By Ty Parker
LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 15 Texas Tech baseball clawed out of a 4-2 hole with two runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh to take a 6-4 midweek victory over New Mexico on a chilly Tuesday evening at Rip Griffin Park.
A trio of bullpen arms tossed seven scoreless innings to help the Red Raiders (26-13, 8-7 Big 12) fight their way to the win. The Lobos (18-22) were held to just one hit and three base runners from the fourth inning on as Tech took the season series, 2-1.
Junior right-hander Taylor Floyd (4-3) picked up his fourth win of the season with six strikeouts in three innings of work. He pitched the sixth, seventh and eighth frames and retired all nine Lobos he faced, including the first five with strikeouts.
Freshman Hunter Dobbins struck out four over 3.0 innings to lead into Floyd. He inherited a runner in the third and gave up two hits before finishing with a pair of strikeouts to limit the damage. Redshirt freshman Clayton Beeter struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save of the season.
Despite leaving the bases loaded in three of the first five innings, the Tech lineup continued to display patience throughout the game that eventually paid dividends. The Red Raiders outhit the Lobos 12-5 and generated 10 free passes via base on balls or a hit by pitch.
Trailing 4-2 in the fifth, sophomore catcher Braxton Fulford brought Tech to within a run with an RBI fielder’s choice to short. Junior Brian Klein later evened the score by drawing a walk with the bases loaded to make it 4-4.
The Red Raiders took the lead in the seventh after back-to-back singles from sophomore Dylan Neuse and Klein put runners at the corners for junior Josh Jung, who bombed a double off the top of the wall in center to score Neuse. Senior Cameron Warren made it 6-4 with an RBI ground out.
New Mexico was able to grab a 4-2 lead with three runs in the second and another in the third. The Lobos rolled out nine different pitchers in the contest with none exceeding more than 1.1 innings of work.
Tech started the game fast with Jung and Warren linking up on a double play to end the top of the first. Sophomore Gabe Holt singled and stole second to leadoff Tech’s half of the frame, and then a single from Jung drove him in. Tech went up 2-0 on a sacrifice fly to right from sophomore Cody Masters.
Holt led five Red Raiders with multi-hit games, going 2-for-5 to set the table at the top of the lineup. Neuse, Klein, Jung and freshman Dru Baker all joined him with two hits apiece. Baker, Tech’s starting shortstop 26 games this season, got his first career start at third base Tuesday night.
The Red Raiders jump back into Big 12 play this weekend as it hosts No. 18 Oklahoma State (25-13, 10-5) for a three-game series at Rip Griffin Park, slated for Friday-Sunday. The Cowboys sit atop the league standings with Tech currently two games back.