Red Raiders joyous after a win

Texas Tech Baseball smiles big after picking up a 6-3 victory over Kansas State at Dan Law Field on April 8, 2022.

The No. 4 Texas Tech baseball team defeated Kansas State 6-3 in front of a sold-out crowd at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park. The win snapped the Red Raiders’ longest losing streak of the season after they were swept by Grand Canyon earlier in the week.

Junior right-handed pitcher Andrew Morris made his fourth Friday night start as a Red Raide in front of a sold out Rip Griffin Park, and struck out seven in his first cycle through the Wildcat lineup.

Morris, who had a no-hitter through three innings, credited his changeup and fastball for his success early on.

“I was executing well and I just felt like I was staying really smooth and easy and not trying too hard,” Morris said. “It’s always a good feeling when it comes out like that.” 

Morris ran into trouble in the sixth inning after allowing the first three batters to reach and load the bases. KSU shortstop Nick Goodwin tied the game at one with a sacrifice fly to deep left field, before first baseman Josh Nicoloff took the lead for the Wildcats with a two-out, two-run single.

Morris navigated through the next inning and, with some timely offense during the next frame, claimed his fourth win of the season. By the time he was pulled to start the eighth inning, Morris had struck out nine and walked none. 

Offensively, Tech showcased a different lineup order, with junior first baseman Cole Stilwell batting cleanup and freshman catcher Hudson White in the leadoff spot. 

Tech head coach Tim Tadlock said the shakeup in the lineup was a result of senior left fielder Eastob Murrell’s absence. Murrell exited Tech’s Wednesday night game against Grand Canyon after making a sliding catch into the left field fence, an injury that required stitches.

“We just tried to put together the best lineup for today with Easton out,” Tadlock said. “So you just try to put the pieces together the best you can.”

After missing Tech’s series finale against Grand Canyon on Wednesday, Stilwell got the Red Raiders on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. That would be the only run Tech would score on KSU starter Griffin Hassall, who tossed three shutout innings after surrendering the long ball before being replaced by right-handed pitcher Blake Adams in the sixth.

The pitching change marked a turning point in the game, as the Red Raiders tagged Adams for four runs after entering the inning down 3-1. With the bases loaded and one out, freshman right fielder Owen Washburn reclaimed the lead for Tech with a bases-clearing double to the gap in right-center field. Sophomore left fielder Dalton Porter, who started in place of senior Easton Murrell, added a run with a two-out RBI double to the left field corner.

Tech added an insurance run the following inning after junior designated hitter Ty Coleman scored on a throwing error by KSU third baseman Kaelen Culpepper.

Sophomore left-handed pitcher Derek Bridges pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning in relief of Morris, and freshman right-handed pitcher Trendan Parish earned his sixth save of the season to secure the series opener for Tech.

The win improved the Red Raiders to 5-2 in Big 12 play and 25-8 overall. Game two is scheduled for 2 p.m. tomorrow.

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