundout to second base and then struck out pinch hitter Dillon Robinson to end the threat. He also escaped in the ninth inning where the Cougars left runners at the corners when the final out was caught in center field by Barrett Barnes off the bat of shortstop Andrew Law.
Texas Tech grabbed a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning on Redman's two-out, two-run double to left-center field to drive in first baseman Stephen Hagen and designated hitter Mason Randolph, who doubled and walked in the inning, respectively.
BYU tied the score at three in the sixth with a solo home run to left field by catcher Alex Wolfe. The Cougars' lead wouldn't last long as Redman struck again with an infield single that drove in Hagen to tie the score at four.
Tech then used three relievers who held BYU to one run on five hits the rest of the way while the Red Raiders scored three runs in the seventh inning to take the lead for good. Popescu doubled down the left-field line for the eventual game-winning RBI as Barnes came around to score giving Tech a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Texas Tech and BYU will meet again on Friday, Feb. 25, at 5 p.m. in the second day of competition at the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic. BYU will also be in action during the first game on Friday as they face Northern Illinois at 1 p.m. at Dan Law Field.