For the second straight day, Sam Houston State crossed the plate first but, contrary to Friday night, there was little answer from the Texas Tech lineup as the Bearkats evened the series with a 9-3 win Saturday afternoon at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The Bearkats did all their damage in the first and fourth innings, beginning with first baseman Tyler Davis' two-run home run off Tech starter Trendan Parish that landed in the visitor's bullpen. It was the second straight day that Davis kicked off the scoring with a two-run blast, which marked his seventh long ball of the season.
A pair of crucial misplays from the Red Raider defense blew the game open in the fourth inning. A throwing error from freshman shortstop Will Burns allowed a third SHSU run to score, an RBI single from center fielder Easton Loyd followed and a three-run inside-the-park home run off the bat of Joe Redfield made it a 7-0 Sam Houston lead.
Redfield's home run was originally scored as a single followed by an error, as the ball took a high bounce over the head of Tech center fielder Gage Harrelson and rolled to deepest part of the outfield.
"I think the ball just bounced over," Tech head coach Tim Tadlock said of the play. "Ball landed and you're thinking it's probably gonna bounce about, at the most, eye high, and I think it bounced where (Harrelson) had to jump ... it would have taken a very athletic play to stop the ball."
The five-run fourth inning, as well as a pair of solo home runs in the eighth and ninth innings, was more than enough for the Bearkats, who enjoyed a season-high 7.1 innings from starter Steven Beard. The lefty only struck out four, but was efficient and kept the Red Raiders limited to one run through seven innings.
Beard surrendered a pair of runs in the eighth that shortened his outing, but the senior earned his sixth win of the season after the performance.
Tim Tadlock on Sam Houston State starter Steven Beard, who tossed seven innings of one-run ball before surrendering a pair of runs in the eighth. pic.twitter.com/ad3mETWNzd— Chris Williams (@ChrisWilliamsDT) May 6, 2023
Tech's only runs came off the bats of Harrelson, right fielder Zac Vooletich and pinch hitter Hudson White, who all recorded RBI knocks against Beard. Vooletich was the lone Red Raider to record multiple hits, his ninth time doing so, as his batting average ticked up to .394 after a 2-4 showing.
The 3-4-5-6-7 batters in the Tech lineup combined to bat 0-18 in game two, less than 24 hours after recording 12 runs on 15 hits in the series opener.
Freshman LHP Taber Fast will start tomorrow’s rubber match against Sam Houston State, #TexasTech head coach Tim Tadlock said postgame.It'll be Fast's sixth start of the season, and his first since tossing a career-high six innings against Grand Canyon on April 18.— Chris Williams (@ChrisWilliamsDT) May 6, 2023
The series rubber match is set for 1 p.m. Sunday. Freshman lefty Taber Fast will take the mound for the Red Raiders, Tadlock said postgame.
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