Texas Tech secures series win with Conley’s monster game

Red Raider Nation

Texas Tech shortstop Cal Conley (13) throws during warmups 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)

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Cal Conley had four hits and two home runs Sunday as No. 7 Texas Tech beat West Virginia 10-1, securing a series victory.

Conley laced a single in the second inning, hit a double in the fourth, launched a two-run homer from the right side of the plate in the fifth inning, and turned around to the left side for another two-run shot in the sixth. West Virginia finally got him to ground out in the eighth inning.

His second home run capped off a six-run sixth inning that put Texas Tech’s lead out of WVU’s reach.

The Red Raiders (26-8, 7-5 Big 12) got an excellent start from Mason Montgomery. The lefty went 6.2 innings, struck out 12 batters and allowed just two hits, one of which was a pop-up that dropped in after Cole Stilwell and Jace Jung miscommunicated and no one went to catch it.

Montgomery was pulled from the weekend rotation two weeks ago after a start at Kansas State in which he failed to get out of the first inning in a Red Raider loss.

He came out of the bullpen against TCU last Friday, and was excellent in five innings of work. When Brandon Birdsell went down with an injury, Montgomery got his spot in the rotation back.

Sunday, everything was working for him. His fastball was sharp and well-located throughout the game, and he blended it well with his change-up to keep WVU hitters off balance.

Montgomery pitched with a lead for his entire start. The Red Raiders struck first when Easton Murrell led off the game with a triple and scored on a Dru Baker sacrifice fly.

Baker was hitless in the first two games of the series after coming back from an injury, but found his swing again on Sunday. He went 3-4 on the afternoon with two runs scored and an RBI.

Texas Tech led 2-0 in the fourth inning when WVU’s Mikey Kluska reached on the botched pop-up. He would come around to score on a Hudson Byorick triple. Conley’s first home run put the Red Raiders up 4-1 in the fifth, and they mounted a huge two-out rally to put up six runs in the sixth.

Texas Tech’s offense struggled to capitalize on 13 walks and hit batsmen Saturday, taking a frustrating loss on a walk-off fielder’s choice. The bats heated up Sunday, providing a much-needed victory to clinch a series win.

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