Barnes Homers Twice, Tech Suffers Sweep at No. 7 Oklahoma|
April 3, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. - Sophomore Barrett Barnes hit two home runs while helping Texas Tech attempt to comeback from a six-run deficit, but No. 7 Oklahoma held on for an 8-5 win and also claimed its first series sweep over the Red Raiders in Norman since 2005.
Texas Tech (17-11, 4-5 BIG 12) dropped its first conference series of the season while the Sooners (22-6, 5-3 BIG 12) won their first league series of the 2011 campaign.
For the third time this weekend the Red Raiders saw themselves in a hole early, as Oklahoma jumped out to a 6-0 lead after scoring at least one run in each of the first four frames, including three runs in the fourth.
Oklahoma starting pitcher Burch Smith was the main reason for holding Tech's offense down as the right-handed pitcher struck out seven of Tech's first nine batters and finished his outing with a career-high 12 strikeouts. Smith (4-2) pitched 5.0 innings allowing three runs on four hits and walked three batters.
In the game, Oklahoma's pitching staff struck out 18 Texas Tech batters and recorded 25-of-27 outs via strikeout or a fly-ball out. Leadoff batter Jamodrick McGruder tallied the only two groundouts for Texas Tech with a groundout to the second baseman in the third and with an identical putout in the eighth.
Barnes got things started for Tech in the sixth hitting a line-drive, two-run homer over the field-field wall to make the score 6-2. Later, David Paiz hit an RBI double and senior Nick Popescu hit a sacrifice fly to center field in a pinch-hit at-bat to score another run to bring Texas Tech within two runs, 6-4.
Barnes led off the seventh inning with a towering home run to left field - marking his fourth career multi-homer game - while cutting the Sooners' lead to just a run, 6-5.
Barnes finished the game 2-for-5 with two runs and three RBI while matching his career-high hitting streak at 15 games. He now leads Tech and ranks second in the Big 12 with six home runs. In his brief year and a half career at Texas Tech, Barnes now has 20 home runs in only 85 career games played.
That would be as close as Tech would get as the Sooners added two runs on three hits in the eighth inning to push their lead back to three runs.
Junior Robbie Kilcrease (3-1) lost his first game this season pitching 3.1 innings allowing six runs on a career-high 11 base hits with two strikeouts. Four Tech relievers combined pitched 4.2 innings allowing five hits and just two runs with three strikeouts.
Junior catcher Kevin Whitehead was the only other Tech player with a multi-hit game going 2-for-4 with a ground-rule double to right-center field. Jamodrick McGruder didn't record a base hit but he extended his reaching base safely streak to 32 games with a hit-by-pitch in the sixth inning.
Texas Tech will be back on the road taking on UTSA on Tuesday, April 5, with a neutral site doubleheader at Foster Field in San Angelo. The doubleheader is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. at the home field of the San Angelo Colts.