After a heartbreaking loss on Sunday, Texas Tech flush it and show their true colors with a win over New Mexico on Tuesday.
“I told them just now it’s absolutely awesome,” Tadlock said about flushing Sunday’s loss. “I love every one of them. It’s good to see. That was a tough game Sunday, at the same time these guys are a lot more resilient than us older guys...I told them now we can celebrate a birthday. [Tadlock’s daughters]”
Although the win wasn’t as easy as the score suggests. New Mexico’s offense continued to compete for the entire game, but could not get runners across the plate. The Lobos totaled 13 hits and received nine free bases but left 16 runners on base.
That speaks to Texas Tech’s pitching staff what Texas Tech’s pitching staff was able to well which was work out of jams. Starting pitcher John Henry Gonzalez did that with inning-ending strikeouts in the first two innings.
During the third inning, Gonzalez lost some of his control and threw multiple wild pitches and allowed multiple walks. That is something Texas Tech’s pitching staff struggled with, allowing too many walks. In that inning, New Mexico took full advantage and tied the game up 3-3.
Tadlock said the reason why he wanted to pitch John Henry Gonzalez today was in order to flush his outing that he had on Friday when pitching in place of Davis Martin.
“We used to do that a lot from the standpoint of if a guy has a bad outing, you want to get him back out there as soon as possible, especially if the pitch count allows you to,” Tadlock said. “Really, that was our thought once the game ended Friday.”
The defense also made incredible plays that helped the guys on the mound. The most notable one was in the fifth inning when Cody Farhat fielded a double and threw it in to get the guy out at the plate. That kept it tied at 4-4, but the momentum would soon change in Texas Tech’s favor.
In the bottom of that inning, Josh Jung hit a RBI double in order to take the lead. Michael Davis added cushion as he crushed a two-run homer over the right field wall. Both of those guys had the biggest day at the plate going 2-for-3 and 2-for-5 respectively and a combined 6 RBI.
Michael Davis has boosted his average over the last few game and said it is because he is being picky at the plate. For example, that home run came after he had been sitting on a slider in his previous at-bats.
“I’m just trying to search for pitches instead of going after everything, not being aggressive in certain spots and knowing when to attack,” Davis said.
After that, the bullpen was then able to put up shutout innings. The added three more insurance runs in the eighth inning again on hits from Jung and Davis. Despite the bumps, it is impressive this defense held a team that averages 7.5 runs a game to just four.
The bullpen effort was made up of Erikson Lanning, Caleb Kilian, John McMillon and Dylan Dusek. The first two are guys that could be potential starters on the weekend for Davis Martin, who is still out due to injury. It is a quick turnaround with traveling to K-State and playing a Thursday, Friday, Saturday series due to Easter. Tadlock was not quite ready to announce what Texas Tech’s rotation will look like in Manhattan.
“Right now, you are really talking about there is a 90 percent chance of rain on Thursday in Manhattan. So we got a little time to figure it out,” Tadlock explained, “but at the same time, we will announce that when the time is right. In this situation, it could be an advantage if somebody knew what we were planning...Hold your cards.”