Perez' Walk-Off Home Run Sends Texas Tech to Sweep of Cyclones
Adriana Perez hit a two-run walk-off home run in the eighth to send Tech to a series sweep of Iowa State.
April 1, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - Adriana Perez broke up a 3-3 tie in the eighth with a two-run game-ending home run that pushed Texas Tech to the series sweep of Iowa State with a 5-3 victory Sunday at Rocky Johnson Field.
Perez' home run, her team-leading 13th of the season, marked the first walk-off shot for a Tech player to win a game since Emily Bledsoe hit a two-run bomb on Feb. 13 last year to send the Red Raiders (30-7; 3-2) to a 10-9 victory over Appalachian State.
The first-pitch dinger was never in doubt, either, as Perez cleared the outer fence in left for her sixth home run in her last five games.
It was one of four home runs for Tech on the day as Bledsoe gave Tech an early 1-0 lead with a solo shot to left center in the first. She later followed a Mikey Kenney leadoff home run in the sixth with another solo shot to almost the exact same spot in left center.
Bledsoe became the third Tech player to homer twice in a game this year, joining Perez and Sandy James who have both accomplished the feat twice so far. She finished with three home runs in the series, giving her four on the year.
The Red Raiders took a 3-1 lead into the seventh before the Cyclones (10-22; 0-6) came back with two runs in the inning highlighted by a Amber Ewert two-out double that was just out of reach for Kenney in left center.
Iowa State had previously tied the game in the fifth off a leadoff home run from Jorden Smith.
Despite the rough seventh inning, Cara Custer put Tech in position to win the game in the eighth as she overcame an Erica Miller leadoff single to retire the next three hitters.
Custer (17-5) finished the complete-game effort giving up three runs and eight hits while striking out four as well. She was effective in keeping the ball out of the wind as she forced the Cyclones into 18 ground-ball outs en route to her Big 12-leading 17th win of the year.
After Custer got Tech out of a jam in the top of the inning, Kenney led off the eighth with a single to left but was later thrown out on a close stolen base attempt at second. Bledsoe immediately followed with a line-drive single to left field to put Perez in position to drive in the winning run two batters later.
The win was Tech's 30th of the season, marking the first time the Red Raiders had won 30 or more games in three-straight seasons since 1997-99.
Tori Torrescano (6-15) took the loss for the third-straight day as she had pitched 2.2 innings of relief before giving up the home run. Taylor Smith gave up three runs off five hits over the first five innings.
The Red Raiders continue Big 12 play next weekend as they hit the road to travel to Norman, Okla. to face the 7th-ranked Sooners in a three-game series that begins at 7 p.m. Thursday evening.