No. 6 Texas Tech notched another statement win after defeating No. 9 Arizona 13-1 in front of a sold out crowd at Dan Law Field.
The Red Raiders continue to prove they deserve the national attention as this was the third straight win over a top 10 team. In the last four days they have taken down No. 8 Ole Miss, No. 2 LSU and now No. 9 Arizona.
Although, pulling off this margin of victory against the NCAA runner-up is arguably the most impressive win so far. The Red Raiders pulled that off by capitalizing on all of the Wildcat's mistakes and playing solid defense both on the mound and the field. Going into to this matchup Arizona was third nationally in batting average, but Texas Tech's pitching staff held them to just one run in the first inning.
It started with freshman right-hander John Henry Gonzalez, who did enough for the Red Raiders by working out of a few jams but allowed too many walks to stay in the game. He lasted three and two-thirds of an inning and allowed one run on two hits and five walks and struck out four. Head coach Tim Tadlock said they need Gonzalez to be more efficient, as his pitch count got up to 82 quickly, but that he had solid fastball command.
"They are going to have work out of jams for sure and they executed pitches when they needed to. It's not always going to work out that way but it was good," Tadlock said.
Jacob Patterson and Erikson Lanning came in relief and combine threw four shutout innings only allowing six hits and a walk. In the sixth inning, Lanning worked out of a bases-loaded jam which really gave Texas Tech the momentum.
That inning Texas Tech turned their 7-1 lead into a 13-1 lead after plating six runs. It all started with two hit by pitches and a walk to set up Tanner Gardner and Grant Little getting walked with the bases loaded, again capitalizing on Arizona's mistakes. With two outs, Michael Berglund hit a RBI single to score Gardner and then the designated hitter Cameron Warren hit a two-RBI double. That marked Texas Tech's eighth RBI with two outs in the contest.
Freshman Michael Berglund continued to be solid at the plate going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Although, having Warren behind him added more length to this lineup. Warren, who struggled early in the season, came back and made a statement at the plate by going 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. After the game Berglund explained what's behind the newcomer's success so far this season.
"It took a little while at first. In the fall it was getting to know people and then after that it kind of just came together and now that the season is rolling we are all just bonding, creating a lot of chemistry as a team." he said. "The older guys put a lot of confidence in the younger guys and the newer guys and that really helps a lot."
The middle of the lineup made up of Hunter Hargrove, Gardner and Orlando Garcia also performed well at the plate. They combined for five hits, four walks and a RBI. Grant Little, who leads the team in batting average, worked his way back in the lineup for Ryan Long despite not playing the last two games. He answered with a RBI single and a walk in his two at bats. Texas Tech's overall batting average as a team is now .295.
When asked what is clicking with this team right now Tanner Gardner said what everyone has been thinking.
"You know there is a lot clicking right now," he said. "The guys in the locker room can sure feel it. This group of guys loves to play the game and come out here in front of 4,500 people and it's good when you have bunch of guys like that."