Tech Takes Series Opener 11-5|
March 24, 2006
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Sophomore catcher Matt Smith went 2-for-5 with a game-high three RBI and Dustin Richardson pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief to lead Texas Tech to an 11-5 win over Texas A&M in the series opener on Friday evening at Olsen Field.
The win marks Texas Tech's first series-opening win at Olsen Field since 2000 and the Red Raiders now stand at 19-7 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 play. Texas Tech will try and clinch this series on Saturday evening when the two teams meet for a 7 p.m. first pitch. The game will be televised on Cox Sports TV and will be shown locally in Lubbock on Cox Cable channel 9.
The complexion of the game completely changed in the top of the fourth inning as the Red Raiders erased a 2-1 deficit with a seven-run outburst to take an 8-2 lead. Tech tied the game on an RBI single by junior right fielder Blair Wilkins and then proceeded to load the bases for sophomore catcher Matt Smith. Smith gave Tech its first lead of the game when he cleared the bases with a three-RBI double that went sailing over third base and down the left field line. A&M relievers Matt Ueckert and Evan Gerald walked in two Tech runs and freshman second baseman Willie Rueda plated the final run with a sacrifice fly to center field.
After the Aggies plated a single run in the bottom of the fourth, Tech pushed its lead to 10-3 by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth. Senior third baseman Joey Callender made the Aggies pay for a pair of walked batters when he laced an RBI single to center. Callender's single was misplayed by A&M center fielder Kyle Colligan and that allowed Roger Kieschnick to score all the way from first.
Texas A&M took an early 1-0 lead on the bat of Adam Hale who belted an RBI triple down the right field line. Hale's triple scored leadoff batter Blake Stouffer all the way from first after being hit by a pitch from Tech starter AJ Ramos.
AJ Ramos' second hit batter of the game proved detrimental for the Red Raiders as the Aggies staked a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. For the second straight inning, Ramos hit the leadoff batter and the Aggie offense took advantage, this time on an RBI single by catcher Josh Stinson.
The Red Raiders scratched out their first run of the game in the top of the third on an RBI single by Roger Kieschnick. The single was the second of the game for the freshman left fielder and plated Brian Capps from second. Capps reached on a catcher's interference call by home plate umpire Bob Homolka and moved into scoring position when Matt Smith reached on a fielding error by A&M shortstop Parker Dalton.
Dustin Richardson (3-1) picked up the win in relief for the Red Raiders as tossed the final 4 1/3 innings scattering three hits and struckout three. Kyle Nicholson (3-2) was tagged with the loss for A&M after giving up six runs on 10 hits over 3 1/3 innings.