Red Raiders Defeat Charleston, Head to Omaha|
June 8, 2014
LUBBOCK, Texas - For the first time in school history, the Texas Tech Red Raiders will be heading to Omaha and the College World Series.
Backed by five shutout innings from starter Dylan Dusek and two perfect frames from Jonny Drozd out of the bullpen, the Red Raiders topped College of Charleston, 1-0, Sunday afternoon en route to advancing to the pinnacle event in collegiate baseball, the College World Series held in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Red Raiders (45-19) picked up a 1-0 victory for the second-straight day in front of a capacity crowd at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park. Tech did so while tossing its third-consecutive shutout and its fourth in the past five games - all of which that have come in NCAA play.
"Right now I don't know if it's really sunk in," said Tech head coach Tim Tadlock, who will take the Red Raiders to the College World Series in just his second season. "I'm sure when I get home this evening I'm sure it will hit me. I just really appreciate these guys. I mean, they're a special group."
College of Charleston (44-19) threatened twice in the sixth and seventh innings, putting a runner on second in both frames before the Tech bullpen worked out of the jam both times.
Blake Butler and Brandon Murray led off the sixth inning with consecutive singles, but Tech turned to reliever Cameron Smith, who delivered with a fly out to center field and back-to-back strikeouts to get the Red Raiders out of the jam.
The Tech bullpen retired the final nine Charleston batters in order with Dominic Moreno picking up a pair of outs to end the seventh inning before Drozd entered to shut down the Cougars over the final two frames off just 15 pitches.
Moreno escaped trouble in the seventh thanks in part to the outstanding play in center field by Devon Conley. With two outs in the inning, Conley ranged to his left and made a diving snag off a Champ Rowland liner to the gap that protected the Tech 1-0 lead and kept Ben Boykin from scoring from second.
"For this being my senior year, this is definitely a dream come true. This is the last year I can play in college and to be able to go to the College World Series my senior year is unbelievable. It's definitely a dream come true." - senior Devon Conley
It was the second highlight-film worthy catch of the day from Conley, who also raced up on a hard-hit liner from Brandon Glazer to begin the fifth inning.
"Now that the game is over, I imagine we'll be talking about that catch a long time, right?" Tadlock said of Conley's catch in the seventh. "Later down the road, it's going to mean more than it means right now. But right now it got us out of the inning, and it means he's got really good jump which good players do."
Dusek (8-0) earned the win to remain perfect on the season after the left-hander tossed five shutout innings with only three hits and a pair of strikeouts. Drozd, meanwhile, recorded his fifth save of the season and his second alone during the Super Regional.
The Red Raiders scored their only run in the fourth inning off a RBI double from Adam Kirsch that for the second-straight day proved to be just enough. Kirsch scored Tyler Neslony on the double down the right-field line after Neslony opened the inning with a leadoff single.
Bailey Ober (10-3) took the loss for Charleston after an impressive performance of his own. The right-hander tossed eight full innings, allowing six hits while striking out four before Chase Henry tossed a perfect top of the ninth.
Eric Gutierrez finished with two of Tech's six hits in the game after a pair of doubles in both the second and sixth innings. Tim Proudfoot and Hunter Redman both added singles for the Red Raiders as well.
"For this being my senior year, this is definitely a dream come true," Conley said. This is the last year I can play in college and to be able to go to the College World Series my senior year is unbelievable. It's definitely a dream come true."
The Red Raiders will open the College World Series at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park against the winner of the NCAA Fort Worth Super Regional. TCU and Pepperdine will wrap that Super Regional with the decisive third game of the series on Monday.