No. 6 Tech drops series opener to No. 2 TCU, 4-1

No. 6 Tech drops series opener to No. 2 TCU, 4-1

Orlando Garcia Orlando Garcia

LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 6 Texas Tech baseball team was held to one run for the second time this season, dropping a 4-1 decision to No. 2 TCU on Friday night at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
 
The Red Raiders (34-11, 9-7) picked up four hits against the Horned Frogs (31-9, 12-4). It was the first time this season Tech has lost back-to-back home games.
 
Sophomore left-hander Erikson Lanning started on the hill for the Red Raiders on Friday night. Lanning tossed 4.0 innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits, while striking out two. He made only his second conference start of his career, with his longest appearance since a 5.0 inning outing against Cal on Feb. 26.
 
TCU got on the board first after Baker placed an RBI single just out of reach of Garcia to plate Skoug, who reached on a hit-by-pitch and was moved over to second on a wild pitch. The Horned Frogs added another run in the fourth behind a sacrifice fly from Merrill, scoring Landestoy, who was on second after a one-out double.
 
In the bottom of the fourth, freshman Grant Little roped a base hit to right field to get the frame rolling. Freshman Josh Jung and Senior Ryan Long followed with a walk and perfect bunt single to load the bases with nobody out. Senior Hunter Hargrove drove in Little with a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 2-1.
 
After walk to begin the fifth, the Red Raiders turned the ball over to freshman John McMillon in relief. Facing the top of the lineup, McMillon issued a walk, then a passed ball during the next at-bat put both runners in scoring position with no outs in the frame. After an infield fly, Baker stepped up to the plate only to be sat down on three pitches McMillon. With two outs and the bases loaded, the Jasper native ended the inning with another strikeout, igniting the sold out crowd at Rip Griffin Park.
 
However, TCU would tack on two more runs in the seventh a trio of singles to begin the frame set up Warner to score on a wild pitch for the third Horned Frog run of the night. With one gone, junior lefty Jacob Patterson took over on the mound, but a sacrifice fly from Watson brought in Skoug to increase the lead to 4-1.
 
Freshman right-hander Caleb Freeman also pitched in his third outing against a ranked opponent this season, working the final 1.2 innings. He allowed only two hits, one walk, and had two key strikeouts in the eighth. With two Frogs in scoring position on second and third, the Abilene native ended the frame with a strikeout in the heart of TCU's batting order. He escaped early inning trouble in the ninth by stranding two Frogs at second & third for his fourth scoreless performance in his last five appearances.

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