Tech Baseball Tops NMSU, 15-4

LAS CRUCES, NM - The No. 6 Texas Tech baseball team took the second game of the three-game season series against New Mexico State, 15-4, on Tuesday afternoon at Presley Askew Field.

The Red Raiders (26-6) racked up 21 hits against the Aggies (17-13), tying a season-high set almost a week ago against Texas Southern on March 29 in Lubbock. It was the 14th game this season with 10 or more hits and eighth time scoring 10 or more in a contest in 2017.

All nine position players in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit on Tuesday, while seven put together multi-hit performances. It was the first time since April 10, 2015, vs. Baylor to accomplish the feat.

Included in the seven were three Red Raiders with three or more knocks, including a pair of four-hit bids from freshmen Michael Berglund and Grant Little. Both were career-high tallies for the Red Raider freshmen. Berglund also recorded three RBI, while Little scored on four separate occasions.

Freshman right-hander Caleb Kilian made his first collegiate start against New Mexico State, going 2.0 innings. He allowed just one run on three hits while striking out one Aggie. With the result, Kilian improved to 1-0 this season.

The Red Raiders scored in the first inning for the 13th time this season on Tuesday, plating six runs, the most in an opening inning this year. Little began the frame with a single through the right side, then the Red Raiders were issued three free bases in the form of a walk to Davis, a hit-by-pitch to Jung and another walk to Hargrove to push across the first run of the afternoon. 

With the bases loaded, Berglund ripped a two-RBI double to right-center, scoring Davis and Jung to make it 3-0. It would quickly turn to 5-0 behind another two-RBI hit, this time a single from Garcia, giving two Red Raiders with multi-RBI hits in the first frame. The final run of the inning would come on an RBI groundout from Beck, pushing Garcia home for the 6-0 lead.

The first seven Red Raiders reached base safely in Tuesday’s game, making it the first time since May 16, 2013, against Baylor to have seven-straight batters find their way onto the base path.

In the bottom of the frame, the Aggies got one run back to cut the deficit to 6-1. NMSU’s Ortiz hit a slow grounder to the left side of the infield and a throwing error allowed him to reach second with one away. With two gone, Hetzel hit a triple off the wall in left field to push Ortiz across for the score. 

Tech brought two more runs across in the top of the third, pushing its lead to 8-1. Back-to-back singles from Farhat & Little put runners on the corners for Davis with one away. Davis smacked a book-rule double over the wall in left field, plating Farhat but keeping Little on third for only one run on the hit. A grounder from Jung would bring home Little though on the next at-bat for the second run of the inning.

Just like the first inning, New Mexico State plated a run after Tech scoring in the top half of the frame. A single from Carranza drove in the second run of the day for the Aggies, bringing in Botello, who reached with two away earlier in the frame via a single.  

Farhat & Little would go back-to-back again in the fifth inning, this time with a triple & double, respectively, to make it a 9-2 Red Raider lead. Little would score with two away in the frame on a wild pitch, giving Tech 10 or more runs for the eighth time in a game in 2017.

In the sixth, Koelzer crossed home after a double play in the infield to make it 11-2, who pinch-hit to begin the frame for Gardner and was issued a walk. With two gone, three consecutive singles from Little, Davis & Jung added another run for the 12-2 advantage.  

The Aggies got a run back in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a two-out single from Sakurai, scoring Hatch who began the frame with a double, to make it 12-3. They added another on a sacrifice fly from Botello to score Ortiz, who tripled at the start of the inning for the fourth run of the game.

Tech tallied three more runs in the top of the eighth to push its lead to 15-4. The first three Red Raiders in the inning reached via a single (Beck) and two walks (Farhat & Little), with the first two runs coming in behind a sacrifice fly to center field and a fielder’s choice. A single from Berglund drove in Jung, who reached on the fielder’s choice for the third run of the frame.

The Red Raiders return home for a four-game home stand, kicking off with conference foe Baylor at Rip Griffin Park on April 7-9.

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