• Comment

Humphreys, Conley help Red Raiders outlast Aggies in 12 innings, 8-7

Posted: March 8, 2014 - 8:09pm  |  Updated: March 9, 2014 - 1:25am
Get your A-J Media Digital Subscription now!

Alec Humphreys entered Saturday with just 16 official at-bats on the season, but may have had the biggest plate appearance of the game.

Devon Conley came in late to pinch run in the ninth, but it was hit bat that delivered the decisive blow.

Together, the two helped the Texas Tech baseball team rally for an 8-7 victory over New Mexico State in 12 innings on a cold, blustery day at Rip Griffin Park. Humphreys rippled a leadoff triple to the wall in left-center, then scored three batters later when Conley lined a sacrifice fly to right to give Tech (13-3) its fifth straight victory.

“Coach (Tim Tadlock) always tells us to be ready for when you’re called,” said Humphreys, who went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs after entering in the second inning for starter Anthony Lyons in left field. “All the guys on the bench are ready for when they’re called, and it showed tonight throwing a bunch of guys in there. He called on me at that time and so it was my turn, I guess.”

It was one of the few times the Red Raiders have had to rally for a win, marking just the second time this season they’ve won a game when trailing after the third inning or later.

A day after getting pounded for 18 hits in a 15-2 loss, the Aggies (7-8) returned the favor somewhat against Tech, using a five-run sixth inning to turn a 5-2 deficit into a 7-5 victory. They did it against normally reliable junior left-handed reliever Cameron Smith.

Smith, who had allowed just two earned runs in seven appearances this season, those coming last week against Sam Houston State, allowed five runs, all earned on two hits and three walks in just a third of an inning.

“(Smith is) due for a bad day every now and then,” Tadlock said. “He had a bad day, and he’ll respond and be ready to go the next time.

“I thought New Mexico State was really good at the plate today. There was a big part of their approach that had an effect on Cameron Smith. I thought they were really good.”

Smith got the first out of the fifth but gave up a double and a single that cut Tech’s lead to 5-3. Then three straight walks and a hit batter tied the game, and a Joey Goldstrom single and a walk to Joseph Koerper put the Aggies ahead 7-5 before freshman right-hander Ryan Moseley ended the inning with a double play.

Moseley proved to be Tech’s saving grace as he went on to pitch 52/3 scoreless innings, scattering five hits and a walk while striking out three and keeping the Red Raiders within scoring distance.

“That’s the luxury of having a guy like him down there,” Tadlock said. “He came in and made some really big pitches, got a double play in the middle of their order in his first inning, then did a good job from there.”

It looked like, however, it would go for naught as NMSU reliever Riley Barr retired seven of the last nine hitters he faced after the Aggies had taken the lead. The Red Raiders also stranded 16 baserunners in the game.

A Jake Barrios RBI single in the bottom of the sixth pulled Tech to within 7-6, but things looked bleak going into the ninth before Eric Gutierrez greeted reliever Trey Gonzales with a leadoff opposite-field home run, his first of the season, tying the game at 7. It was only the second earned run allowed by Gonzales this season.

“My mentality was just to get on base,” said Gutierrez, who led Tech with seven home runs a year ago. “Even if I got a walk, hit by pitch it wouldn’t matter. I got a good pitch on a positive count and it just happened. I put a good enough swing on it, and it flew.”

Tech had a chance to end it in the ninth, loading the bases with two outs on a walk, an error on NMSU third baseman Derek Umphres and an infield single by Tyler Floyd with two outs.

But Zach Davis, who came in as a pinch-runner for Stephen Smith in the eighth, grounded out to third to end the inning. Davis would come up empty again in the 11th after a pair of walks and a hit batter again loaded the bases with two outs, again Davis grounding to third.

The Aggies also had a chance to take the lead in extras. With one out, Tech reliever Nick Pettus hit Kyle Kilgore and gave up a double to Umphres that Davis just missed with a diving catch in right-center.

