Photo By Steven Chapman

Martin, Red Raiders Stifle Stags

Texas Tech routed Fairfield 12-1 Friday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Lubbock Regional at Dan Law Field.

Freshman pitcher Davis Martin pitched seven strong innings, allowing five hits and one run, while striking out four, and that was more than enough to ensure that Texas Tech (42-16) would not stub a toe against MAAC champion Fairfield (33-24) as the Red Raiders cruised to a 12-1 victory in the opening round of the Lubbock Regional.

Tech's bats made sure Martin didn't have to sweat a pitcher's duel. The Red Raiders scored three runs in the first two innings, added three more in the fourth, and slammed the door with another troika in the sixth, making the score 9-1 going into the home stretch. Erikson Lanning entered in relief of Martin in the seventh inning, allowing only one hit while striking out three.

Tech's big bats on this day belonged mainly to designated hitter Cory Raley and infielder Tyler Neslony, who combined for seven ribbies on 4-of-7 batting. Michael Davis' lead-off tater in the second inning was the only home run for either team.

Photo By Steven Chapman
The Rip Griffin Stadium crowd of 4,732 was never in much doubt as to which ballclub would get the W. Indeed, the only tense moments for the Red Raiders came in the third inning. Davis Martin, pitching with a 3-0 lead, suddenly couldn't find the plate. He walked Tyler Gamberdella, who entered the game with only 10 walks, on a full count pitch, walked Drew Arciuolo, and suffered the first Fairfield run when Michael Conti reached base on a throwing error by catcher Tyler Floyd. But the buck stopped here as Martin settled down and Floyd built a wall around home plate.

Fairfield's leading hitter, Jake Salpietro, flied out; Floyd tagged out Arciuolo at home, and Martin fanned Mac Crispino to shut down Fairfield's only true threat of the afternoon. Tech boss Tim Tadlock was impressed with the young Martin's work to get out of the pickle:

"There's a lot to be said for a guy who's grounded enough to pitch out of jams. He understands it's a baseball game and he can go and do what he's done his whole life."

The fact that Tadlock only used two arms, and that even Lanning only threw 26 pitches bodes well for the Red Raiders staff for the remainder of the regional. Said Tadlock, "It all starts there. Out on that bump, that's where it all starts. We'll go Steven Gingery tomorrow. We'll have the rest of the bullpen down there including Erikson if we just had to have him, so that sets up good. But tomorrow is a new game, and we've got one down."

The Red Raiders will face off against New Mexico (36-21) at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. 

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