By Ty Parker
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The No. 11 Texas Tech baseball team continued its strong midweek play, erupting for a nine-run fourth inning on its way to a 15-6 win at New Mexico in the first of a two-game series at Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque, N.M.
Sophomore designated hitter Cole Stilwell recorded his first multi-home run game, and the Red Raiders (19-7, 3-3) went yard four times as a team, including twice in the fourth, to improve to 6-0 in midweek contests this season.
Senior first baseman Cameron Warren and freshman shortstop Dru Baker hit back-to-back home runs to help cap off the fourth, which would finish as the highest scoring inning of the year for Tech. The Red Raiders sent 12 batters to the plate in the frame, racking up seven hits and five extra-base hits, including three doubles and back-to-back home runs from Warren and Baker.
The Red Raiders outhit New Mexico 14-11 for the contest to improve to 74-46-1 all-time against the Lobos and gained the series advantage in Albuquerque at 27-26-1. Tech has now won seven of its last eight against UNM (14-14, 6-6).
Sophomore Bryce Bonnin (3-0) earned his third win of the season after tossing five innings and yielding five runs on seven hits with a pair of strikeouts. Junior John McMillon followed him with two scoreless frames before sophomore Ryan Sublette finished out the final six outs.
All nine Red Raiders in the starting lineup recorded a hit on Tuesday and 8-of-9 crossed home plate. Stilwell and Baker were joined by sophomores Gabe Holt and Dylan Neuse with multi-hit games. Meanwhile, five Red Raiders had multi-RBI games, including Stilwell, Holt, Neuse, Warren and sophomore catcher Braxton Fulford.
Tech jumped on the board with one out in the first when Stilwell hit his first of two dingers, crushing a 3-2 pitch well beyond the standard in left field. Stilwell added a towering two-run shot in the third that put Tech in front, 3-1.
Freshman Tanner O’Tremba got the scoring started in the fourth with an RBI double to left. Two batters later, Holt rocked a bases-loaded double off the wall in right to make it 6-1. After the first two outs of the inning were recorded, Neuse sent a two-out single up the middle that brought in two more. Klein squeezed a double into right to score Neuse and setup the back-to-back jacks from Warren and Baker that extended Tech’s lead to 12-1.
The Lobos rattled off four runs over the fourth and fifth innings to cut the lead to 12-5, but Fulford answered in the sixth with a three-run single just inside the line in right that put a 10-run cushion between Tech and UNM.
The Red Raiders and Lobos will close the first of two midweek series between the two teams on Tuesday with first pitch in Albuquerque set for 2 p.m. CT. Tech will then return to Lubbock for its Big 12 home-opening series against Kansas Friday-Sunday.