Red Raiders Fall Short Against Bears, 4-2

Tech could not complete the weekend sweep at the Red Raider Classic, losing a close one to Missouri State on Sunday.

Unlike the first game in the double header, scoring was an issue against Missouri State for the Red Raiders – a team that had scored 17 runs in the last two games.

Texas Tech came out against Missouri State, whom it beat to open the 2012 season on Friday, 4-1, and could not capitalize when runners were in scoring position, proving costly in the end, suffering their first loss of the season falling 4-2 on Sunday at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.

"I thought we took to long to make an adjustment to their starter today, offensively," Tech head coach Dan Spencer said. "We obviously hit into a bunch of double plays, both line drive and groundball, one time through the order and you ought to be able to make a little better adjustment and we didn't."

Tech junior right-hander Daniel Coulombe got the nod for the start; marking the first time he had taken the mound since March 11, when he got the start against Iowa. That was his last start and appearance for the Red Raiders in the 2011 season as just a few weeks later he underwent Tommy John Surgery.

Despite giving up a lead off home run to Spiker Helms, who took the first pitch of the game over the left field wall marking the first time since April 29, 2011 that an opposing player had taken the first pitch of the game yard, it did not shake Coulombe's confidence.

The Scottsdale, Arizona native settled down and turned in an impressive performance considering it was his first appearance after his surgery.

Coulombe contributed five and one-third innings of work giving up that lone run on three hits and issued one walk and set down five Bears on strikes.

"It was just nice to get out there again, and get the first one out of the way; it's always the hardest," Coulombe said. "I felt pretty good, felt like I was in pretty good control of the game."

The Red Raiders did answer that home run, ironically thanks to an error on Helms, who couldn't make a clean play and get Scott LeJeune at first allowing Jamodrick McGruder, who walked to lead off the game, to score.

That was the last time each team scored until the Red Raiders grabbed their first and only lead of the game in the bottom of the seventh when Tech got the bases loaded for Barrett Barnes.

Barnes took the first pitch from Clay Murphy and shot it through the left-side of the infield driving in Matt Eureste, who pinch-hit for designated hitter Stephen Hagen and reached on an error by Helms.

With a 2-1 lead in hand, and All-American pitcher John Neely on the mound, there was confidence that he could close the door, but walks came back to hurt him.

The Bears had the bases loaded, and Neely (0-1) was unable to come back from a 3-1 count as he missed the zone with his fifth pitch giving a free pass to catcher Luke Voit allowing Trey Massenberg to come in and score tying the ball game up at 2-2.

After replacing Neely with Andre Wheeler, the bases were still loaded and designated hitter Koby Peebles hit a little blooper in front of the plate, but Wheeler was unable to handle the ball and Helms was able to score giving Missouri State the lead right back.

The Bears would add some insurance in the top of the ninth inning as Helms, who finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs, struck again, but this time with an RBI double.

Off the Helms double Massenberg was able to score making it 4-2, which would be the final score.

Tech could not mount a rally in the bottom of the ninth against Tyler Burgess (2-0), who came in from the pen and threw three perfect innings allowing no hits, no walks and faced just eight batters in his time on the mound.

"For the most part we did really good, first time being behind late in the game," Altobelli said. "We competed, we didn't give up. We had great energy coming out to the doubleheader today, we just have to make the adjustment at the plate and go from there.

"We played solid defense, solid pitching, so just clean up the small things we'll be alright."

The Red Raiders are back in action on Friday at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park taking on St. John's as a part of the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.

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