Texas Tech's bats were bound to bust open at some point during the weekend and that's exactly what they did in the final game against Cal.
The biggest hit was by first baseman Hunter Hargrove who hit a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth to break the 2-2 tie and give Texas Tech a 6-2 lead. He ended the day going 3-for-5 at the plate with six RBI and now he is hitting .421 after nine games.
The offense didn't stop there. Grant Little went 3-for-3 at the plate and walked twice in the final game against Cal. In the seventh inning he was batted in on a triple from Hargrove. After Little's dominate performance in the lead off spot this weekend, he is leading the team with a .481 batting average.
"I thought Grant had some good at bats today and obviously applied some pressure," Tadlock said. "He really separated balls and strikes well and hit some balls hard."
The Red Raiders had only put up two runs while starting LHP Erikson Lanning was on the mound. He was able to command the fast ball well despite the pressure. He went five innings allowing two runs on five hits and three walks. This was a big improvement after his performance in Tech's loss to Mississippi State a week ago.
Texas Tech managed to put up a total of 23 runs this weekend against some quality arms from Cal. The key was Texas Tech getting into Cal's bullpen early. The Red Raiders totaled 19 hits and 12 runs against Cal's bullpen.
On the flip side, Texas Tech's bullpen was solid throughout the entire weekend. They kept the Golden Bears to just three runs on seven hits in 12 and a third innings. A part of that effort was LHP Dylan Dusek, who hasn't played for the Red Raiders since 2015 due to a Tommy Johns injury. It was a special moment for this team to see him get his season debut, which consisted of one shutout inning.
Both Michael Davis and Hunter Hargrove mentioned how happy they were to see Dusek back on the mound because they know how big he will be for this team once he fully recovers.
"It's really exciting," Hargrove said. "We got excited when he saw him pitch in the fall and early spring. Every time he got on the mound we were all like 'Yes! Dylan is on the mound.' It was awesome seeing him out there and he got a great ovation, rightfully so...Luckily he is going to be in our bullpen for us down the road. We look forward to him coming out there and pitching well."
Another breakthrough moment that came on Sunday was Tanner Gardner getting two singles and a RBI on his last two at-bats of the series. Gardner has struggled at the plate since the season has started and before those hits he had gone 0-14 this weekend. Hargrove said he can tell that moment was big for Gardner and he thinks it will open the gates and end his slump.
Going into the season there were question marks about whether this lineup was going to be able to adjust to all of Texas Tech's big names leaving. Nine games in they have shown that they are capable of being as good if not better than last year's squad. That accompanied with the depth of the starting rotation and a bullpen that is showing improvement this team is balanced.
So far, all signs point to it being another special season for coach Tim Tadlock and company, but of course, Tadlock doesn't want to think that far ahead. When asked about the tough five game stretch coming up that includes four ranked teams he said at this point he is only focused on New Mexico.
"You are getting ahead of me," Tadlock said. "We have New Mexico coming in on Tuesday and those guys are always fun to play. As far as the weekend, I know the guys are excited about that but we have enough guys in the locker room that know we can't look past Tuesday. It's a game you can't look past."