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Bullpen falters for second straight Sunday, allowing OSU to rally for 8-3 victory in series finale

Posted: April 6, 2014 - 4:46pm  |  Updated: April 6, 2014 - 11:59pm
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A day after pounding out 16 run son 12 hits, the Texas Tech baseball team wasted several scoring opportunities early to build on a lead.

And it cost them the game, and the series.

Tech’s normally solid bullpen faltered late as Oklahoma State scored eight runs in its final two innings as miscues allowed the Cowboys to capture an 8-3 victory and a 2-1 series win over 25th-ranked Texas Tech Sunday afternoon at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.

Instead of pulling even midway through the Big 12 Conference schedule with three of their next four series at home, the Red Raiders (24-11 overall) instead fall two games under .500 at 5-7.

Oklahoma State improves to 22-10 overall and 5-4 in the Big 12.

The loss by Tech wasted a tremendous performance from starting pitcher Chris Sadberry, who tossed six scoreless innings and held OSU to just four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Sadberry never allowed more than one Cowboys baserunner in any single inning, retiring 11 of the last 13 batters he faced.

Sadberry left after giving up a leadoff single in the seventh, with head coach Tim Tadlock going to what has been a dependable bullpen all season.

But it all unraveled in two innings that allowed OSU to cruise to the victory, marking the second straight series finale Tech had a chance to win but watched its bullpen give it away.

Ryan Moseley (0-1) entered for Sadberry but failed to record an out. He allowed a walk, threw away the ball trying to get a force at third on a bunt, then the two-run single by Saxon that put the Cowboys up 3-2.

Jonny Drozd came on, still with no outs and was close to getting out of the frame without any further damage until he balked with runners at the corners, forcing in another run to give OSU a 4-2 lead to the eighth inning.

Tech got a run back in the top of the eighth on a two-out RBI double off the wall in left by Hunter Redman. That pulled Tech to within 4-3.

But the bullpen struggles continued in the bottom of the eighth and allowed OSU to ice the game with just one hit.

Conor Costello led off the eighth with a double, and after a sacrifice bunt, Drozd walked Aaron Cornell. Drozd was lifted for Dominic Moreno, who walked the only batter he faced to load the bases.

Then it really got out of hand. Smith walked Saxon to force in one run, and after getting an out at home on a grounder to first, proceeded to hit three straight batters, all scoring runs, to push the lead to 8-3.

All totalled, four Tech relievers surrendered seven runs on just three hits but with four walks, three hit batters and balk.

Before the late inning meltdown, Sadberry had Tech in control, and the Red Raiders jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Adam Kirsch.

Redman then ripped a single a runner at third and two outs to push the lead to 2-0 in the sixth. But it was what happened in between that came back to haunt the Red Raiders.

Tech had runners at second and third with one out in the third. But Eric Gutierrez popped up and OSU intentionally walked Kirsch before going to its own bullpen. Vince Wheeland then got Todd Ritchie to ground out to second to end the threat.

Two innings later, Burleson was hit by a pitch with one out and Gutierrez walked. But Wheeland got Kirsch to bounce out to second to end the threat.

Tech wasted another opportunity in the seventh on a Tyler Neslony one-out double and a single to left by Gutierrez to put runners at the corners. Kirsch then grounded into an inning-ending double play.

In all, Tech stranded 10 runners, eight in the first six innings, and six of the 10 were left in scoring position.

Tech is back in action on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., hosting Abilene Christian at Rip Griffin Park before hosting Kansas State for three games beginning Friday.

OKLAHOMA STATE 8, TEXAS TECH 3

Oklahoma State Texas Tech

Player ab r h bi Player ab r h bi

Barrios 3b 5 0 0 0 Green cf/c 4 0 0 1

Burleson 2b 4 0 1 0 Walton ss 4 0 0 1

Neslony lf 4 1 3 0 Costello rf 5 1 2 0

Gutierrez 1b 4 0 2 0 Krtemeier 1b 3 1 1 0

Kirsch dh 3 0 1 1 Fish dh 2 0 0 0

Conley rf 1 0 0 0 Cornell pr 0 1 0 0

Ritchie ph 3 1 2 0 Sluder lf 2 1 1 0

Proudfoot ss 4 0 0 0 Hassel lf 0 0 0 0

Davis cf 3 1 0 0 DWllms ph 0 1 0 0

Redman c 4 0 2 2 Case c 0 0 0 0

Rojas c 2 0 0 0

Saxon ph/cf 1 1 1 3

Arakawa 2b 4 2 1 0

McCnghy 3b 2 0 1 1

Totals 36 3 11 3 Totals 29 8 7 6

Oklahoma St. 100 001 010 — 3 11 1

Texas Tech 000 000 44x — 9 7 0

E — Moseley (1). DP — Texas Tech 1, Oklahoma State 1. LOB — Texas Tech 10, Oklahoma State 7. 2B — Neslony 2(4), Redman (3), Costello 2(8). 3B — Arakawa (1). SH — Krietemeier (2), Sluder (2). SB — McConaughy (3).

Pitching summaries

Pitcher ip h r er bb so

Texas Tech

Sadberry 6 4 1 1 0 3

Moseley (L, 0-1) 0 1 3 3 1 0

Drozd 11/3 2 2 2 1 1

Moreno 0 0 1 1 1 0

Smith 2/3 0 1 1 1 0

Oklahoma State

Nurdin 22/3 5 1 1 2 0

Wheeland (W, 2-0) 41/3 4 1 1 1 0

Battenfield 2/3 2 1 1 0 0

McCurry (S, 7) 11/3 0 0 0 0 1

HBP — by Sadberry (McConaughy), by Wheeland (Burleson), by CSmith (McConaughy), by CSmith (Green), by CSmith (Walton). BK — Drozd (1). U — Mazzarisi, Harrison, Coskey, Morehead.

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Say goodbye

To the postseason. Nice choke, once again.

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Starting Pitching

I am a big believer in giving your starters the ability to go the whole game. Sadberry was rolling along yesterday. After a single to start the 7th he was pulled. Too short of a leash. Yes I know it was only 2-0, but he had gone 6 innings with no problem. Only 89 pitches. Hadn't walked a single batter. The other teams we face don't pull their starters after a single in the late innings. Why is that? Sadberry went 7 against Rice, we had a 2-0 lead and he allowed one in the 7th. Our longest start by ANY pitcher this year is 7 innings. Let these guys go the distance if it's warranted. And in this game Sadberry deserved to continue pitching!

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@RaiderPower3234

Was anyone more excited by a loss than you? It meant you could post another sarcastic comment on the AJ message board. Please explain how a team picked to finish towards the bottom of the conference "choked"???

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