Red Raiders Rally For 5-4 Win Over Missouri
May 13, 2006
LUBBOCK, Texas - Matt Smith's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth capped a three-run rally as Texas Tech defeated Missouri 5-4 on a warm Saturday afternoon at Dan Law Field.
The win gives Texas Tech its second Big 12 series win of the season and the win streak now moves to three games. Most importantly, the Red Raiders pulled within a half game of Missouri and could move into seventh place in the Big 12 standings with a win over the Tigers in the series finale on Sunday. Texas Tech is now 30-20-1 overall and 8-13-1 in Big 12 play while Missouri falls to 25-23 and 9-14 in league play.
Missouri closer David Cales struckout shortstop Kyle Martin to lead off the bottom of the ninth but followed up the strikeout by hitting right fielder James Leverton. Freshman second baseman Willie Rueda drew a one-out walk in the next at-bat and Joey Callender followed him up with an RBI single to shallow right-center. Senior center fielder Brian Capps struckout swinging in the next at-bat but advanced to first thanks to a passed ball by Missouri catcher J.C. Field. The Tigers intentionally walked freshman left fielder Roger Kieschnick to load the bases, hoping that sophomore designated hitter Matt Smith would ground into an inning-ending double play. Smith came through for the Red Raiders in the clutch with a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Joey Callender to tag and score the winning run.
A costly error by Tech catcher Tyler Reves in the top of the second, eventually led to three runs by Missouri as the Tigers took the early lead. Missouri loaded the bases with no outs in the third and that brought Hunter Mense to the plate. Mense hit a hard chopper to Tech third baseman Joey Callender who then made a perfect throw home but the ball came out of Reves' glove, allowing all runners to reach safely. The failed double play attempt allowed the Tigers to plate a single run on a groundout and one on a passed ball by Reves.
The Red Raiders found themselves trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth before Willie Rueda changed that with one swing of the bat. Rueda hit his first career home run in the leadoff at-bat of the inning to pull Tech within one at 4-1.
Roger Kieschnick picked up his eighth dinger of the season in the bottom of the eighth when he laced a solo shot just to the right of the monster in center field. Kieschnick led the Red Raider offense with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate with one run batted in.
Senior left-hander Dustin Richardson earned the win for Tech in relief after facing just one batter in the bottom of the ninth. The workhorse for the Red Raiders was junior left-hander Aaron Odom who logged a season-high 7 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits and struckout a career-high six batters. David Cales (2-3) suffered both the loss and the blown save for Missouri as he allowed three runs on one hit and walked two in the bottom of the ninth.
Texas Tech will go for the series sweep on Sunday afternoon when the Red Raiders take on Missouri in the regular-season home finale. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. and the Texas Tech baseball program will honor its seven seniors at approximately 12:35 p.m.
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