LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 3 Texas Tech baseball team used a five-run fifth while sophomores Clayton Beeter and Micah Dallas put the clamps on Houston Baptist to earn a 5-1 victory on a brisk Opening Day at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The Red Raiders (1-0) improved to 7-2 on Opening Days under head coach Tim Tadlock behind the arms of Beeter and Dallas, who limited HBU to just two hits and combined for 11 strikeouts in the contest.
Senior Brian Klein led the charge offensively by going 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run, while freshman Jace Jung added a multi-hit performance and an RBI as well.
Jung was one of four freshmen who earned a spot in the opening day lineup along with redshirt freshman Cal Conley at shortstop, Nate Rombach as the designated hitter and Dillon Carter in left field.
Carter jumpstarted the five-run fifth with a double before Rombach put up the first run of the season by touching home on an RBI groundout by Conley. A couple of Husky miscues allowed Carter to cross the plate, and then Klein and Jung connected on RBI singles to make it 4-0. Another error allowed Fulford to score, who reached base by drawing a walk prior to the singles.
Beeter set career highs with 6.0 innings pitched and six strikeouts, earning his first career win in his starting debut. Dallas earned the save as he tossed the final 3.0 frames and only allowed one base runner.
HBU’s Kyle Gruller took the loss for the Huskies as he was responsible for four of the five runs scored in the fifth. Shortstop Nathan Soriano had one of his team’s two hits and scored their only run of the game.
Following the season opener, the Red Raiders will return to the field Saturday for a doubleheader at 12 p.m. Tech will face Houston Baptist for the second time before taking on Northern Colorado approximately 45 minutes after the conclusion of game one.
Sophomore right-hander Austin Becker will make his Red Raider debut in game one against senior left-hander Solomon Klimeck for the Huskies. In game two, Tech will go with junior Bryce Bonnin against Northern Colorado, while the Bears will match up with junior right-hander Dylan Bowers.