No. 11 Texas Tech takes series opener against No. 3 Texas 6-3

Red Raider Nation

Texas Tech’s Dru Baker (4) batts in the first inning during an NCAA baseball game against Mississippi State on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. Mississippi State won 11-5. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

AUSTIN, Texas — No. 11 Texas Tech touched up No. 3 Texas’ ace Ty Madden for six runs Friday, taking the first game of the weekend series 6-3.

With the win, the Red Raiders improved to 29-10 with a 9-7 Big 12 mark. Texas fell to 34-10 but is 12-4 in conference play.

Both teams sent out their best starter for the series opener. Southpaw Patrick Monteverde took the hill for the Red Raiders and the fireballer Madden got the start for Texas.

Neither pitcher had his best stuff, and the Red Raiders were ahead 6-3 by the time both starting pitchers were out of the game in the fifth inning.

TTU’s bullpen was outstanding, getting 14 outs without allowing a run. Center fielder Dillon Carter made a sprawling catch in deep left-center field to get a key out in the ninth inning.

Madden entered the game with a 1.68 ERA, but Tech catcher Braxton Fulford turned on a second-inning fastball to pull a solo shot to left field and give Tech a 1-0 lead.

The Longhorns scored two runs to take the lead in the third inning, but the damage could have been worse.

Nine-hitter Trey Faltine blasted a solo home run to tie the game, and Texas loaded the bases with one out on two walks and an error. The second run scored when third baseman Cam Williams beat out a double play by a step, and the inning ended on an outstanding diving catch by Tech right fielder Easton Murrell.

Murrell’s catch was the third outstanding play by a TTU outfielder in the early innings. Carter was responsible for the first two, running down a deep fly ball in the right-center field gap in the first inning and making a diving snag to end the second.

After the third, Texas Tech took over. The Red Raiders jumped ahead 3-2 in the fourth inning when Cody Masters roped an RBI triple and scored on a wild pitch.

They pushed three more runs across in the fifth inning, taking a 6-2 lead. Two scored on a Dru Baker double and Jace Jung brought Baker home with a sac fly.

The Longhorns led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run and a double, and Tim Tadlock pulled Monteverde one batter later. Ryan Sublette took over and slammed the door on the fifth inning with two strikeouts. He rolled through the sixth and seventh without giving up a hit or run.

Red Raider pitching got into some trouble in the eighth and ninth innings, but Tim Tadlock navigated them through it.

Chase Hampton started the eighth inning and sandwiched two outs around a walk. Derek Bridges came in for one batter and allowed a single, and Brendan Girton struck out Faltine to end the threat.

Girton plunked the lead-off hitter in the ninth and gave way to Connor Queen. Queen retired all three batters he saw, striking out two on curveballs and getting the splendid catch from Carter.

The banged-up Red Raiders suffered another injury in the triumph. Cody Masters left with an injury after diving back on a pick-off attempt.

The start of Friday’s game was pushed around by weather, and first pitch eventually settled around 3:15 p.m. Saturday’s game is currently set for noon after being moved up to avoid more weather.

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