By: Scott Lacefield - Texas Tech Communications
LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 24 Texas Tech nearly pulled off an unthinkable comeback, one that included tying the game in the bottom of the ninth inning stealing home with two outs, but three runs by No. 12 Texas in the 12th inning gave the Longhorns a 5-2 series-clinching win on Sunday afternoon in front of 3,992 fans at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
Texas Tech (22-9, 4-5 Big 12) scored two runs in the ninth inning – after trailing 2-0 the previous six frames – to send the game into extra-innings. The Longhorns (22-7, 3-3 Big 12) escaped with the victory while winning their first Big 12 series in two years.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Withrow (3-2) took the loss for Tech pitching 1.1 innings in relief allowing three runs (1 earned) on two hits with two walks. Texas reliever John Curtiss (1-0) picked up the win going five innings in relief allowing two runs on two hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Tech started a rally with one out as senior right fielder Adam Kirsch walked on a full count. Pinch runner Devon Conley advanced to second base on a wild pitch and then moved to third base on left fielder Tyler Neslony’s line-drive single to left giving Tech two base runners with one out while sophomore Zach Davis entered the game to pinch run for Neslony at first base.
Sophomore Alec Humphreys scored Tech’s first run of the game, cutting Texas’ lead to a run (2-1) with an RBI single to right field, scoring Conley and moving Davis to second base. Junior catcher Hunter Redman grounded out to third base, advancing both Davis and Humphreys into scoring position, with two outs.
With junior shortstop Tim Proudfoot batting and with one ball and two strikes, Davis took off and stole home tying the game, 2-2. Proudfoot struck out swinging on the next pitch to send the game into extra-innings.
Tech stranded five base runners in three extra-inning frames, including four runners in scoring position, while Texas scored three runs in the top of the 12th on two walks, two base hits and a fielding error in right field to win the game.
Tech second baseman Bryant Burleson went 2-for-4, Humphreys went 2-for-4 with the team’s only RBI and senior third baseman Jake Barrios reached base safely three times with a pair of walks – one intentional – and a hit-by-pitch.
In addition, Texas Tech and Texas had 12,551 fans attend the three-game series which set a new Rip Griffin Park (since 2012 renovation) three-game series attendance record.
Texas Tech will be back in non-conference action on Tuesday, Apr. 1, taking on New Mexico in a neutral site game in Midland, Texas, played at Security Bank Ballpark – home of the Midland Rockhounds, Double-A affiliate for the Oakland Athletics, with first pitch set for 6 p.m.