CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The No. 23 Texas Tech baseball team had to fight through more than just the opponent on the field to qualify for the school’s first super regional on Sunday night.
An ejection of the Red Raiders’ best player and two rain delays pushed the championship game of the Coral Gables Regional into the wee hours of the morning. Thanks to six shutout innings from Ryan Moseley and a bases-loaded hit batter, Tech held a 1-0 lead over host No. 3 Miami going into the second rain delay.
The game was finally called at 10:31 p.m. local time with one out in the top of the eighth inning. It will resume at 1 p.m. CDT on Monday, with a second game if neccessary to follow 55 minutes after conclusion of the first game.
Tech had a chance to add to its lead in the bottom of the seventh but Devon Conley struck out with runners at the corners and two outs.
Jonny Drozd, who came on to start the seventh inning after the second rain delay and worked around a two-out error, got Miami leadoff hitter Dale Carey to ground out to second as the rain returned, and the umpires called the game for the night.
Moseley, who was 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA going into the game, held the Hurricanes to just two hits and walked four but struck out six, giving the Red Raiders exactly what they needed to try to close out the regional championship.
But it was anything but normal.
A collision between Tech first baseman Eric Gutierrez and Miami’s David Thompson to end the third resulted in both benches clearing, but no punches were thrown.
However, Gutierrez was ejected from the game for tossing the ball between Thompson’s legs as the Miami first baseman lay on the ground. Miami first-base coach Gino DiMare went after Gutierrez on the play and both benches cleared. DiMare and Tech assistant J-Bob Thomas were also ejected.
Game officials announced there will be no more displinary action against anyone ejected, so Gutierrez will be eligible to play in Tech’s next game — either in Game 7 or in a Super Regional.
All that came after the Hurricanes prevented themselves from tying the game earlier in the inning thanks to a baserunning blunder. With runners at first and second and one out, Tyler Palmer doubled to deep right-center. Dale Carey, one of Miami’s fastest players, took off from first immediately but Garrett Kennedy held up at second to see if the ball was caught.
Stephen Smith missed the ball, and both runners took off for third. Kennedy stopped with Carey right on his heels, and with Carey unable to go back to second due to Palmer standing on the bag, Kennedy took off for home and was easily thrown out for the second out of the game.
After a walk to Zach Collins, Thompson bounced a grounder to short. Tim Proudfoot’s throw carried up the line but Gutierrez corralled it just before colliding with Thompson. Thompson wound up sitting on the ground as Gutierrez was knocked back, tossing the ball into Thompson’s lap and starting the confrontation at first base.
Moseley, however, kept the Hurricanes from building momentum from the incident. He retired the side in order in the fourth, worked around a one-out walk in the fifth and sat the Hurricanes down in order in the sixth, ending it with his sixth strikeout.
Tech got its only run of the first six innings in the first against Miami starter Javi Salas. With two outs, Tyler Neslonly and Adam Kirsch walked around a Gutierrez single. Salas then hit Long on an 0-1 pitch to force in a run.
From there, however, Salas was solid despite Tech batters making solid contact. He got an inning-ending double play with two on in the second, gave up a harmless two-out walk to Neslony in the fifth and stranded Long after a one-out single in the sixth.
Long’s single came after a 38-minute rain delay. Long was stranded at second after a sacrifice bunt and a fly to right, and the rains came immediately again, forcing another rain delay of roughly an hour, resuming at 10 p.m. CT.
NCAA BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
(double elimination; x-if necessary)
At A-Rod Park at Mark Light Field
Coral Gables, Fla.
Game 1: Texas Tech 3, Columbia 2
Game 2: Miami 1, Bethune-Cookman 0
Game 3: Bethune-Cookman 6, Columbia 4; Columbia eliminated
Game 4: Texas Tech 3, Miami 0
Game 5: Miami 10, Bethune-Cookman 0; Bethune-Cookman elmiminated
Game 6: Texas Tech (42-18) vs. Miami (43-18), susp. due to rain
Game 6: Texas Tech (42-18) vs. Miami (43-18), resume at 1 p.m. CT
x-Game 7: 55 minutes following, if neccessary
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