By Ty Parker
LUBBOCK, Texas – Reigning Big 12 Player of the Week Cameron Warren picked right back up where he left off last week with five RBI on Tuesday to power the No. 9 Texas Tech baseball team to a 9-6 win over FIU in a shortened doubleheader Tuesday at Rip Griffin Park.
The second half of the doubleheader was cancelled due to severe weather expected to hit the Lubbock area in the late afternoon. Tuesday’s opener was originally slated for 2 p.m., but the two sides agreed to shift the twin bill up to begin at 11 a.m. due to the potential for inclement weather.
The Red Raiders (34-14, 14-7) have now won 11 of their last 12 games and have made a habit out of late inning charges during the hot streak. They fell behind 2-0 through three to start out the contest before getting things rolling in the middle innings with four spots in the fourth and fifth to go up 8-3 and cruise to the finish.
Trailing 2-0 going into the fourth, the top three guys in the lineup reached base to load the bases for junior Josh Jung. After falling behind in the count 1-2, Jung drew the RBI walk to get Tech on the board. Warren followed with a bases-clearing double to the gap in left that put the Red Raiders in front for good.
In the fifth, sophomore Easton Murrell got the inning started with a pinch-hit single. Junior Brian Klein drew a two-out walk and Jung reached on a hit-by-pitch to load the bases for Warren once again. The senior first baseman drove in two runs with a single to make it 6-3. Two batters later, Kurt Wilson picked up a pair of RBI with a single to right center.
Tech tacked on a run in the sixth, and that would be all that was needed for the Tech bullpen as five pitchers saw time. Junior John McMillon (2-2) picked up the win in 2.2 innings of relief, giving up one run on one hit. Friday night starter Micah Dallas made a relief appearance to strikeout the side in the eighth and setup redshirt freshman Clayton Beeter, who tallied his eighth save of the year in a scoreless ninth.
Warren finished 2-for-4 with the double and five RBI to lead three multi-hit efforts. Sophomore Dylan Neuse registered a 3-for-4 day with an RBI double in the sixth. Sophomore catcher Braxton Fulford came off the bench to go 2-for-2 with a run scored.
FIU starter and reigning C-USA Pitcher of the week Christian Santana (2-3) sailed through the first three innings before running into trouble in the fourth and taking the loss. The Panthers (20-28) managed just four hits in the contest. First baseman Javier Valdes led the team with three RBI, including a two-run double in the seventh that helped FIU trim a 9-3 advantage in half.
The Red Raiders will have the week off for finals before closing out the regular season at Rip Griffin Park against TCU on May 16-18. Tech is a half game out of first place in the Big 12 standings.