By Ty Parker
A six-run fifth inning propelled No. 13 Texas Tech baseball to an 11-2 victory over No. 22 Michigan on Thursday night at Rip Griffin Park.
The Red Raiders (13-5, 1-2) recorded 10 of their 11 hits from the fifth inning on, and freshman Micah Dallas (2-0) shined in his first collegiate start as Tech took a 1-0 lead in the three-game set against the Wolverines (14-5, 0-0).
Tech handed Michigan starter Tommy Henry (5-1) his first loss of the season, doing the majority of its damage against the left-hander in the fifth. Henry allowed just two base runners in the first four innings before Tech piled up six runs on six hits in the fifth.
Senior Cameron Warren got it started with a leadoff double, coming around to score on a base hit from freshman Max Marusak. After sophomore Gabe Holt reached on an infield error, Tech rattled off three straight RBI hits with freshman Cole Stilwell and juniors Josh Jung and Brian Klein driving in runs. Freshman Tanner O’Tremba capped the inning with an RBI single to center that made it 6-1.
That would be all Tech needed as Dallas tossed a career-high five innings, giving up a run on three hits, including a career-high seven strikeouts. After a leadoff single to start the game, Dallas retired the next nine Wolverines before yielding a solo home run to start the fourth.
Junior relievers Dane Haveman, Taylor Floyd and Caleb Freeman closed out the final four innings for the Red Raiders. Haveman surrendered one hit as he worked through the sixth and seventh, Floyd sat the Wolverines down in order in the eighth, and Freeman battled through the ninth to end it.
Eight Red Raiders recorded hits in the contest with Stilwell, Marusak and Klein securing multi-hit games. The trio combined to go 6-for-12 with five RBI and four runs scored.
Marusak flashed his speed on the base paths, single-handedly manufacturing a run in the sixth when he reached on a strikeout that got away from the catcher, tagged up and took second on a fly ball to center field, stole third base, then managed to score on a rundown.
Holt got his first start of the season and second for his career at shortstop. The Bonaire, Georgia, native made a number of nice plays in the field, although he had his 11-game hitting streak and 32-game streak of reaching base safely come to an end.
The Red Raiders and Wolverines will play game two of the three-game set on Friday. Game time is currently set for 6:30 p.m. Tech will trot out junior right-hander Caleb Kilian (1-2) while Michigan will go with junior right-hander Karl Kauffmann (4-1).