HOUSTON, Texas – Texas Tech’s bats never got going in Friday’s 3-2 loss to Rice in the opener of the Shriners Children’s College Classic at Minute Maid Park.
The No. 24 Red Raiders were held to two runs on four hits, both seasons lows, and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in their first loss of the season.
Brendan Girton retired the first seven batters he faced but ran into trouble in the third. Despite a walk, error, and single, Girton was able to get out of the inning without allowing a run but threw 32 pitches in the frame.
“I thought [Girton] did an outstanding job persevering through that and, unfortunately, though ran up some pitches in that inning and had to go to the bullpen a little earlier,” Tadlock said. “Not even two times through the order his pitch count was high.”
The Owls would finally get to Girton in the fourth on a Connor Walsh two-run home run with two outs to put Rice up 2-0.
Girton would exit in the fifth inning after throwing 91 pitches in 4.1 innings of work.
The Red Raiders would get on the board in the seventh inning when Drew Woodcox scored on a wild pitch and then tied it with a Tracer Lopez sacrifice fly to left to score Hudson White.
Rice would answer in the bottom of the seventh. After striking out the first batter he faced in relief, Andrew Devine gave up a solo home run to Jack Riedel to put the Owls ahead for good.
Gavin Kash came within inches of tying it in the top of the ninth but had to settle for a two-out double, but he would be stranded at second to end the game.
The Red Raiders (10-1) face Michigan at 11 a.m. Saturday at Minute Maid Park.