LUBBOCK, Texas — No. 5 Texas Tech baseball could not climb back from an early hole against Baylor Friday night, dropping the first game of its three-game set 12-4.
The Bears (25-12, 6-7 Big 12) erupted for six runs in the second inning and starting pitcher Tyler Thomas held the Red Raiders (26-9, 7-6 Big 12) to two runs through six frames.
After a seven-pitch, 1-2-3 first inning, Baylor hammered Texas Tech ace Patrick Monteverde in the second. The Bears led off the inning with five straight well-struck hits, one of which was a two-run homer by designated hitter Cade Currington. After a bunt and a strikeout, two more Bears singled and another walked. By the time the dust settled, they led 6-0.
The Red Raiders struggled to string baserunners together against Thomas. The lefty allowed multiple men to reach base just once in the first five innings, but did allow a solo shot to Braxton Fulford in the fourth.
Thomas is not an exceptionally hard thrower, but hit his spots well and used a slow breaking ball to throw off hitters’ timing. Texas Tech finally did embark on a rally in the sixth inning, when Dru Baker cracked a leadoff single to center and Jace Jung followed with a walk. Thomas bore down and blew a 3-2 fastball past Cole Stilwell for the first out of the inning. Three batters later, he fired another heater past Cody Masters to get out of the inning unscathed.
Baylor scored its eighth run of the game in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth, putting the game out of reach.
The two teams entered the weekend series with Texas Tech two games ahead of Baylor in the Big 12 standings, and the Bears made a statement with a lopsided win in the opener.