LUBBOCK, Texas — No. 9 Texas Tech baseball opened up a 3-0 lead in the first and used a six-run eighth to pull away as the Red Raiders secured a 10-3 win over UConn on Saturday afternoon at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
After a lightning delay in the top of the sixth, the Red Raiders (12-3) got 2.0 shutdown innings of relief from Micah Dallas to protect a 4-3 lead before tacking on six insurance runs in the eighth that helped them to a 2-0 start in the four-game set with the Huskies (4-8).
Patrick Monteverde (3-0) earned the win behind 5.0 innings of work. After three scoreless starts to begin his Red Raider career, he allowed three runs (two earned) on Saturday, but worked his way out of some tough situations to keep Tech in front the entire game.
Leadoff hitter Dru Baker led the charge offensively, recording a career-high four hits and scoring a game-high three runs. He finished 4-for-4 with a double and a walk on the afternoon, and has now reached base safely in all eight plate appearances on the weekend.
Nate Rombach hit a two-run home run in the first that gave Tech a 3-0 lead. He finished with a game-high three RBI, adding a sacrifice fly as part of Tech’s big eighth inning. Cody Masters also went yard, kicking off the eighth with a leadoff home run high off the video board in right center.
In all, eight different Red Raiders collected hits on the day and seven crossed home plate. After Masters led off the eighth with his solo dinger and Rombach chipped in a sacrifice fly, Tech added a pair of runs on a Baker steal that got thrown into left field and allowed two runs to score. A balk would bring in another run in to make it 9-3, and Braxton Fulford capped off the big inning with an RBI double.
Defensively, the Red Raiders made four miscues, but certainly did their part in preventing at least two runs to score. With a man in scoring position in the second, Parker Kelly made a diving grab on a line grab to his right that robbed a Huskie of an RBI double. Then, with a man at third in the sixth, Baker handled some miscommunication in shallow left field by making a last-second catch and then fired it to home plate where Rombach applied the tag for an inning-ending double play.
Starter Joe Simeone (0-1) lasted 1.1 innings for UConn. Potential Monday starter Pat Gallagher pitched 3.0 innings of scoreless relief. The Huskies were led at the plate by Kyler Fedko, who went 4-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run.
The four-game series against UConn continues on Sunday with a 2 p.m. first pitch on ESPN+. Lefty Mason Montgomery (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will be on the hill for the Red Raiders against right-hander Austin Peterson (1-0, 3.00 ERA) for the Huskies.