Tim Tadlock sat in the post-game press conference late Saturday night with his hand pressed to his face and his cap tilted slightly.
It was hardly the look of a man whose team had just come back from two runs down to defeat New Mexico.
But the question the Texas Tech coach was asked was a tough one.
“Who do you think you’re going to start tomorrow?”
Texas Tech entered Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park one win away from advancing to the Super Regionals.
The Red Raiders left the ballpark still one win away as Dallas Baptist held off the regional host 10-6.
Texas Tech and Dallas Baptist will face off again at 2 p.m. Monday to determine who advances and who goes home.
“Tomorrow’s a great opportunity to go out and compete,” Tech coach Tim Tadlock said. “The guys are looking forward to it.”
Texas Tech rallied late against New Mexico on Saturday, winning the game with a strong effort from the bullpen and some late heroics from Stephen Smith and Ryan Long.
And it did rallied again Sunday. It just wasn’t enough as it dropped Game 6 of the NCAA Lubbock Regional to Dallas Baptist 10-6.
The Red Raiders attempted to rally in the seventh inning, scoring six runs and loading the bases looking for more. But, Long was called for not checking his swing soon enough and was rung up for a swinging strike out.
Stephen Smith pumped his fist into the air as he rounded third base.
And the crowd stood for him.
The junior form Frenship, known to the faithful at Rip Griffin Park as “The Bull,” had just crushed the ball and New Mexico’s hopes of an upset.
The solo home run cleared the wall in right field, completed Texas Tech’s rally from a two-run deficit and kept it in the winner’s bracket of the Lubbock NCAA Regional after defeating New Mexico, 4-3.
Sometimes baseball can be a simple game.
That was more than evident as Texas Tech defeated New Mexico 4-3 Saturday night in the second round of an NCAA Regional at Rip Griffin Park at Dan Law Field.
Despite struggling in two-out situations for the first seven innings, the Red Raiders hit the ball when it counted the most in crunch time.
With the bases loaded, Texas Tech’s Ryan Long rose from the bench and delivered a two-out, two-RBI single that knotted the game at 3-3 in the eighth inning.
With the bases and two outs Ryan Long stepped to the plate.
The junior drove in the game-winning runs against No. 9 Houston and No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette at the end of February.
As the blue glow from the NCAA logo on the scoreboard shone brightly in right center field, Long drilled the second pitch he saw up the middle of the field as two Red Raiders crossed home plate to tie the game up at three.
That two-out rally ignited the Red Raiders as they defeated New Mexico 4-3.
Davis Martin hadn’t lost all season.
And Game 1 of the NCAA regional against Fairfield at Rip Griffin Park on Friday wasn’t any different.
The freshman threw seven innings and only gave up one run on five hits.
He struck out four and lowered his season ERA to 2.31 in Texas Tech’s 12-1 win over Fairfield at Rip Griffin Park on Friday.
If Billy Beane was watching, he probably threw something at his television.
The Oakland Athletics GM is the poster boy for analytics in baseball and — right or wrong — has a reputation for not taking a liking to things such as stolen base and intentional walks — much less intentional walks to get to the clean-up hitter.
Already down three runs, Fairfield manager Bill Currier choose not to pitch to Texas Tech’s three-hole hitter Tanner Gardner, intentionally walking him to get to Cory Raley.
Jake Salpietro backpedaled and backpedaled and backpedaled. Until the wall stopped him.
The Fairfield right fielder watched as the ball sailed over his head and into the Texas Tech bullpen where the Red Raider pitchers were jumping up and down.
Junior reliever Robert Dugger grinned as he held his glove, with Michael Davis’ home run ball, over his head.
■ Record: 41-17
■ Scouting report: After losing seven players to the Major League draft last year, Dallas Baptist captured both the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles this season. The Patriots swept New Mexico in a three-game series already this year in early March — 5-2, 33-8, 12-11. Overall, Dallas Baptist finished second in the MVC with a .289 batting average and team fielding at 97.4 percent.