The Duke: Red Raiders Ride Pitching in Win

Sophomore Duke von Schumann was dealing in the Opening Day game and helped the Red Raiders get the 4-1 win.

Duke von Schamann marked the first underclassman to take the ball on Opening Day since Chad Bettis did it 2009, and the sophomore did not disappoint putting on a show for the 2,605 fans at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park on Friday night.

Behind the pitching of von Schamann and some early scoring Texas Tech (1-0) was able to hold off Missouri State and claim the 4-1 win.

"I felt great, it was good to really get deep in that game," von Schamann said. "My arm actually felt good even in the seventh inning. I was just out there trying to throw strikes. I was real comfortable handing the ball over to Trey Masek in the eighth, because I knew he was going to take care of it."

With the win the Red Raiders improve to 40-23 all-time on Opening Days and a perfect 4-0 under the direction of Tech head coach Dan Spencer.

The Red Raiders got the game and season started off on the right foot against the Bears (0-2) as second baseman Jamodrick McGruder led off the game with a bunt single to get things going for Tech.

Outfielder Barrett Barnes followed with a double down the left field line that bounced off the wall putting runners at second and third base with no outs in the first inning.

With two men on, third baseman Reid Redman tallied the first RBIs for the Red Raiders with a single down the right field line driving in McGruder and Barnes to make it 2-0 Tech.

"We set the tone, we didn't do a very good job of keeping the tone on in the middle innings," Spencer said. "We did set the tone, and our speed played a little bit, Reid (Redman) got the big hit in the first. We had an opportunity to get at least three and maybe a four or a five, and whenever you can score runs for your starting pitcher it's huge because he can be a little more aggressive and he can go after them."

After the first inning, Missouri State starting pitcher Pierce Johnson settled into a grove as the Red Raiders were held to those three hits until right fielder David Paiz doubled to right-center field in the seventh inning.

Johnson (0-1) finished the game going seven innings giving up just those two runs on five hits and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to prevent any further damage.

Despite the Red Raider offense being shut down for five innings, the pitching of von Schamann kept them in the game and the Bears out of it.

von Schamann (1-0) was dealing as he went seven innings allowing just one run, which was unearned, on one hit. The sophomore also commanded the strike zone striking out six batters, which is a new career-high, and walking just one at the end of the night.  

The one hit he did give up in the game didn't come until the fifth inning when Missouri State second baseman Joey Hawkins doubled to left field to break up the no-no. von Schamann is the first pitcher since DJ Ramos in 2003 to take a no-hitter into the fifth inning.

Trey Masek replaced von Schamann and carried the Red Raiders the rest of the way going two innings allowing no runs, no hits and struck out three to seal his first save of the 2012 campaign and first win of the season for Tech.

"Yeah it's good to win on Opening Day, especially with the new stadium," Masek said. "Really trying to start the season off right, and to come out and get a win like that is really good."

The Red Raiders tacked on some insurance in the bottom of the eighth inning when shortstop Tim Proudfoot recorded his first career hit as a Red Raider.

With two men on and two out, Proudfoot belted a ball into center field driving in Bo Altobelli and Brennan Moore making it 4-1 Tech, which would be the final score.

Getting that insurance was big, Spencer said, and it was big for Proudfoot to get that hit and get his feet under him.

"They were huge, and that was a big at-bat for him, because he had a tough at-bat the one before where he couldn't move a runner on a bunt," he said. "He did a nice job for his first day. We all remember Kelby (Tomlinson) last year and his first game at short, and he was a junior, he couldn't hardly stay on his feet for two innings."

The Red Raiders are back in action tomorrow at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park taking on Tennessee Tech with first pitch set for 4 p.m.

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