OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – No. 21 Texas Tech was eliminated from the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship following a 9-8 loss against Oklahoma on Thursday afternoon at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The Red Raiders (40-18) had an 8-3 lead that was erased by the Sooners’ (29-28) eighth and ninth inning efforts that plated three runs in each frame to walk-off with a victory and eliminate Tech from the conference tournament.
Tech was led by sophomore outfielder Tyler Neslony who tied a school record for Big 12 Championship play with four hits going 4-for-5 with a double, run scored and two RBI. In addition, Neslony extended his hit streak to 18 games – the longest hit streak by a Red Raider since 2004 (Cameron Blair – 20 games). Neslony has also reached base safely in 30 consecutive games.
Tech reliever Cameron Smith (7-2) took the loss allowing three runs on two hits with one strikeout and three walks while OU reliever Kindle Ladd (5-3) earned the win throwing a scoreless frame with a strikeout and walk allowed.
Tech scored four runs in the first inning with an RBI single from Neslony, an RBI double from first baseman Eric Gutierrez, an RBI infield single from Adam Kirsch and a sacrifice fly by senior center fielder Devon Conley.
Tech and OU traded runs in the fourth and fifth innings while Tech grabbed a 7-1 lead in the sixth after junior second baseman Bryant Burleson drove in a run with an RBI single and then Neslony scored Burleson with a single down the left field line.
Neslony is the sixth Red Raider in school history to have four base hits in a Big 12 Championship game, and the first since 2011 (Nick Popescu – vs. Texas A&M).
The Sooners then erupted for six runs in the eighth and ninth with seven hits and taking advantage of a walk and two hit-by-pitch allowed by the Red Raider pitching staff.
Tech entered the game 31-1 when leading after six innings with its only loss prior to today when leading after six innings during Tech’s series finale at Oklahoma State (L, 3-8).
Sadberry took the no decision going 5.2 innings allowing three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks. OU starting pitcher Jacob Evans was taken off the hook after allowing five runs (2 earned) on seven hits in five innings with five strikeouts.
Tech, who has its first 40-win season since 2004, will now await the NCAA D-I Championship Selection/Road to Omaha Show that will reveal the post-season brackets on Monday, May 26 at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.
The Red Raiders, who finished fourth in the league and ranked among the top programs in the country win home wins, non-conference wins and wins over the top-25, are expecting to hear their name called on the selection show for the first time since 2004k which would end a decade long drought from competition at the NCAA Tournament.