Texas Tech bounced back Wednesday following a pretty disappointing loss on Tuesday to take a split in the two-game midweek series with New Mexico State.
Coming off two wins against top ten ranked teams in Houston last weekend, many expected Texas Tech to take the Aggies with ease, but on Tuesday they showed signs of similar problems which plagued the Red Raiders in midweek games last year.
This team proved they have a short memory though. After putting six runs on the board against New Mexico State in the first game, when they have averaged 8.1 against the Aggies under Tadlock, Tech exploded for 14 on Wednesday. Senior leaders and offensive stars Eric Gutierrez and Tyler Neslony who both homered in the second game said that they needed to relax a little more, because they were a little over aggressive in the first game.
Texas Tech dropped the first game of the series against New Mexico State 7-6 on Tuesday.
The Aggies posted three runs in the first inning and kept that momentum throughout the game. Tech starting pitcher Erikson Lanning pitched four innings and struggled at first, but then settled in and three scoreless innings after allowing three runs on three hits. He ended the night allowing six hits, five earned runs, two walks and recording three strikeouts.
In the third inning Tech made a five run comeback to take the lead. This came after an RBIs from Zach Davis and Stephen Smith followed by a 2 RBI single from Eric Gutierrez. Although, New Mexico State regained the lead in the fifth inning by posting another three run inning, this time on relief pitcher Robert Dugger.
Texas Tech added one run in the bottom of the seventh to make it a one run game. They had a chance in the bottom of the ninth to make a comeback but after poor base running and a lack of offense they just didn't get it done.
- This looked a lot like some of last year's midweek games, which hurt this team a lot. Gutierrez after the game said it's the leaders job to pick up the confidence again and make sure this doesn't keep happening. He added they need to play these games like there against the No. 1 team in the country.
- Texas Tech made two errors, both of them were from Ryan Long but these simple mistakes can't keep happening. Including getting picked off at first, which happened once tonight.
Texas Tech left little doubt Wednesday by crushing New Mexico State 14-2 to split their first midweek series.
The offense was rolling for Tech who banged out 15 hits, five of those being home runs! It all started with back-to-back rockets from Tanner Gardner and Neslony in the second inning, followed by two more runs being tacked on to that. Tech had another big five-run inning in the eighth after a blast from Orlando Garcia which was followed by RBIs from Neslony and Gutierrez.
Neslony was the star of the offense Wednesday as he went 4-for-4 with four RBIs, one double and two home runs. After the game he said thought he had a good approach in the first game, just swung a few times he shouldn't have but that Wednesday he just waited for the right one to hit.
Gutierrez who batted .409 in Game 2 with two RBIs and a home run said Tuesday's loss put a bad taste in their mouths making the team hungry for the win.
Needless to say that kind of production makes the starting pitcher a little more comfortable, but the big hitters today said Steven Gingery on the mound gave them a little breathing room. Gingery retired his first six of seven batters and overall in his five and a third innings pitched he allowed two runs on four hits, one walk with 12 strikeouts. Of his 88 pitches, 60 of them were for strikes.
Tadlock was very proud of Gingery's performance on the mound and said they need more starting performances like the one they had Wednesday. Hayden Howard and Jacob Patterson came in relief and shut out New Mexico State for the rest of the game.
Gutierrez said that after yesterday's loss the team got together and talked and decided that this year was not going to be the same as last year when it comes to midweek series.
- This team was not happy with Tuesday's result and it humbled them a little bit. The players mentioned after the game that no one was happy about it, and that they will take it upon themselves as leaders to make sure it doesn't turn in to last year's midweek series struggles.
- Tadlock and company are piecing together the bullpen. He said he knows they have a lot of pieces down there that can shorten games, but time will help.
- Texas Tech endured a pretty humbling experience after Tuesday’s loss, but it fueled the bats on Wednesday, and both of those should be a good combination as they prepare for Cal State Fullerton this weekend, which yet again will be a good measuring stick for this team.