The No. 10 Texas Tech baseball team defeated the FIU Panthers, 9-6, on Tuesday at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
With the win, the Red Raiders improved their overall record 34-14 while going 23-5 at home and 20-7 against non-conference teams.
The Panthers landed on the scoreboard first after Jarrett Ford reached on a fielder’s choice. Ford then used his speed to steal second and third base. He then gave FIU an early 1-0 lead after he was sent home off an infield hit by Javier Valdes.
Kaeber Rog also reached first on a fielder’s choice after bunting in the third inning. Rog then advanced to second off a sac bunt and landed on third on a fielder’s choice hit by Ford. Rog crossed home after freshman Mason Minzey made an error giving the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
Redshirt junior Erikson Lanning was relieved by junior John McMillon in the middle of the third inning. Lanning finished his 2.1 innings pitched, giving up two hits and two runs (one earned) while striking a single batter out.
The Red Raiders loaded the bases in the fourth inning as sophomore Gabe Holt was walked, sophomore Dylan Neuse singled with a bunt and junior Brian Klein singled through the left side. Junior Josh Jung was then walked, sending Holt home to cut FIU’s lead, 2-1. Senior Cameron Warren the cleared the bases with a double to left center, giving Tech its first lead, 4-2.
Rog scored another run for FIU in the top of the fifth inning after he was walked, stole second and a passed ball sent him home, cutting Tech’s lead to 4-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, Warren earned two more RBIs as he singled to center field. The hit sent Klein and sophomore Easton Murrell home, giving the Red Raiders a 6-3 lead. Tech loaded the bases again Jung on third, Warren on second and sophomore Cody Masters on first. Sophomore Kurt Wilson sent Jung and Warren home with a hit to right center, giving the Red Raiders a comfortable 8-3 lead in the fifth inning.
McMillon was relieved by junior RHP Taylor Floyd at the start of the sixth inning after he pitched in 2.2 innings, and gave up one hit and four walks. Besides putting five runners on base, McMillon also earned the most strikeouts by any pitcher in the game as he struck four batters out.
Sophomore Braxton Fulford started the sixth inning with an infield hit for a single and advanced to second on an error by FIU’s pitcher. Holt then sent a sac hit to the pitcher, moving Fulford to third. A double down the right-field line then gave Fulford an opportunity to advance home to add one more run to Tech’s lead as they ended the sixth inning with a 9-3 lead.
The Panthers rallied two more runs to chip away at Tech’s lead, cutting it 9-6 in the seventh inning.
After Floyd’s time at the mound in 2.0 innings, both freshmen RHP Micah Dallas and RHP Clayton Beeter pitched in a single inning each, closing the game and securing the Red Raider win.
The Red Raiders and Panthers were originally supposed to play a doubleheader but because of possible severe weather, the second game was canceled.
Tech will play its final series of the regular season against TCU in Lubbock, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16. The Red Raiders and Horned Frogs will continue play at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17, and close the series at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. All three games will be televised with the first on FOX Sports Southwest, the second on FOX Sports Southwest Plus and the finale on ESPNU.