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Red Raiders wait out dust storm, smother Lumberjacks, 20-4

Posted: March 18, 2014 - 10:39pm  |  Updated: March 19, 2014 - 12:57am
Texas Tech's Adam Kirsch makes a catch at the wall against Stephen F. Austin during their game on Tuesday in Lubbock. (Zach Long)  Zach Long
Zach Long
Texas Tech's Adam Kirsch makes a catch at the wall against Stephen F. Austin during their game on Tuesday in Lubbock. (Zach Long)
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The Texas Tech baseball team dusted off its bats Tuesday night — figuratively and literally.

After waiting out a dust storm for more than 21/2 hours, the Red Raiders wasted no time in making it worth the wait, pounding out 17 hits while producing its biggest run total in more than two years with a 20-4 victory over Stephen F. Austin Tuesday night at Rip Griffin Park.

The 20 runs were the most in a game for a Tech team since scoring 21 and 25 runs in consecutive games against Alabama A&M March 13-14 of 2012. It also improved Tech to a Big 12 Conference-best 17-5 on the season.

“I think we were fortunate to get the game in but I think the umpires made the right decision to wait on the weather, kind of move through,” head coach Tim Tadlock said. “Glad we did, glad we got the game in and obviously got some things to work on for (Wednesday).”

No players were made available to the media after the game.

It was the second straight Tuesday home game where the weather had an effect. Last week, Tech’s game against ACU was called in the seventh inning after another dust storm blew through Lubbock.

The game against SFA (8-10) was originally scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. but was pushed back to 9:05 while both teams waited out the dust storm that accompanied a cold front. That front moved through Lubbock shortly before 8 p.m., and brought with it strong winds that blew out to right field.

SFA starter Patrick Ledet (0-1)lasted just three innings, allowing six runs, three earned, on seven hits and two walks with a strikeout.

Surprisingly, however, only one ball left the yard, and that was a two-run home run by SFA designated hitter Mackenzie Handel. Tech scored by piling its 17 hits on top of three Lumberjacks errors and nine free passes (six walks, three hit-by-pitch) issued by five SFA pitchers.

That doesn’t mean Tech didn’t hit some balls hard. Adam Kirsch went to the plate four times in six innings and drove in at least one run each time, finishing with five RBIs. Eric Gutierrez had two hits, including a bases-loaded triple as part of an 11-run sixth inning.

Stephen Smith had five hits and drove in three runs, becoming the first Red Raider with five hits in a game since Stephen Hagen in 2011, and Jake Barrios reached base in all six plate appearances — three hits, one walk and two hit-by-pitch. He scored four times

For the second straight Tuesday, the Red Raiders scored five runs in the first inning but really had just one ball that was scalded — a two-run double to the wall in right by Alec Humphreys. The rest of the inning saw Red Raiders reach base thanks to four singles, two in the infield, two walks and an SFA error that could have ended the inning with Tech doing no damage.

“We hit a double-play ball that a lot of times they’re out of the inning if they turn a double play,” Tadlock said. “But even up to that point we had a couple of infield hits. We just hadn’t seen that much over the last couple of games. Needless to say it was good to get a few breaks there in that inning, and then Humphreys had the big hit in the inning.”

It was the sixth inning when Tech broke the game wide open. Tech led just 7-3 before scoring 11 runs in the frame, the big blows coming on a two-run double by Adam Kirsch, a two-run single by Stephen Smith and a three-run triple by Eric Gutierrez.

That put Tech up 18-3 and was more than enough run support for starter Matt Withrow (2-1), who pitched for the first time since his March 9 start against New Mexico State.

Withrow allowed three runs, all earned, on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts in five innings, but Tadlock was pleased with how the right-hander handled both the conditions and the opponent.

“I thought he was really good,” Tadlock said. “I thought his fastball command was good, the slider was a wipeout slider today. With that kind of stuff, he can pitch against anybody.

“Maybe the fastball command wasn’t exactly where you want it, but it was better (Wednesday) than it’s been ... which is a step in the right direction.”

Tech and SFA will wrap up the series Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Rip Griffin Park.

 

george.watson@lubbockonline.com

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TEXAS TECH 20, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 4

Stephen F. Austin Texas Tech

Player ab r h bi Player ab r h bi

Dickey cf 4 1 2 0 SSmith 6 2 5 3

Cruz cf 1 0 0 0 Long ss 5 3 0 0

Sanchez rf 3 1 1 0 Barrios 3b 3 4 3 1

BSmith rf 0 0 0 0 Gutierrez 1b 5 3 2 4

Marberry c 2 0 0 1 Kirsch rf 2 2 1 5

LSmith c 1 0 0 0 Conley ph 2 0 0 0

Handel dh 4 1 1 2 Hmphrys lf 4 2 2 0

Fikes 2b 4 0 2 0 Lyons ph 1 0 0 0

BThornell 3b 3 0 0 0 Burleson 2b 4 1 1 2

O’Neill 1b 4 0 1 1 Davis ph 1 0 1 0

Jackson lf 4 0 1 1 Brdbent dh 5 1 1 1

Vest ss 4 0 0 0 Randolph c 3 2 1 1

Totals 33 4 8 4 Totals 41 20 17 9

SFA 100 200 100 — 4 8 3

Texas Tech 510 10(11) 20x — 20 17 0

E — Fikes (1), Jackson (1), Hickman (1). DP — SFA 1. LOB — SFA 6, Texas Tech 7. 2B — Jacskon (1), Barrios (5), Kirsch (11), Humphreys (2), Randolph (3). 3B — Gutierrez (2). HR — Handel (3). SF — Marberry (1), Kirsch (3). SB — Dickey (7). CS — Dickey (6).

Pitching summaries

Pitcher ip h r er bb so

Stephen F. Austin

Ledet (L, 0-1) 3 7 6 3 2 1

Hickman 21/3 3 5 4 0 1

Maynard 1/3 2 4 4 1 0

Hunsaker 11/3 4 5 4 2 1

Keith 1 1 0 0 1 0

Texas Tech

Withrow (W, 2-1) 5 6 3 3 1 5

Drozd 2 1 1 1 1 1

Brown 2 1 0 0 1 2

WP — Hunsaker (1), Withrow (4). HBP — by Hickman (Barrios); by Hickman (Barrios); by Maynard (Randolph). BK — Hickman (1). U — Leible, Sooter, Alexander, Morris. T — 2:37. A — 1,704. Records: SFA 8-10; Texas Tech 17-5.

 

 

 

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Very Strange Article

In baseball, the decision whether to start a game--and then at what time--is made by the home team--not the Umpire-in-Chief.

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