Red Raiders Upset No. 20 Arizona State, 8-7

It took a little drama at the end but the Red Raiders were able to pull out the victory against the nationally-ranked Sun Devils.

It was Ladies Night on Tuesday at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park, as Kliff Kingsbury threw out the ceremonial first pitch. However, that isn't the aspect of the night that had most Tech baseball fans talking.

In front of 2,624 fans, Texas Tech and No. 20 Arizona State played a back and forth game that ultimately ended in a very unconventional walk off victory for the Red Raiders winning 8-7.

This wasn't the first time Tech has faced some tough situations in the late innings, against Texas this past weekend had bases loaded with one out in the ninth but failed to score losing 2-1, and they drew from that experience by pulling out a win against a very solid Arizona State ball club.

"Facing Knebel probably actually helped us," junior third baseman Jake Barrios said. "Having that and the experience and you know, not being able to come through in that situation and tonight facing the same type of guy and prevailing and coming through to win the game. I think it will help us moving forward."

No. 20 Arizona State (12-5-1), coming off a series loss in Tempe during the weekend to Washington State, had something to prove during its trip to Lubbock.

The potent Sun Devils offense jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, as they pieced together three singles and a double, all coming with two outs.

However, the Texas Tech (15-8) offense would storm back and the Sun Devils defensive woes continued in Lubbock as Arizona State right fielder Trever Allen had two costly errors that resulted in four early Texas Tech runs.

While Allen, 2-for-5, RBI,  was exceptional at the plate on Tuesday, his defensive mistakes were just too costly for the visiting Sun Devils.

Mason Randolph and Devon Conley paced the Tech offense as they collectively went 4-for-9 on the night and accumulating 3 RBIs.

After the game, Conley talked about the resiliency in the team over the past week.

"Yeah, we seemed to be on a roll and to get another win against another good team," he said. "The walks, the good at bats, everything was falling into place. That's the really fun part, we never give up and we always seemed to be able to come back. It seems like we always score a lot of runs early, but when we're down, we always seem to come back strong and we never get away from the approach that our coaches have stuck in our heads. It's fun."

The two clubs then traded blows in the middle innings as Tech found themselves in a very familiar position late in the game against yet another quality ball club.

The Sun Devils highly regarded freshman closer Ryan Burr entered the game with a clean 0.00 ERA through 15.2 innings of work on the year.

However, down 7-6 in the ninth, the Red Raiders had to dig deep against one of the top closers in the nation.

Texas Tech found themselves one strike away from defeat, but Burr promptly plunked Jake Barrios on the elbow, bringing in the game tying run.

"I knew he was going to throw fastballs," Barrios said. "He was throwing 95 or 97 or whatever he was at and I went behind two strikes and I just crowded the plate, got on it and was hoping he would throw it in. I would love to wear one in that situation, anyone would. It was awesome."

The very next batter, pinch-hitter Scott LeJeune drew a full count walk and Tech walked off with an 8-7 win.

Patience was the name of the game against Burr and after the game Coach Tadlock talked about the difficulty in facing a closer like Ryan Burr.

 "That kid there that just threw, Ryan Burr, has got a great arm," he said. "He's going to be a great closer for them and has been really good this year and that's going through my head in the ninth. But Timmy made a really good move on a ball there early in the count and once you get to two strikes, there's not much you can do." 

Resiliency seemed to be another major theme for Tech as they trailed three different times and rallied back every time.

"Well, it'll help us going forward if we keep progressing and keep getting better and we keep pitching good," Coach Tadlock said. "I mean, you're as good as your pitching and if those guys give you a chance and they put you in a position to win, that's what's going to give you a chance to win games. We've got to keep progressing, swinging the bats and playing defense."

The Red Raiders will be back in action this weekend as they travel up to West Virginia to face the Big 12 newcomer Mountaineers. First pitch from Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, WV is slated for 5:30 p.m. CST.


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