Texas Tech defeated UNLV 5-2 in the first game of their midweek series and made it look easy. The Red Raider’s took control of the game early with good pitching and solid at bats. That dominance never wavered throughout the entire night.
Starting pitcher John Henry Gonzalez turned in a great outing as he lasted six innings only allowing one run on five hits and a walk. There were multiple times where runners were on where Gonzalez showed his composure and got out of the inning unscathed.
“I thought he was outstanding,” head coach Tim Tadlock said after the game. “I thought he had good fastball command, breaking ball, change. He had a nice three pitch mix and that is a guy we want to see every time he walks out there. We try to put an emphasis on that and challenge him a little bit and glad to see he rose to the challenge.
The Texas Tech (18-4, 3-0 in Big 12) offense quickly backed him up by putting one run on the board in the first inning, which was scored on a sac fly from Tanner Gardner. From there, Gonzalez settles in four consecutive shutout innings until his offense adds to the lead.
It was Michael Berglund who got things started in the fourth inning with a single. Orlando Garcia followed that with a double and both of them scored on a fielder's choice and a sac fly from Grant Little. It was manufacturing runs in this way that ultimately put the Red Raiders in a good position the rest of the game.
The next inning they made it look easy as Texas Tech added two more runs on RBI doubles from both Josh Jung and Garcia, the latter coming with two outs. Garcia said that turning in this kind of offensive effort in a midweek game is important.
“You just try to execute,” he said. “You are not always trying to hit them out of the ballpark, you know. You just need to do the little things the right way and if you do the little things better like coach Tadlock mentions all the time we will be fine and that is what we are doing right now.”
Jacob Patterson came in to relieve Gonzalez in the seventh and allowed one run after two hits that inning, but his infield turned a double play to minimize the damage. In the eighth, he retired the Rebels in order.
Righty Jose Quezada came in for the ninth slammed the door on UNLV and solidified Texas Tech’s win. Tadlock said after the game that they will go with freshman right-hander Caleb Freeman in Game 2 against UNLV. First pitch is set for noon on Wednesday.