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Red Raiders Falter in Big 12 Tournament

Photo CC: Texas Tech Athletics

The Red Raiders wrapped up a three-game sweep of the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys on May 15th, in an impressive performance, and looked like a favorite for the Big 12 title heading into the final three-game series against the Oklahoma Sooners on May 19th in Lubbock. The team that routed the Cowboys did not show up at home to close out the season and Tech salvaged only one out of three games to close out the regular season.

Going into the Big 12 Tournament in Arlington, the Red Raiders began the weekend facing off against the No. 7 seed Kansas State Wildcats. Tim Tadlock’s squad looked good, securing a win over Kansas State on Wednesday 5-3. Kurt Wilson went 3-4 with a run and Parker Kelly went 1-2 with two runs and an RBI. Mason Molina recorded 10 strikeouts to help the Red Raiders record the win.

The Red Raiders faced the winner of the Oklahoma vs. West Virginia contest. The Sooners secured that victory. Tech faced the Oklahoma team again in a pitchers’ duel. Kurt Wilson, Hudson White, and Easton Murell all went 1-3. Andrew Morris pitched 6.2 innings and recorded 8 strikeouts but ultimately would not be enough to stop the Oklahoma offense. Tech fell to Oklahoma for the third time in a week.

After falling to Oklahoma, the Red Raider faced Kansas State again in an elimination contest. In a nail-biter finish, the Red Raiders fell 6-5 to the Wildcats. The Tech offense never showed up, recording only seven hits through nine innings. Brandon Birdsell pitched six-innings recording six strikeouts. The Red Raiders were eliminated from the tournament.

The Oklahoma Sooners went on to defeat the Texas Longhorns on Sunday with a score of 8-1, claiming the Big 12 championship.

On Sunday evening, the NCAA announced the 16 regional sites, setting the road to Omaha. With the dismal showing the last two weeks the Red Raider lost out on hosting what would have been their 6th regional tournament. Despite the embarrassing loss to Oklahoma, The University of Texas is one of two Big 12 teams to host a Regional, the other being the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Regardless of where the Red Raiders play, the team will need major adjustments to stay competitive in the postseason. They will need strong offensive performances throughout the lineup and lights-out performances on the mound, through all nine-innings. It is a Do-or-Die for Texas Tech if they hope to have a birth in Omaha.

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