Rally Falls Short

On what turned out to be a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, Texas Tech (16-9, 3-2) pulled out a 6-4 10 inning victory over WVU (9-13, 2-3) to even the series at one game each.

Corey Walter started on the mound for the Mountaineers and pitched a solid seven plus innings, allowing two runs, both earned, on five hits, walking three and striking out six. He left after walking the leadoff batter to start the seventh. Ryan Hostrander came on to pitch for WVU in the seventh and allowed a one out two run homer to extend the deficit to 4-0. Those two extra runs proved to be crucial when the Mountaineers mounted a rally one inning later.

Surprise Tech starter Johnny Drozd pitched six strong innings for the Red Raiders, allowing four hits, walking one and striking out four. Texas Tech ace Trey Masek reported soreness in his pitching arm before the game and trainer Shawn Lindsey and head coach Tim Tadlock made the decision to shut him down in the cold weather, much to the disappointment of the multiple major league scouts in attendance.

After an uneventful first inning, Tadlock got into an argument with home plate umpire Scott Wilkerson over balls and strikes. After a warning, Tadlock was shown the gate very quickly. That ejection appeared to spark the Red Raiders, who got a single from first baseman Eric Guttierez to lead off the inning. Designated hitter Jerrard Poteete ripped a double into the gap in right center, puttingd Tech in business with no outs. Walter responded nicely by getting a run scoring groundout from third baseman Jake Barrios, a routine foul out and another ground out to escape with no further damage.

Walter was right back into hot water to begin the third inning as Tim Proudfoot singled to center. Centerfielder Brett Bell was hit with a pitch, and following a sacrifice bunt Walter walked the next two batters to force in the second run of the game.

The game stayed at 2-0 until the eighth inning, when Walter hit Guttierez to start the eighth. Hostrander came on in relief and got Poteet to fly out to left, but two pitches to give Tech a 4-0 lead. Hostrander got the next two batters to end the threat, but WVU was down to their last two at bats facing a four-run deficit.

WVU showed resiliency in the bottom of the inning when Bobby Boyd reached to lead off the inning on an error by second baseman Bryant Burleson. Tech shortstop Tim Proudfoot then booted a grounder off the bat of Brady Wilson, and WVU had their first two runners on base. One out later Matt Frazer walked to load the bases, and Tuntland wasted no time ripping a single to center to drive in Boyd and Wilson to cut Tech's lead to 4-2.

Ryan McBroom then singled sharply to the left side scoring Frazer to cut the lead to 4-3. Billy Fleming struck out looking for the second out, and WVU Coach Randy Mazey decided to take down starting catcher Alan Filauro for pinch hitter Justin Fox. Fox singled on a 2-2 pitch to drive in Tuntland and the game was tied at four.

Tech coach Ray Hayward, subbing for the ejected Tadlock, brought in Andre Wheeler to pitch for the Red Raiders, and he got Bobby Boyd to fly to left center to end the threat.

Tech took the lead bacl on a triple and a groundout to start the tenth off WVU reliever Dan Dierdorf (1-3, 5.40), and then the defense fell apart. An error by shortstop Taylor Munden, a walk and a misplayed double play ball at second allowed another run to score and Tech took a 6-4 lead in the middle of the 10th.

West Virginia threatened once more in the bottom of the 10th after Billy Fleming reached on an infield single with two outs. Catcher Max Nogay, who came on after Filauro was replaced for a pinch hitter in the eighth, reached on a bunt single to bring the winning run to the plate. Taylor Munden grounded to short to end things for WVU.

Fleming had three hits for the Mountaineers. Tuntland had two hits, two RBI and scored a run. Justin Fox singled in the tying run in his only at-bat for WVU.

Jake Barrios finished 3 for 5 for Tech with three RBI and two runs scored. Andre Wheeler (2-0) picked up the win for Tech with 2 1/3 innings of two-hit shutout baseball.

Both teams will take 30 minutes before finishing the series this afternoon at Appalachian Power Park. John Means (2-1, 1.85) is slated to take the hill for WVU. Corey Taylor (2-2, 6.23) is scheduled to start for Tech in the finale.

WVU lines up for the National Anthem

Billy Fleming flips a throw to first

Bobby Boyd hustles down the line

Brady Wilson (23) beats the tag at second for a steal

Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock reacts after being ejected in the second inning

All photos copyright BlueGoldNews.com

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