AMARILLO, Texas — No. 8 Texas Tech baseball played its first game in Amarillo since 1979 Tuesday, but the team will come back more frequently if the Red Raider hitters have anything to say about it.
TTU exploded for four home runs in a 14-4 win over Oklahoma, three of which came in the third inning.
Cole Stilwell launched homers in his first two at-bats of the game, and Jace Jung and Braxton Fulford went back-to-back in the third. Tech led 8-0 after that third inning, and tacked on five more runs in the fifth inning.
The potent offense provided plenty of cushion for Texas Tech’s pitching, but the young hurlers did not need it.
Chase Hampton allowed two runs in a four-inning start, and Eli Riechmann, Hayde Key and Kurt Wilson all tossed scoreless innings out of the bullpen. For Wilson, who was a hitter early in the season before suffering a left thumb injury, it was his first appearance of the season.
The game was played in Amarillo’s Hodgetown Stadium, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ AA affiliate, the Sod Poodles. It was counted as a non-conference contest, meaning the Red Raiders are still 10-8 in Big 12 play. They improved to 31-11 overall.
Tech wasted no time making Oklahoma sweat, as its first three hitters of the game reached base. A Braxton Fulford double play nearly stunted the first-inning rally, but Cal Conley laced an RBI double and Stilwell launched a two-run homer for his first blast of the game.
Hampton sailed through the first three innings smoothly, and Jung, Fulford and Stilwell all went deep in the third inning to put the Red Raiders ahead 8-0.
The fourth inning was Oklahoma’s best of the game. The Sooners scored their first two runs of the contest and relief pitcher Javier Ramos struck out all three Red Raider hitters that came to the plate.
But they could not sustain that momentum. In the fifth inning, Ramos lost his control.
With two outs in the inning, he walked two batters, hit Dillon Carter, threw a wild pitch, walked two more and plunked Dru Baker before getting pulled from the game. A two-run single from Jung made the score 13-2.
In the field, Dillon Carter picked up from where he left off in Austin. The Red Raider center fielder ran down a long fly ball in left-center field in the first inning and made a diving catch in the fifth inning.
The game did not count in the Big 12 standings, but the Red Raiders dominated in all facets and picked up a resounding win. Their next true Big 12 series will be against these same Sooners May 14-16 in Norman.