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Red Raiders finish off sweep of WVU, strengthen NCAA postseason resume

The Red Raiders open play at the Big 12 Championships Wednesday against Texas

Posted: May 17, 2014 - 5:53pm  |  Updated: May 18, 2014 - 12:21am
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Texas Tech's Eric Gutierrez(12) signs autographs with other teammates after the Red Raiders' win over West Virginia on Saturday in Lubbock. (Zach Long)  Zach Long
Zach Long
Texas Tech's Eric Gutierrez(12) signs autographs with other teammates after the Red Raiders' win over West Virginia on Saturday in Lubbock. (Zach Long)
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The Texas Tech baseball team is bound and determined to force the NCAA selection committee to come up with a good reason why the Red Raiders shouldn’t host a regional in two weeks.

A top-16 RPI. Eight wins against top-25 RPI teams. 40 wins in a season. A 14-10 record in the Big 12 Conference, which could be as high as fourth place depending on what Texas does the rest of the weekend at Kansas State. Victories in eight of the last 11 and 16 of the last 21 games.

All of it was solidified on Saturday as the No. 23 Red Raiders capped off their third Big 12 series sweep of the season. Left-hander Dylan Dusek tossed 62/3 scoreless innings, and senior Adam Kirsch homered and scored three runs in a 4-0 victory over West Virginia in front of 2,509 fans in the regular-season finale at Rip Griffin Park.

The Red Raiders open play at the Big 12 Championships at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday against Texas, at 40-16 on the season and a regional berth virtually locked.

“That’s when we play our best, when we’re laid back and relaxed and letting it go with the flow, kind of thing,” said Kirsch, who hit his ninth home run of the season to lead off the second.

From there, West Virginia had no answer. The Mountaineers (27-24, 9-14 in Big 12) stranded nine runners on the day and 28 total for the series.

“We’re just a little snakebit right now,” West Virginia coach Randy Mazey said. “It’s not like we’re playing bad, we’re just not getting the hits. We’ve hit more line drives at outfielders the last six games than we have the whole season. The 12 games before, we were hitting line drives between guys and down the line and scoring runs.”

Dusek, despite not having his best stuff on Saturday, kept the Mountaineers off balance in becoming the first Tech pitcher since Steve Gooch in 2003 to make 10 home starts in a season.

The Mountaineers put runners on base in each inning except for the fifth, but could never capitalize. Dusek (6-0) enticed two inning-ending double plays and four two-out fly balls through the first six innings.

Dominic Moreno finished off the shutout with 21/3 innings of relief, scattering a pair of hits and striking out one to earn his second save of the season.

“Today would be a day of battling for me,” said Dusek, who walked three and struck out one. “I wasn’t there with all my pitches but I was definitely in my battle mode to get through every pitch. I battled as much as I could and got all the outs that I needed, but without the defense behind me I wouldn’t have gotten that far today.”

Not only did Kirsch give Tech the only run it would need on Saturday, but he helped Tech score its first three runs. He led off the fourth with a walk and scored on a Tim Proudfoot sacrifice fly, then opened the sixth with a single and scored when Proudfoot hit into a bases-loaded double play to put Tech up 3-0.

For Tech, it was a continuation of the weekend when the bottom of the order came up clutch. Alec Humphreys and Devon Conley each had a pair of hits as Nos. 5-8 in the order were 7 for 13 on Saturday with three runs scored and two RBIs.

“Today, again, those guys were really good,” head coach Tim Tadlock said. “Obviously it lengthens your lineup when you have guys who are having good, quality at-bats, and it’s fun to watch when they are.”

How long this team plays at that level remains to be seen, but they’re guaranteed at least two more games and all but guaranteed an NCAA regional berth. After that, it’s up to them, and it’s up to the NCAA committee as to where those games will take place.

“Definitely, since the regular season’s over, I don’t know what else we could do,” Tadlock said. “We had a really good regular season, I think our resume looks really good. I think our body of work speaks for itself.”


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West Virginia Texas Tech

Player ab r h bi Player ab r h bi

Munden ss 3 0 0 0 SSmith rf 4 0 0 0

Boyd cf 4 0 0 0 Burleson 2b 4 1 2 0

Fleming 2b 4 0 1 0 Neslony lf 4 0 2 1

McBroom 1b 4 0 1 0 Gutierrez 1b 4 0 1 0

Rice lf 4 0 0 0 Kirsch dh 3 3 2 1

Johnson rf 4 0 2 0 Hmphrys 3b 4 0 2 0

O’Brien c 3 0 1 0 Conley cf 3 0 2 0

Semler dh 0 0 0 0 Proudfoot ss 3 0 1 1

Fox ph/dh 2 0 0 0 Redman c 4 0 0 0

Cramer ph 1 0 0 0

Cnstntini 3b 4 0 2 0

Totals 33 0 7 0 Totals 33 4 12 3

West Virginia 000 000 000 — 0 7 1

Texas Tech 010 101 10x — 4 12 1

E — Johnson (2), Burleson (7). DP — West Virginia 2, Texas Tech 2. LOB — West Virginia 9, Texas Tech 9. 2B — O’Brien (11), Gutierrez (14). 3B — Burleson (3). HR — Kirsch (9). SH — Conley (4). SF — Proudfoot (3). SB — Munden (12).

Pitching summaries

West Virginia ip h r er bb so

Means (L, 6-2) 61/3 10 4 4 2 2

Paul 2/3 1 0 0 0 1

Bennett 2/3 1 0 0 0 0

Hostrander 1/3 0 0 0 0 0

Texas Tech

Dusek (W, 6-0) 62/3 5 0 0 3 1

Moreno (S, 2) 21/3 2 0 0 0 1

U — Hamilton, Sooter, Winters, Bullock. T — 2:32. A — 2,509. Records: West Virginia 27-24, 9-14; Texas Tech 40-16, 14-10.

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Coach Tadlock....

You're winning and rightfully receiving credit for it. Around here you should be careful. Don't get fired without cause and then get cheated out of pay for work completed. Heads up.


Red Raider baseball finally back!

Thank you Coach for getting us back where we belong; hard to believe the program has been down for an entire decade?? I recall a time where we were one game away from Omaha twice in A 4-5 year period. Good times lie ahead. Guns Up!

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