May 27, 2010
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -
Junior right-hander Chad Bettis made a triumphant return following a four-game suspension and Barrett Barnes, the Big 12's Freshman of the Year, blasted two home runs to lead Texas Tech to a 4-2 upset of top-ranked Texas on Thursday afternoon in the Big 12 Championships at Bricktown Ballpark.
The win keeps the Red Raiders (28-28) in contention for the right to play in Sunday's championship game but Tech will need some help from the Missouri Tigers tonight against Texas A&M and a Texas win over the Aggies on Saturday. With the loss, the Red Raiders have denied the Longhorns the opportunity to play for their third consecutive Big 12 Tournament championship.
"You've got a chance when you've got a real bullet (Chad Bettis) and you run him out there and he keeps you around," head coach Dan Spencer said. "Texas is a hard team, you're not going to beat them with eight or 10 (runs), you've got to beat them 4-2 or 3-1 and Chad gave us a chance. We knew he would, knew he would give us a chance to beat them or at least keep the score down. Then, our job was to try and score enough runs to make it stand up."
Barrett Barnes, Tech's offensive sparkplug all season long, set the tone for the game in the bottom half of the first inning when he blasted a solo home run over the wall in left-center field to give the Red Raiders an early 1-0 lead.
The Longhorns answered in their half of the third as they took advantage of a fielding error by Barnes that eventually led to a single run. Cohl Walla led off the inning with a grounder back to first but Barnes couldn't make the play and Texas had its leadoff runner on base. Following a strikeout by Tant Shepherd, Cameron Rupp singled to right field moving Walla to third and then Russell Moldenhauer brought him home on an RBI fielder's choice.
In the fifth, the Longhorns committed back-to-back fielding errors that allowed Taylor Ashby and Jamodrick McGruder to reach and that set up an RBI opportunity for senior shortstop Joey Kenworthy. Kenworthy took advantage and drove in Ashby on a sacrifice bunt and that broke the tie and gave the Red Raiders a 2-1 lead. Barnes pushed the lead to 4-1 in the next at-bat when he blasted his second home run of the game over the wall in left-center field.
Texas finally chased away Chad Bettis with one out in the eighth inning and ended up scoring their final run of the day on an RBI fielder's choice by Kevin Keyes. Junior right-hander Bobby Doran, who had made just one relief appearance prior to this afternoon, squashed a potential rally with a strikeout of Kevin Lusson to end the eighth inning. Doran pitched a perfect ninth to earn his first save of the year.
Bettis (7-4), who served a four-game suspension after hitting Baylor's Gregg Glime back on May 16, was spectacular against the Longhorns in what was his first start since suffering a 17-5 setback to this same squad back on March 28 in Lubbock. He held the Longhorns to just two runs (one earned) on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings and matched his career high of 10 strikeouts.
"I was really amped up at the first of the game to get out there," said Bettis. "(The suspension) was miserable and I hope I never have to do that again. I put myself in that situation and didn't help the team in the right way, and I really regret that. But it was great to be back."
Texas' Taylor Jungmann (6-3) was charged with the loss and after giving up four runs (one earned) on eight hits over six innings.
Texas Tech will have Friday off and will return to action on Saturday morning against the Missouri Tigers. First pitch is set for 9 a.m. and the game will be streamed live on Big12Sports.com.