Morris throws a pitch

Junior right-handed pitcher Andrew Morris throws a pitch in the game against Merrimack College at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park on March 4, 2022.

The Texas Tech baseball team defeated Rice University 10-1 at Reckling Park in Houston in the series opener. The Red Raiders capitalized on five Owl errors en route to the game one victory.

Tech returned to the top of its pitching rotation as junior right-handed pitcher Andrew Morris got the Friday night start. Morris kept the Rice offense at bay, surrendering one run while striking out four in five innings of work. His performance earned him his second win of the season, according to Tech Athletics.

Entering the top of the fifth hanging on to a 2-1 lead, the Red Raiders plated four runs in the frame to take control of the game. After junior first baseman Cole Stilwell drew a walk to lead off the inning, sophomore second baseman Jace Jung recorded his second RBI of the night with a double to the gap in right-center field that gave Tech a two-run lead. 

That would be it for Rice starting pitcher Cooper Chandler, as sophomore left-handed pitcher Garrett Zaskoda came in to replace him with one out. Tech would score three more runs in the inning, including a two-out RBI double from sophomore left fielder Dalton Porter to give the Red Raiders a 6-1 lead.

The Red Raiders drew eight walks on the night, including three from Stilwell. Stilwell, who scored twice in the win, has drawn 12 walks this season, tied for second on the team, according to Tech Athletics.

Morris was relieved by sophomore right-handed pitcher Josh Sanders to start the sixth inning. Sanders entered the night with a 12.27 ERA in 3.2 innings pitched this season, according to Tech Athletics. The Yukon, Okla. native threw four scoreless innings while striking out five to stifle the Owl offense in the second half of the contest.

Tech would add four more runs in the final four innings, including a solo home run from senior 3B Parker Kelly in the top of the ninth, his third consecutive game with a long ball. 

According to Tech Athletics, the fifth-year senior has six home runs in 14 games played this season after hitting two in his first 111 collegiate games.

The Red Raiders improved to 12-3 with the win. The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m., with junior right-handed pitcher Brandon Birdsell the probable starter.

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