Butler, Smith Lead Tech To 15-7 Romp Of Texas-Arlington
Feb. 24, 2006
MIDLAND, Texas - Texas Tech erased a four-run deficit with six runs in the fourth inning and got stellar relief from Zach Butler as the Red Raiders rolled to a 15-7 win over Texas-Arlington on Friday evening in the Cox Communications Midland Collegiate Classic.
Texas Tech improves to 8-3 overall and has now won five straight games. Texas-Arlington falls to 3-6 on the season and is 0-2 in tournament play after falling to Oral Roberts 8-7 earlier this afternoon.
Junior left-hander Aaron Odom struggled in his second straight outing and Texas-Arlington made him pay with a five-run second inning. Odom, who lasted just two innings on Sunday against St. John's, didn't get out of the second after he surrendered five runs on five hits, one walk and lasted just 34 pitches.
The Red Raiders clawed back with a pair of runs in the second and third innings that pulled Tech within three (5-2). Junior shortstop Kyle Martin plated Tech's first run of the game with an RBI single in the second. A fielding error by UTA third baseman Colin Booher in the third, led to the Red Raiders' second run of the game as Joey Callender was able to score from second.
The game completely changed in the bottom of the fourth on Booher's second error of the evening. With runners at first and third and two outs, Tech junior designated hitter Tyler Reves hit a routine ground ball to Booher but his throw to second went sailing over the head Daniel Reider. Booher's defensive miscue eventually led to five unearned runs as the Red Raiders took an 8-6 lead. Freshman Roger Kieschnick put Tech in the lead with an RBI single to center that scored Matt Smith.
After UTA added a run in the top of the fifth, Tech came right back and extended its lead with two runs in the bottom half of the frame. Reves made the Mavericks pay for drawing in its infield as he laced a two RBI single just past the shortstop that gave the Red Raiders a 10-7 advantage.
Sophomore catcher Matt Smith picked up his second and third RBI in the bottom of the seventh with a single to shallow center field. Smith's two-RBI single extended Tech's lead to 12-7.
Despite Tech's offensive outburst, the game MVP was undoubtedly senior reliever Zach Butler. Butler (1-0), who made his first appearance of the season, tossed a career-high six innings of relief allowing just one run on four hits. Prior to tonight's game, his longest career outing was 2 2/3 innings that he logged on two different occasions last season. UTA starter Austin Bridges took his first loss of the year after giving up eight runs on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings. Only one of the eight runs surrendered on the evening by Bridges was earned thanks to two defensive errors.
The Red Raiders will try and finish the Cox Communications Midland Collegiate Classic with an undefeated record on Saturday afternoon when they face Oral Roberts in the finale. First pitch at Citibank Ballpark is set for 5 p.m.
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