LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech catcher Braxton Fulford hit a tie-breaking, bases-clearing double in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game against Baylor, delivering a sorely-needed 4-1 victory for the Red Raiders.
The two teams were interlocked in a 1-1 tie when Fulford came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. Baylor intentionally walked Cal Conley to get to Fulford, and paid the price when the backstop smoked a 1-0 pitch down the left field line for a three-run double.
The win tied the teams’ series at 1-1 after Baylor (25-13, 6-8 Big 12) routed No. 5 Texas Tech (27-9, 8-6 Big 12) Friday night. The rubber game will be Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
The three runs that scored on Fulford’s double were more than the teams combined to score in the first seven innings. Starting pitchers Micah Dallas and Hayden Kettler were dominant, keeping both offenses off the board through the first five innings.
Dallas struck out 10 hitters in his seven brilliant innings of work, but Baylor broke through with a run in the sixth inning when a slider in the dirt got away from Fulford, allowing Baylor’s Jared McKenzie to score on a wild pitch.
Kettler was excellent as well, retiring the first 10 Red Raider hitters of the game before Jace Jung hit a fourth-inning single. Cole Stilwell roped a triple in the fifth inning, but was stranded at third base. Finally, the Red Raiders put a rally together in the sixth.
Parker Kelly led off the inning with a triple and scored when the next batter, Easton Murrell, hit a single. The Red Raiders had runners on first and second with one out when Kettler gave way to reliever Jimmy Winston, who set down Conley and Fulford to end the inning.
Ryan Sublette replaced Dallas in the eighth inning and finished the frame with a 5-4-3 double play. After Fulford’s double gave the Red Raiders the lead, he pitched a flawless ninth inning to lock down the win.
Micah Dallas turned in his best performance of the season, and thanks to Fulford, a local product from Monterey High School, it resulted in a Red Raider win.