Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock used to have a Golden Retriever named Moses.
It could catch pretty darn good.
But that ole dog didn’t have anything on Texas Tech catcher Hunter Redman.
“A bad catcher, everybody here, you don’t have to know baseball to know if there’s a bad catcher back there,” Tadlock said. “It looks like a dog I used to have — like a Golden Retriever running to the back of the back stop. It was a good dog, too. I’m telling you, a really good dog.
“I mean, he could really catch.”
Redman was instrumental in Texas Tech’s 1-0 win over College of Charleston at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park on Saturday.
The catcher, who was drafted in the eighth round by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, blocked the plate twice, saving two runs.
The first came after a leadoff double by Cougar right fielder Brian Glazer in the third. A sacrifice bunt moved him to third, but shortstop Tim Proudfoot fielded a crisp grounder by Champ Rowland to his right and threw to Redman, who tagged Glazer at the plate.
The second time came after Glazer was again sacrificed to third. Sadberry got Rowland to hit a bouncer back to him and he flipped to Redman, who hung on after a hard collision with Glazer.
“He’s doing a pretty good job of playing each pitch. As a catcher, that’s really probably the hardest thing to do because they’re literally in on every pitch,” Tadlock said. “Obviously, when the Los Angeles Dodgers take you in the 8th round, those guys are putting a lot of money into a lot of pitching, if you know what I’m saying. I thought it made a lot of sense to take a guy that can really catch and on top of that he’s a better guy, better character.”
Another close one
In the Coral Gables Regional, Texas Tech scored less than three runs a game.
It still found a way to win.
Saturday was not different. The Red Raiders needed execution, luck and strong pitching to escape with a 1-0 win over the College of Charleston.
“I thought we had some good fortune on our side with the two balls on the infield where we get the out at home, and you need that a little bit this time of year,” Tadlock said. “...That game is a funny game. It’s an unpredictable game. It’s a game of inches, a few inches here or there, I think both teams could score a couple more runs.”
Despite the close games, Tadlock and his team continue to focus on playing the right way — not the score.
“And really weren’t thinking about playing — we were thinking about playing baseball and playing it the right way,” Tadlock said. “We scored one run. I mean, it was not like we were the ’27 Yankees today by any means. We scored one and pitched it pretty good, and play decent defense and caught a couple breaks.”
Stay or go now
With Sadberry cruising on the mound it looked like he might throw the second-straight complete game for Texas Tech.
Cameron Smith pitched all nine innings in the Red Raiders’ regional clincher against Miami.
But, with Sadberry’s pitch count nearing 100, Tadlock and Texas Tech coaches decided to pull the left-hander and insert Jonny Drozd.
Drozd pitched a near perfect ninth inning for the save, striking out one and getting the Cougars to go three up and three down.
“Oh, absolutely, there was discussion. We talked about it,” Tadlock said. “He was at 98 pitches. You can go back and look at our season, if you wanted to, and you can see most of our guys don’t go much more over 100. It’s very rare. So really at that point, it was really a pretty easy call. It’s really easy now that it’s over, right? I mean, if it goes the other way, it was like, man, that was stupid, why didn’t he pull that guy?
“So, when you’re managing the game, you really like it when it works out that way and you can take care of the guy.”
Beaten at their own game
All season the College of Charleston was known for pitching and defense.
That’s how the Cougars won 44 games and took down No. 2 national seed Florida in the Gainesville, Florida regional.
Saturday, Tech simply did it better.
“We knew we were going to have a tough test,” Cougars coach Monte Lee said. “We just had to try to find a way to get runners in scoring position. Somebody had to step up and drive a run in. ... And they’ve got a really good defensive ball club. Obviously, we’ve seen some film on them, but just watching them from the dugout, they’ve got some really good athletes. Their shortstop is a very good defensive player. Their catcher is a good player and made a great play. We were trying to bunt for a hit, but he caught the ball, slammed into the wall.
“They’re just a very good defensive ball club with a very good guy on the mound.”
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