Blair Paces Tech To Rockhounds Classic Sweep|
Feb. 27, 2005
MIDLAND, Texas - Senior shortstop Cameron Blair went 6-for-10 with three home runs and eight RBI to help lead Texas Tech to wins over UTSA and New Mexico State on the final day of the Rockhounds College Classic at First American Bank Ballpark in Midland.
Texas Tech improved to 11-1 on the season after defeating UTSA 22-7 and New Mexico State 7-4. Tech's 11-1 start is the best for a Red Raider team since the 1997 squad also started the season at 11-1.
In the first game of the day against UTSA, Tech senior shortstop Cameron Blair and junior left fielder Chris Williams led off the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles and Blair scored the first run of the game on a wild pitch by UTSA starter Jason Vecchio. Junior right fielder Madison Edwards, the hero of last night's 5-3 win over Lamar, drove in Tech's Williams for the second run of the frame on a RBI groundout to first.
UTSA pulled to within one in the top of the second as the Roadrunners led off the frame with a single by Michael McKennon and a double down the right field line by Eric Moreno. McKennon scored the only run on a sacrifice fly by Lee Todesco that went to deep center field.
After allowing UTSA to tie the game on an unearned run in the top of the third, Texas Tech regained the lead (3-2) with a single run in the bottom half of the inning. Senior second baseman Carey Avants belted a one-out triple off the wall in right and then scored on an RBI groundout by junior first baseman Patrick Smart.
Tech blew the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth as the Red Raiders rang up 10 runs on six hits. The half inning, which lasted 38 minutes, featured a couple of two-RBI singles by third baseman Joey Callender and Madison Edwards while Blair went deep with a his third home run of the season. Blair's home run was a three-run blast that landed on the grass berm over the fence in left.
The Red Raiders added nine more runs over the next four innings including another home run by Blair. Blair hit a two-run homer to the exact same location as this three-run blast in the fourth. He finished the game 4-for-6 at the plate and set a new career high with six RBI.
Billy Carnline (3-0) earned the win for Tech as he tossed seven innings allowing four earned runs on seven hits and tied a season-high with six strikeouts. Jason Vecchio (0-3) took the loss for UTSA as he surrendered seven earned runs on five hits through three innings.
In the game against New Mexico State, the Red Raiders stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first as Cameron Blair and Madison Edwards both hit home runs. Blair led off the game with a solo dinger to left-center and Edwards followed him with a three-run blast to right.
New Mexico pulled to within one (5-4) as the Aggies plated four runs in the top of the fifth as all four runs were given up by Tech starter Dustin Richardson who could not escape the inning. The Aggies collected five hits in the inning including a two-RBI double by second baseman Xardiel Cotto.
Tech got a three run cushion in the bottom of the fifth as the Red Raiders plated two runs on two hits and took advantage of two walks. Tech relievers Bryan Wyatt and Tanner McElroy combined to retire 13 of the final 14 batters to give Tech the 7-4 win.
Wyatt (1-0) earned the win in relief for Tech as he gave up just two hits in three scoreless innings. The outing was his first of the season as he has been sidelined due to a case of mononucleosis for the last six weeks. Tanner McElroy picked up his second straight save as he pitched the final two innings allowing one hit while striking out two.
Texas Tech returns to action on Tuesday as the Red Raiders will open a four-game homestand at Dan Law Field. The Red Raiders will take on Texas-Arlington at 3 p.m. before facing Northern Iowa in a three-game series over the weekend. For tickets, contact the Texas Tech Athletic Ticket Office at (806) 742-TECH or purchase online at www.texastech.com.