Wilkins' Home Run Lifts Tech To 6-4 Win|
March 21, 2006
LUBBOCK, Texas - Junior right fielder Blair Wilkins hit a game-winning two run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lift Texas Tech to a 6-4 win over Wayland Baptist on Tuesday evening at Dan Law Field.
Tonight's game against the Pioneers was added late yesterday to help replace one of the three contests Tech has lost to weather or opposing team cancellations. The win pushed Tech overall record to 18-7 while Wayland Baptist falls to 16-15.
Freshman second baseman and nine-hole hitter Willie Rueda kept Tech alive in the inning when he laced a two-out single to left on a 0-2 pitch. Rueda moved into scoring position with a stolen base but it wasn't needed thanks to Blair Wilkins who hit his second home run of the year. Wilkins worked the count full from reliever Richard Cruz and delivered a fastball over the fence in right field.
A fielding error by Tech second baseman Willie Rueda led to four unearned Pioneer runs in the top of the seventh inning. The Pioneers scored their first three runs on an RBI triple by Jonathan Reynoso and got RBI singles from Chasen DeLeon and Israel Castillo. Tech pitching coach Lance Brown was forced to go to his bullpen but Aaron Odom couldn't stop the bleeding soon enough as he walked in the tying run on back-to-back walks.
The Red Raiders staked a 4-0 lead by scoring two runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Freshman left fielder Roger Kieschnick notched the game's first run when he punched an RBI double into right field that plated Matt Smith who led off the frame with a double of his own.
Junior right-hander Randy Gattis (3-1) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the win while Richard Cruz (1-2) suffered the loss for Wayland Baptist.
Texas Tech returns to conference action this weekend as the Red Raiders travel to College Station for a three-game series against Texas A&M. First pitch on Friday night is set for 7 p.m.