Tech Baseball Drops Another

Sam Houston State defeated Tech 10-6 Saturday in the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park.

The Houston College Classic woes
continued Saturday for Texas Tech (8-3) with a 10-6 loss against the Sam Houston State Bearkats (10-1).

Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock went straight to the pitching with his personal recap.

"We did not get a quality start," Tadlock said. "And if we're not getting a quality start on a Saturday, it's going to be tough to win and we need to be better on the front end."

Tech's pitching had an all-around rough outing allowing 10 runs on 15 hits and plunking four batters. The only pitcher who did not surrender an earned run is sophomore Johnathon Tripp. Tech's starting pitcher sophomore Matt Withrow (1-1) was blasted with two home runs in the first two innings. His day ended after allowing six runs, all earned, on five hits and two walks. Both team's starters produced exactly eight outs before being pulled from the game. The win went to Sam Odom (2-0) who produced 13 outs in relief allowing one run, earned, on three hits and one walk.

The Red Raiders were outhit 15-8 by the Bearkats, but one player in particular had Tech's number. Sam Houston State junior outfielder Ryan O'Hearn blasted two home runs off Red Raider pitchers and nearly knocked out a grand slam in addition. O'Hearn placed his first homer just over the wall of the Crawford Boxes in left field and his second came in the sixth against junior LHP Cameron Smith over the right field fence. The near grand slam counts as a sacrifice fly which produced a run.

O'Hearn hit the near shot in second inning with the bases loaded and it hung up high before dropping in the glove of Adam Kirsch on the warning track in right field. O'Hearn is a right-hander which would have made it an opposite field homer.

Tech did not commit any errors, but left 12 runners stranded. Bearkats senior left fielder Luke Plucheck committed two errors, both of which Tech scored runs due to. One of the errors gave Tech its only lead of the game. Adam Kirsch hit an RBI single past Bearkats third baseman Carter Burgess to tie up the game at one. With the ball in left field, Plucheck threw towards third base for Burgess to tag Tech sophomore first baseman Eric Gutierrez, but the ball rolled towards the Sam Houston State dugout allowing Gutierrez to score the go-ahead run.

Plucheck's second error came in the ninth inning with two outs. With Tech trailing 10-5, Hunter Redman hit fly ball to left-center field where Plucheck was in position to end the game. The ball hit Plucheck's glove and dropped to the ground allowing Ryan Long to cross home plate for the sixth and final Tech run.

With eight hits and double digit runners being stranded, senior infielder Jake Barrios said the team can't get frustrated when the game goes that way.

"You can't really get frustrated, but you just got to keep grinding and working on good at-bats."

Barrios was one of two bright spots today in the Red Raiders lineup. Sophomore infielder Ryan Long was the other. Both produced two hits.

Barrios who started out the season batting under .100, said things are starting to seem better in the batter's box.

"I'm starting to feel more comfortable up there at the plate," Barrios said. "I'm starting to see the ball better at the plate."

Tadlock feels the baseball gods may be the reason for Barrios not producing earlier in the season. "He's had good at-bats throughout the year. He's just had some bad luck."

Texas Tech is guaranteed to leave the Houston College Classic with a losing record for the fifth consecutive time. Tech is now 0-2 at the 2014 Houston College Classic and will look to defeat No.12 Rice (6-4) for the first time since 1996. The Owls dropped their first game of the weekend 2-0 to Texas.

Texas Tech is set to place junior LHP Chris Sadberry (1-0) on the mound against Rice. The Owls probable starter, Kevin McCanna, tossed four scoreless innings against Texas on Friday. First pitch is set for 1:35 at Minute Maid Park.

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