Texas Tech extended their home non-conference win streak to 32 games this week with two wins over in-state opponent Stephen F. Austin. The win streak, which dates back to 2019, did not come without drama. In-game one, the Red Raiders needed a walk-off effort in the bottom of the 9th after entering the frame up 3-0. In the second matchup, Tech found themselves in a 5-3 hole entering the 7th inning before putting up four runs in the frame thanks to an error, 3 walks, and timely hits to finish off the mid-week sweep.
Game one featured Brendan Girton throwing four scoreless, one-hit innings in his first career start as a Red Raider. The rest of the staff would go on to allow only two more hits in the remaining five frames, but one being a costly three-run double in the 9th which forced Tech to bat in the bottom half. After walking off TCU on Saturday with a no-doubt home run, Cal Conley delivered big once again with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 9th inning. Andrew Devine looked to have the save all but secured with two away in the Lumberjack half of the 9th before walking two batters and plunking a third, loading the bases. Devine has struggled with command this year totaling 14 walks in just 10.2 innings pitched, compared to having just two last year in 7.1 innings of work in the shortened season. On the offensive end, hits were hard to come by on the evening & Braxton Fulford was the only player with a multi-hit effort in the game.
Easton Murrell started game two off with a bang, delivering a lead-off home run in the first inning, and then followed it up with another solo shot in the second as Tech jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. However, similar to game one, the Lumberjacks didn’t go down easily. They came right back with a four-spot of their own in the top of the third, then added a run in the top of the seventh extending their lead to 5-3. Tech responded immediately in their half of the seventh, starting with a Max Marusak leadoff double, his first hit of the year. What followed was an RBI by each of Jung, Stilwell, Masters, and Kelly to give the Red Raiders a 7-5 lead when the inning concluded. From there, Connor Queen came on and delivered a six-out save, his fourth of the year, to close the game out and complete the two-game sweep of the Lumberjacks.
Next up, the Red Raiders make the long journey to West Virginia where they will resume conference play against the Mountaineers who enter the series 4-5 in Big 12 play & 13-14 overall.