Iowa State Baseball Rallies to Upset No. 19 Raiders, 10-7
April 18, 1998
AMES, Iowa--True freshman Brad Bjorklund hit a two-out, three-run homer off Texas Tech's Joe Smith in the bottom of the ninth inning to seal a 10-7 Cyclone win against the 19th-rated Red Raiders, Saturday afternoon at Cap Timm Field. ISU scored five runs in the ninth inning to capture its sixth conference win of the season, equaling its conference win total of last year.
With the Cyclones down 7-5 in the ninth, ISU's Jade O'Brien led off the inning with a double to left field, followed by a Matt McDonough single to put runners on the corner. Bill Uelmen drove in his third run of the day with a sacrifice fly to make the score 7-6. Tom Wierzbicki promptly singled to move Shawn Sedlacek, who pinch-ran for McDonough, to second. Doug Kinsel struckout next, bringing up Adam Scott with runners on first and second with two outs. What looked like a routine ground ball to Tech shortstop Jason Huth became the opposite when an errant throw to second base went over Kevin Jordan's head, scoring Sedlacek to tie the game at 7-7.
Huth's error, Tech's second of the game, set up Bjorklund's final at-bat heroics, as the freshman blasted the ball over the left field wall to snare the victory for ISU.
"The fans that left in the sixth inning missed one heck of a ballgame," Cyclone head coach Lyle Smith said. "The team responded when it needed to, which is what you want this time of year."
The Cyclones, now 13-18 overall and 6-9 in Big 12, rallied from a 7-2 deficit thanks to brilliant pitching from Darin Nelson and Steve Larkin in the middle innings, who limited the Red Raiders to six hits and one run in the final five stanzas. Nelson threw 4 1/3, and Larkin retired the final two batters to collect the win (3-1).
ISU was also aided by the play of freshmen Tom Wierzbicki and Jeff Duncan, who tallied two and three hits, respectively. Shawn Leimbek, who missed his first start of the year due to a pulled hamstring, came up with a key pinch-hit, RBI double in the eighth inning to keep ISU in the ballgame.
Tech starter Monty Ward went seven innings before being pulled for Smith in the eighth inning. Ward allowed four runs on seven hits, while Smith (3-1) totaled two earned runs on five hits. Ryan Ruiz and Josh Bard had the hot bats for the Red Raiders, who fall to 31-14 overall and 11-8 in the Big 12. Ruiz went 3-for-6, driving in two runs. Bard hit a solo homer in the third inning.
The two teams will stage a rubber match tomorrow afternoon, 1 p.m. at Cap
Texas Tech 121 020 100 - 7 11 2 Iowa State 001 001 125 - 10 12 0Texas Tech- Ward, Smith (8) and Bard.
Iowa State- Waldron, Nelson (5), Larkin (9) and McNertney. HR: TT, Bard (10). ISU, Bjorklund (3)
W-Larkin, 3-1; L-Smith, 3-1.
A- 314; T-3:25
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