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Game Recap: No. 8 Texas Tech vs. No. 9 Stanford

Tech’s season comes to an end on a day to forget.

Photo CC: Texas Tech Athletics

The big question coming into the Lubbock Super Regional was if either team had enough bullpen depth, but Game 2 came down instead to the Texas Tech bats disappearing at the worst possible time for the Red Raiders. Stanford’s Alex Williams was able to pitch a complete game, as Tech only mustered a pair of hits in the game and rarely threatened offensively. The Red Raiders opened the game with three consecutive strikeouts in a modified lineup that initially didn’t feature Cal Conley, who was battling an illness. In the first half of the first inning, the Tech whiffs were an omen of things to come, as things didn’t improve from there.

Stanford managed a solo home run in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Tech failed to do much in the second, and Stanford would homer again in their second inning at the plate. It appeared that Patrick Monteverde ended the inning on a strikeout with no harm done, but the pitch was called a ball, and the two-run home run followed. Monteverde did his best to keep Tech in the game from there, as he closed out the inning and both teams went in order in the third inning. The 3-0 lead felt bigger than it was as Tech continued to do little at the plate. In the bottom of the fourth inning, a mishit blooper to no man’s land in right-field turned into a rather fortunate double for Stanford, and a walk ended Monteverde’s day, which looks far worse on paper than it actually was. Stanford capitalized perfectly on the few hittable pitches, and Micah Dallas took the mound from there.

Dallas would end the inning, and Tech attempted to rally in the 5th inning. Tech earned two free passes on a hit batter and a walk, and an ailing Cal Conley came in for Parker Kelly to try and get a key hit with one out. Conley, however, popped one up to the Stanford catcher, and Kurt Wilson would strike out to follow and end the hopes as soon as they started. Stanford would push another run across in the bottom of the fifth following a Cal Conley error. Tech would go in order once again to open the sixth, and a pair of walks and an error loaded the bases with only one out for Stanford in their half of the sixth. Dallas’ day would end here, and Tadlock tabbed Ryan Sublette to try to get out of the jam. Stanford’s Brock Jones would hit his second home run of the day to effectively end the game on a grand slam. With the Red Raiders now down 8-0 in the 7th inning, Tech needed a miracle. It was not to be, as only Cole Stilwell managed to reach base.

Sublette worked a scoreless 7th, but Tech went in order once again in the 8th. Connor Queen entered for Sublette, and just to twist the knife on Tech fans, Jones homered for the third time in the game to make the Stanford lead 9-0. Almost fittingly, the Red Raiders went in order in the 9th to watch their season come to a close. Considering the extremely bad luck Tech had with injuries, it was somewhat of a feat to make it this far, but for Red Raider fans, that doesn’t take the sting out of the season-ending on an extremely low note in a game where Tech only managed two hits. Still, the fact that not going to Omaha is such a disappointment is a testament to the current status of the Texas Tech program. The Red Raiders will find themselves playing postseason games in Lubbock again very soon, and it’s hard to think there will be many more days like this one.

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