Texas Tech dropped the three-game series against Oklahoma State over the weekend at Dan Law Field and fell to fourth in the Big 12 with a 10-8 conference record.
The Red Raiders won the first game 5-3, but the Cowboys came back and evened the series with a 8-2 win on Saturday. Oklahoma State won the final game 6-3 to take the series.
The key to Texas Tech’s success on Friday was its ability to score early on Oklahoma State's starting pitcher Jon Perrin, with two runs in the first inning. That start seemed to put Texas Tech’s starting pitcher, Ryan Moseley, at ease.
Moseley pitched four straight scoreless innings while striking out seven consecutive batters, the most by a Red Raider in the last 14 years. He only allowed the Cowboys to get one run, which was earned on six hits in the seven innings he pitched.
He said the key was his fastball command.
“I don’t even know if I threw an off speed pitch the first three innings, I’m pretty sure it was all fast balls, just commanding it really well down the zone,” Moseley said.
The Cowboys made it a one run game in the top of the eighth but the offense was able to come in with one run the bottom of the inning. Overall they scored five runs on seven hits, and eight walks.
That was not the case on Saturday. The Texas Tech offense was only able to score two runs on seven hits, because they could not capitalize with runners in scoring position.
Oklahoma State’s Michael Freeman definitely had something to do with that. He went for eight innings allowed only one run on six hits and one walk. In addition to that he struck out 10 Red Raiders.
Tim Tadlock said that Freeman’s performance was outstanding because of his fastball command on both sides of the plate.
For the first four innings it seemed like an all out pitcher’s duel because on the other side, Texas Tech’s starter Cameron Smith (5-3, ERA: 2.86) only allowed one run. That ended when Smith allowed two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings before Matt Custred came to relieve him.
Saturday’s woes turned in to Sunday’s as well because Texas Tech struggled in the same areas.
First off, the offense could not bring runners in scoring position across the plate. Four guys were stranded on third base when there was only one out, and went 0-10 with runners in scoring position.
Tyler Neslony was holding the offense together. He drove in the first run after getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, hit a homerun in the third inning, and had an RBI triple in the fifth.
On the defense, the predetermined starting pitcher, Corey Taylor, one of the best stoppers in the nation with an earned run average of 0.36 “strained something” just 15 minutes before first pitch.
“It’s a shame that he couldn’t throw but at the same time we’ll get him looked at go from there,” Tadlock said.
This was the biggest loss for Texas Tech since they pitched Dylan Dusek, the typical Sunday guy on Friday. Dominic Moreno said it was the team’s responsibility to pick up Taylor.
“It was a chance for us to pick him up, he’s been picking us up all year. It was a chance to do what he’s been doing for us all year and we didn’t get it done,” Moreno said.
Texas Tech quickly got freshman Jacob Patterson warming up so he could start. He only lasted one inning after he allowed one run and pitched a total of 14 pitches, seven for strikes.
After Quinn Carpenter’s appearance, which didn’t even reach one out but allowed one run, Matt Withrow put in four innings for Texas Tech. The Cowboys scored two homers, a total of three runs in just one inning on Withrow, total they scored four on him.
After Mushinski got one out, senior Dominic Moreno finally got the call. He pitched three scoreless innings only allowing two hits.
At that point the Texas Tech offense couldn’t make the comeback. He said after the game that this is one that they will put behind them.
“We need to pick it up. That’s plain and simple. We will be fine by Tuesday but it’s a tough loss but we will have a short memory,” Moreno said.
Texas Tech will play their last two home games against Grand Canyon on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then they will travel to Austin to face the Longhorns, and then close conference play in Morgantown against West Virginia.
“These guys have to realize that whether they struggled today or if they did good they have to have a short term memory. They got to realize whether they are sophomore or juniors that they have another game to play. The season’s not over,” Moreno said.
Texas Tech Drops Series to Oklahoma State
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