Texas Tech baseball dropped its conference opener Friday night in Waco 1-0 in a classic pitcher's duel.
The Red Raiders had their best shot to score in the eighth inning with Stephen Smith at third base, Alec Humphreys at first base and Jake Barrios at the plate with no outs. Baylor head coach Steve Smith decided to pull starting Dillon Newman (W, 2-1) and bring in closer Josh Michalec. On the first pitch to Barrios, Michalec produced a 1-6-3 double play on a ground ball back to the mound. He would retire his next four batters faced in order to shut the door and clinch his seventh save.
Tech starting pitcher Dominic Moreno (L, 1-3) had a stellar outing, but stellar was not enough to overcome a first inning in which he allowed two extra base hits scoring the only run of the game. With one out, Darryl Sheppard cracked a double to right-center before Adam Toth lined an RBI triple down the right field line. The two offenses would be stymied afterwards.
The two aces combined for 16 total strikeouts. Texas Tech closer Jonny Drozd notched two punch outs in a scoreless inning of relief. Michalec managed just one.
Fielding featured a bit of Jekyll and Hyde as there were certainly some web gems, two of which were made by Jake Barrios in crucial moments of the ball game. One included an over-the-shoulder diving catch at the edge of the left field grass with a runner on third base. It was not all pretty as the Red Raiders committed three errors compared to Baylor's one. None of the errors came back to haunt either team.
The loss snaps a seven game win streak and hands the Red Raiders their first true road loss. Tech (15-4; 0-1) will send LHP Chris Sadberry (2-0, 2.21 ERA) to the mound Saturday to face LHP Brad Kuntz (2-0, 1.71 ERA). Eight of Baylor's (9-8; 1-0) nine victories have come at Ferrell Field. First pitch is currently set for 12:02.
Texas Tech Drops Big 12 Opener
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