Texas Tech Drops Series Finale 3-1 at No. 4 Texas
April 17, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Tech held a 1-0 lead for seven innings, but it couldn't hold on as No. 4 Texas scored three runs in the eighth inning to win the series with a 3-1 victory in front of 7,067 fans at UFCU Disch-Falk Field Sunday afternoon.
Despite dropping two of three in the series, Texas Tech (23-15, 6-9 BIG 12) held Texas (27-9, 11-4 BIG 12) to its fewest runs scored (8) in a home Big 12 series since 2000.
Junior right-handed pitcher Brennan Stewart made his first career start in Big 12 action, and he made it a memorable one, pitching 7.1 innings with just one run allowed on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. It marked the longest start in a Big 12 debut for a Tech pitcher since March 18, 2006 (Miles Morgan).
The game was scoreless through three innings, before Texas Tech sophomore Nick Hanslik singled to left field to score Nick Popescu with two outs in the fourth inning. After the first two batters in the fourth were retired, Tech rallied with Popescu reaching base on a walk, David Paiz hitting a single to right field and then Hanslik driving in the game's first run.
Stewart's efforts were aided by two groundball double plays in the fourth and seventh innings to hold the Longhorns scoreless going into the eighth inning.
Texas used a sacrifice bunt in the eighth to move Paul Montalbano into scoring position, which would do it for Stewart as Dan Spencer went to his bullpen with Texas also bringing a left-handed pinch hitter to the plate.
Red Raider left-handed reliever Ben Flora issued a full-count walk to Lucas Kephart to put runners at first and second base. Brandon Loy, the Longhorns leadoff hitter, then singled off Tech reliever Jerad McCrummen to tie the game, scoring Montalbano.
McCrummen brought Tech closer to escaping the inning with a groundout to shortstop for two outs, before Tant Shephard tripled down the left-field line to score two runs, giving Texas a 3-1 lead.
The Red Raiders received their first base hit since the fourth inning when trying to rally in the ninth as Reid Redman singled to right field with two outs, but it wouldn't be enough as Texas closer Corey Knebel struck out Jamodrick McGruder to end the game.
Reliever Hoby Milner (4-2) grabbed the win pitching two perfect innings and Knebel earned his 11th save of the season while pitching the ninth inning.
Flora's run was the game-winning run as he falls to 0-3 on the season.
Paiz (2-for-4) notched his 12th multi-hit game of the season with singles in the second and fourth innings. McGruder, Barrett Barnes, Hanslik and Redman were the only other Red Raiders with base hits in the game.
Texas Tech will play an early midweek game on Monday, April 18, at Texas State (23-12) with a 6:30 p.m. first-pitch scheduled at Bobcat Baseball Stadium in San Marcos. In addition, Texas Tech is in the midst of its longest road trip (nine games) since 1986.