MIDLAND, Texas – No. 5 Texas Tech baseball’s Zach Rheams sent the Midland Red Raiders home smiling after crushing a walk-off home run to defeat New Mexico State, 2-1, on Tuesday night at Security Bank Ballpark.
It was the first walk-off homer by a Red Raider since 2015, when Orlando Garcia hit a solo shot to beat Baylor in the 12th inning on April 10, 2015. The senior Rheams’ home run was his fifth dinger of 2018.
The Red Raiders (24-6) battled to the 2-1 win over the Aggies (16-13) after tying the game in the seventh on an RBI single from junior catcher Zayne Willems. After a lead-off double from junior infielder Cameron Warren was barely held in the park by the top of the left field wall, Willems knocked a single through the right side of the infield to bring home Warren to knot the game.
Rheams & Willems had two of four hits by the Red Raiders on Tuesday night. Rheams was also 90 feet away from taking the lead in the seventh, as he took third base after the right fielder bobbled the ball on Willems’ game-tying single.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Kurt Wilson picked up his first win of the year after tossing a perfect ninth-inning, striking out two Aggies. Freshman righty Ryan Sublette started on the mound for the Red Raiders Tuesday. Sublette tossed 3.2 innings, allowing one run on six hits, picking up one strikeout.
The Tech bullpen allowed just one hit over the final 5.1 innings, combining for seven strikeouts.
New Mexico State put the first run of the night on the board in the fourth inning after three scoreless frames. A two-out double to the gap in left-center field from Stine made for an easy RBI for Henderson, who sent a single to right field for the 1-0 lead. The Aggies would finish the night with seven hits, making it only the fourth time this season Tech was out-hit by an opponent.
The Red Raiders return to Big 12 play at Kansas on April 6-8 at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence.