LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech cruised through the Regional round of the NCAA Tournament with three stress-free wins, but Stanford showed the Red Raiders Friday that Super Regionals are a different beast.
The Cardinal offense jumped on freshman starter Chase Hampton for four runs in the first inning Friday and held on to win Game 1 of the series 15-3.
Texas Tech will now have to beat Stanford twice this weekend to make the College World Series.
Hampton had allowed just one earned run in his last 14 innings coming into Friday, but Stanford hitters wasted no time knocking him around.
Tim Tawa, the second batter of the game, hit a laser over the left field fence to put Stanford on the board. Hampton got the next batter to ground out, but each of the five after that reached base.
The Red Raiders’ early hole was especially troublesome because they had to make up the deficit against Cardinal ace Brendan Beck.
Beck features an accurate fastball and a sharp curveball, pitches that helped him post a 9-1 record on the season. He finished his day with 13 strikeouts in 7.1 innings.
Texas Tech recorded just two hits through the first five innings, though one of them was a solo home run by designated hitter Cole Stilwell. Stilwell struck again with an RBI single in the sixth, but that only cut Stanford’s lead to 6-2.
Hampton settled in after the rocky first inning, retiring eight straight hitters. He was eventually pulled for Derek Bridges in the fourth inning.
The score was still a manageable 4-0 at the time, but Texas Tech’s sputtering bullpen allowed it to get out of hand.
Stanford added two insurance runs in the sixth inning and broke the game open with five tallies in the seventh. Tim Tadlock tried six different relievers, each of whom allowed at least one run.
The pitchers did not get help from their defense. Cal Conley and Dru Baker each committed an error in the five-run sixth.
Stanford used its ace in Friday’s win, but Texas Tech’s will go Saturday. Patrick Monteverde will get the ball against Stanford’s Alex Williams with the task of saving Texas Tech’s season. The game will be shown on ESPNU at 2:00 p.m.