By Ty Parker
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The No. 11 Texas Tech baseball team dropped its first midweek game of the season, 12-9, at New Mexico on Wednesday from Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque, N.M.
The Red Raiders (19-8, 3-3 Big 12) built an 8-2 after three with a six-run third inning, but the Lobos (15-14, 6-6 MWC) put on a clinic at getting their leadoff man aboard and in, doing so in 6-of-8 innings Wednesday to score seven unanswered from the fourth through seventh frames.
After a six-run third, the Red Raiders failed to score again until a Cameron Warren two-out RBI single in the eighth that tied the game at 9-9 an inning after New Mexico took the lead. Warren led Tech at the plate, going 3-for-5 with three RBI to finish 4-for-8 in the series with two walks, five RBI and four runs scored.
New Mexico, however, regained the lead in the home half of the eighth, moving in front on a bases-loaded strikeout from redshirt freshman closer Clayton Beeter for the second out of the inning that got past sophomore catcher Braxton Fulford and allowed a run to score. A two-out single drove in two more to make it 12-9 going to the ninth.
The Red Raiders led nearly wire-to-wire in Tuesday’s 15-6 win and looked to be on their way once again Wednesday. After scoring a season-high nine runs in the fourth on Tuesday, Tech scored six runs in the third on Wednesday to take an 8-2 lead.
The six-run lead began to dwindle in the fourth as UNM plated two runs to make it 8-4. In the fifth, the Lobos took advantage of what would prove to be a couple of tough fielding mistakes to score three runs, two of which were earned.
Tech’s offensive woes from the fourth inning on could be summed up by the sixth and seventh frames. Sophomore Dylan Neuse ripped a one-out liner directly at the first baseman for the second out of the inning. Then, with a runner on first, Warren smacked a liner that went right to the UNM third baseman for the final out of the inning.
In the seventh, Tech got consecutive singles to start out the inning and looked to have the bases juiced with no outs after a UNM error fielding a bunt. The Red Raiders would end up scoreless in the inning, however, as they made an out at the plate trying to score on the error, hit a fly ball to right and struck out swinging.
New Mexico, meanwhile, was able to tie the game at 8-8 with a soft infield single to second base before taking the lead with a bloop single that landed just inside the line behind first base.
Freshman Hunter Dobbins went three innings in the start for Tech, while four out of the bullpen saw action. Junior Taylor Floyd (2-2) received the loss allowing three hits and a run in an inning of work.
Junior Josh Jung and Neuse also recorded three hits on the day with Jung scoring three times. Neuse collected his Big 12-leading fifth double of the year during Tech’s six-run third. Both Jung and Baker tallied doubles along with freshman designated hitter Cole Stilwell, who hit two home runs on Tuesday.
The Red Raiders will return to Lubbock for its Big 12 home-opening series against Kansas (15-13, 1-5) Friday-Sunday. The three-game set will air on TexasTech.TV and the Texas Tech Sports Network with first pitch at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.