After losses to Houston and Sam Houston State, Texas Tech had plenty of doubters as they took the field against No.12 Rice Sunday.
The scarlet and black proved the doubters wrong.
The Red Raiders (9-3) used two runs in the third inning from bases loaded walks to pull off the upset and defeat the Owls (6-5) for the first time since April 6, 1996. It is the program's first victory over Rice in Minute Maid Park.
As much history that was against Texas Tech, head coach Tim Tadlock never cared to check out the history book.
"I've got all the respect in the world for Wayne Graham. I mean he's done a great job over there," Tadlock said. "But as far as winning, a win's a win. They all count the same."
Despite the victory, Rice outhit the Red Raiders seven to two and Tech committed three errors. Two of the errors came on the same play as Ryan Long bobbled a ground ball on the infield grass and then hurried a throw that sailed out of play in the seventh inning. This allowed Rice first baseman Skyler Ewing to advance to second. He would eventually score the Owls lone run on a John Clay Reeves RBI single.
Tech used six walks and three hit batters to score their two runs. Rice's starter, freshman RHP Jon Duplantier (0-1, 2.97 ERA), did not make it out of the third inning after walking five batters and plunking one.
The star of the game for Tech is starting pitcher Chris Sadberry (2-0, 1.76 ERA) who received the win. The lefty junior out of Grayson County College tossed seven innings giving up an unearned run on five hits. Sadberry did not walk a batter and struck out two.
The winning pitcher said he used a basic strategy to produce positive results.
"I just went out there and tried to throw a lot of strikes and let them hit the ball, let the defense work."
His coach, Tadlock, said he felt Sadberry was robbed of a nice achievement during his recap of Sadberry's performance.
"Commanded three pitches with good stuff on both sides of the plate. If we can just make a play or two, then he throws a shutout."
Senior LHP Jonny Drozd extended his scoreless streak to 27.1 consecutive innings. He may write a big thank you note to freshman RHP Ryan Moseley though. After Drozd allowed back-to-back two-out singles, Moseley came in and struck out Rice left fielder Michael Aquino to end the eighth. The Lubbock native then shut the door on the Owls sitting the final three batters of the game in order to record his second save of the season.
Tadlock did not reflect on the win much as the Red Raiders turn their head to Tuesday's game against New Mexico.
"We're going to move forward," Tadlock said. "We're going to play the game the right way. Our kids are committed to doing that."
The Red Raiders finish up the four-game weekend with a 2-2 mark. Tech returns to Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park Tuesday. First pitch against New Mexico is set for 2.
Tech Baseball Upsets No. 12 Rice
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