Kilgore rounded second, but went back to first thinking Davis caught the ball. He did not retouch second base, however. Tech appealed and Kilgore was ruled out.

Dalton Brown (1-0) then came on to strike out Kyle Young and strand Umphres at second with the go-ahead run.

Humphreys then hammered a 1-0 fastball from NMSU reliever Zach Freeman (1-2) to left-center for Tech’s sixth triple in two games. After a Barrios groundout, Gutierrez was intentionally walked to bring up Conley, who grounded out to third to start the 11th inning.

Conley lined the first pitch he saw to right, but Young’s throw was well up the line and Humphreys scored easily to end the game.

“I was really proud of the guys that came off the bench,” Tadlock said. “On the mound, and also the position guys. Every one of them rolled off the bench ready to go. It was a tough day to play and they were all ready to go. I thought we persevered after (the bad inning) and handled the adversity.”

george.watson@lubbockonline.com

• 766-2166

Follow George on Twitter

@AJJorge

TEXAS TECH 8

NEW MEXICO STATE 7, 12 innings

New Mexico State, Texas Tech

VISITOR HOME

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Medina cf 5 0 0 2 SSmith cf 3 0 1 0

Goldstrom 2b 5 0 2 1 Davis pr/cf 2 0 0 0

Evans 2b 1 0 0 0 Lyons lf 1 0 0 0

JKoerper dh 5 0 2 1 Hmphrys lf 5 2 3 2

KKoerper 1b 6 0 0 0 Barrios 3b 6 0 1 1

Kilgore lf 5 2 3 0 Gutierrez 1b 4 2 2 2

Umphres 3b 6 1 2 1 Kirsch rf 4 0 1 0

Paulson rf 4 1 2 1 Conley pr 1 0 0 1

vonBlsngm pr 0 0 0 0 Long ss 5 1 1 1

Young cf 1 0 0 0 Broadbent dh 5 1 2 0

Blckstne ss 4 2 1 0 Burleson dh 4 0 0 0

Carswell c 2 0 2 0 Floyd c 4 2 2 1

Noyer c 0 0 0 0 Graf ph 0 1 0 1

Heredia c 1 0 0 0 Wagner ph 1 0 1 0

Ramsey pr 0 0 0 0 Belch c 0 0 0 0

Totals 46 7 15 7 Totals 44 8 13 8

NM State 010 015 000 000 — 7 15 1

Texas Tech 021 201 001 001 — 8 13 1

2 outs, 1 runner on when game ended.

E — Umphres (4), Burleson (2). DP — New Mexico State 1, Texas Tech 4. LOB — New Mexico State 9, Texas Tech 16. 2B — Kilgore (2), Umphres (4), Kirsch (8), Broadbent (4). 3B — Humphreys (1). HR — Gutierrez (1). SH — Smith (2), Humphreys (1). SF — Gutierrez (2), Conley (2). SB — Ramsey (1), Humphreys (1).

Pitching summaries

IP H R ER BB SO

New Mexico State

Kraft 3 5 3 3 3 1

Barr 5 5 3 2 2 1

Gonzales 3 2 1 1 3 0

Freeman (L, 1-2) 2/3 1 1 1 1 0

Texas Tech

Sadberry 5 7 2 2 0 5

CSmith 1/3 2 5 5 3 1

Moseley 52/3 5 0 0 1 3

Pettus 2/3 1 0 0 0 1

Brown (W, 1-0) 1/3 0 0 0 0 1

WP — Kraft (1), Barr (1). HBP — by Kraft (Burleson), by CSmith (Medina), by Gonzales (Burleson), by Pettus (Kilgore). BK — CSmith (1). PB — Carswell (1). U — Howard, Alexander, Leible, Morris. T — 3:54. A — 1,336. Records: New Mexico State 7-8; Texas Tech 13-3.

  • Comment