Emotions ran high in the first game of the three-game set as the Red Raiders tried to get off the snide in Big 12 Conference play, while the Longhorns looked to keep rolling.
Following multiple controversial calls Texas Tech head coach Dan Spencer headed out to talk to the home plate umpire in the 8th inning with his squad down 7-4 at the time. .
The conversation ended with Spencer getting an early trip to the showers, as he was ejected from the game, which brought the 3,216 fans in attendance at Dan Law Field and Rip Griffin Park to their feet and put some fire into the dugout as well.
"It's just a human reaction, everybody in the stands, people in the dugout, they want it fired up," Tech first baseman Scott LeJeune said about what Spencer's ejection did for the game. "You're glad your coach is fighting for you, I think it's pretty obvious, but we love Spence and we know he's going to come to bat for us."
If Spencer was trying to light a fire underneath the Red Raiders, it wasn't effective as Tech (17-14, 2-8 in Big 12 play) was unable to come back as Texas closer Corey Knebel (6) came in in the 8th and slammed the door and sealed the 7-4 victory for the men in burnt orange.
Despite the game ending with the Red Raiders on the wrong side of the score, the beginning of the game did not.
At the start it looked as though the Red Raiders, behind some strong pitching from Trey Masek and some timely hitting was going to be able to be enough to upset the No. 25 Texas (16-11, 6-1).
Masek (ND) opened the game setting down 13 Longhorn batters in a row before back-to-back walks in the fifth got something going for Texas.
At the time the Longhorns were down 1-0, thanks to a double by Tech centerfielder Barrett Barnes scoring Brennan Moore, but after the walks, Texas capitalized.
After a costly error, an RBI single by Taylor Stell drove in one-of-two of the runs in the inning making it 2-1 Texas.
"That'll happen, that's baseball for you," Tech assistant coach Tim Tadlock said following the game. "When you walk lead off guys, they usually score. Lead off guys usually score, and they've got a history of being real good at getting guys over and getting guys in and that's kind of what happened today."
Spencer was not made available to the media because of his ejection in the game.
Down in the game, the major question was could the Red Raiders respond?
Answer was yes.
After a triple by McGruder, it was decided that Texas starter Nathan Thornhill (4-2) intentionally walked Barnes to get to LeJeune.
LeJeune made the Longhorns pay as he launched a 1-2 delivery to right field and put it into the Texas bullpen for a three-run shot making it 4-2 Tech.
Despite having the lead for the second time in the game, the Red Raiders for the second time game it right back.
"It was big at the time," Tadlock said about LeJeune's home run. "Obviously we wished we could have made it stand up, we just didn't turn a double play earlier in the game. It'd been nice to make it stand up, but it wasn't meant to be tonight."
After getting the lead back, Masek came out in the sixth innings struck out the first batter, but Mark Payton reached base as Tech catcher Mason Randolph lost the handle of the ball.
That would do it for the night for Masek as Brennan Stewart replaced him on the mound.
Stewart (0-1) struggled as Texas drove in three runs on back-to-back hits to give the Longhorns the 5-4 lead.
The Longhorns would tack on one more run in the inning to answer the Red Raider's three-run inning with a four-run inning of their own, which Masek said was the deciding factor in the game, but says they will be fine with Duke von Scahmann going on Friday.
"I think it was the four spot they put up in that one inning," he said. "It was hard, they just kept running into some barrels, but I think we'll be aright. I think Duke's going to give us a good start tomorrow and I think we'll come out with a win tomorrow."
Stewart was hooked for the loss in the game, as that would be it, as the Longhorns would tack on two more runs in the game and the Red Raiders had nothing left to prevent the 7-4 loss.
After the game LeJeune was asked how he would forget the game heading into tomorrow and he said it's pretty simple.
"I'll go home, go to sleep, then go to class tomorrow and then we'll start over again."
The Red Raiders are back in action on Friday in game two of the series against the Longhorns with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.