LUBBOCK, Texas – Pinch hitter T.J. Rumfield drilled a walk-off double to left field in the bottom of the 11th to cap off a late rally as No. 2 Texas Tech baseball outlasted Rice with a 7-6 victory Sunday to complete the three-game sweep.
A day after turning a seven-run deficit into a seven-run win, the Red Raiders (16-1) found themselves down 4-0 early and trailed 6-2 in the bottom of the eighth. Tech, however, captured its late-inning magic once again as a two-run single from sophomore Max Marusak in the eighth cut the lead in half and an RBI walk and sac fly in the ninth pushed the game into extras.
Facing a drop time of 3:15 p.m., both sides were held scoreless in the 10th and the clocked ticked past 3:15 with the Owls (2-13) at the plate in the top of the 11th. Sophomore Micah Dallas retired the Owls quietly, sending the game into its final half inning with the rare scenario where Tech was guaranteed no worse than a tie.
Senior Brian Klein, who engineered the ninth-inning rally with a double, drew a leadoff walk in the 11th and scored one batter later as Rumfield doubled to left in his only at bat of the weekend to send Klein all the way around from first for the winning run.
The win is Tech’s 12th in a row and moves the Red Raiders to 11-0 at home this season. It was the second time this season Tech has rallied in the ninth to force extras, where it is 3-0 this year. Rumfield joins senior Brian Klein as Red Raiders with walk-off hits this season.
Eight different Red Raider pitchers contributed to the win. The bullpen allowed just two runs – one earned – on five hits in the contest while combining for 10.2 innings of work. Sophomore Micah Dallas earned his first win of the season to go along four saves. Junior Kurt Wilson had one of his best outings of the season with 2.0 innings of work while freshman Andrew Devine provided 2.2 scoreless frames early in relief of starter Austin Becker.
Freshman Cal Conley led the Red Raiders at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. He provided a response to Rice’s four-run first inning, shooting an RBI double over the right fielder in the bottom of the first to keep Tech in the hunt early. He later added an RBI groundout in the fifth to trim the lead to 4-2.
Marusak’s single provided a lift in the eighth as Tech cut what was a 6-2 lead in half. Freshman Jace Jung led off the frame with a walk before a double from sophomore Dru Baker put the duo at second and third with one out.
Trailing 6-4 in the ninth, Conley led off with a walk before Klein doubled to right field, putting the pair in scoring position. A walk to sophomore Cole Stilwell loaded the bases, and Jung worked a full-count walk for Tech’s fifth run of the game. Freshman Nate Rombach provided the tying run with a sacrifice fly to center that plated Klein.
The Red Raiders hit the road for a ranked midweek showdown at No. 10 Mississippi State. The two-game set will be played at MGM Park in Biloxi, Miss., starting with a 6 p.m. (CT) first pitch on Tuesday. Both contests can be viewed on SEC Network Plus.