Texas Tech Drops Opening Game in Super Regional to East Carolina
Davis Martin chose a terrible time to take his first loss in a Red Raiders uniform, dropping a heartbreaker to East Carolina 8-6.
The loss in the opening game of the Super Regional puts the Red Raiders in the precarious position of having to win two games in a row against a very good East Carolina Pirate team that is riding a mighty wave.
Martin ran into base runners in every inning he pitched, leading Coach Tadlock to say this after the game: "Their whole team (ECU) is better in person than it is on film or on ESPN 3. They're a much better team than they look. Either that or they played awful good tonight."
Tech scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second on a Tyler Floyd RBI fielders choice. Tyler Neslony scored from third after getting on base earlier in the inning on a double to left center.
ECU answered back scoring a single run in the top of the third when Martin issued a two out bases loaded walk to give ECU a free run. Martin had allowed two singles and hit a batter to load the bases. He retired the next hitter to end the threat.
Texas Tech took it's second lead of the afternoon when Michael Davis blasted his second home run of the post season out of the park. Davis has doubled his power output from the regular season after only hitting one home run prior to the playoffs. Davis saves his best games for the brightest lights.
Unfortunately, that lead would not last, because ECU sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the next inning and plated five runs in the process, including a grand slam from Pirate catcher Travis Watkins, who is on an absolute tear.
Stephen Smith would lead off the next inning with his third walk of the game and eventually come around to score on a Cory Raley single before Eric Gutierrez would pop up with two left on base to end the inning.
ECU added two in the top of the 6th on another blast from Watkins giving him two home runs and six RBIs on the day, and his Pirates an 8-3 lead.
Tech would make a final push in the bottom of the 7th with a lead off Double from Gardner setting the table for a three-run inning. The runs came on one swing of Tyler Neslony's bat, plating three runs before a single out was recorded in the inning.
The threat ended when freshman Matt Bridges came in and stifled the Red Raider bats for the final eight outs, recording six strikeouts in the process. Jacob Patterson pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief for the Red Raiders to give his team a chance at the end.
The loss means Tech must win games on both Saturday and Sunday with their backs against the wall. Can it be done? Coach Tadlock had this answer.
"Is it doable? Absolutely. It happens all the time," said Tadlock. "I mean, it's baseball, and it is absolutely doable. But we're going to need to play a better brand of baseball to get it done."
For now we'll just have to trust in the Big 12 Coach of the Year.