FORT WORTH – The No. 3 Texas Tech baseball team held a brief lead in the series opener at TCU, but fell on Friday night, 6-4, at Lupton Stadium.
The Red Raiders (32-11, 10-6) scored four runs in the third-through-fifth innings, but the Horned Frogs (21-17, 7-8) countered with two in the fifth & one in the eighth to take game one of the set. Tech totaled five hits, all from different players.
Junior right-handed pitcher Davis Martin went 4.0 frames on Friday, allowing five runs on five hits, walking six and striking out three. He gave way to sophomore righty Ty Harpenau, who tossed 3.0 perfect innings, striking out three to keep it a one-run game.
TCU struck first with three in the opening inning, all coming with two outs. With the bases loaded, Oviedo placed a double down the third base line, sending all three runners home for a 3-0 lead.
Tech got one back in the third inning, plating senior Michael Davis from third on an RBI groundout from freshman Gabe Holt to make it 3-1. Davis reached via walk with one out in the inning, then stole second & took third on a failed pickoff attempt to set up the scoring play.
In the fourth, junior Cameron Warren delivered a two-out double to left field to cut the score to 3-2. With sophomore Grant Little & senior Zach Rheams on base by walk, Warren smacked his 10th two-bagger of the year for the first hit of the game.
Tech scored for the third-straight inning, plating two to take a 4-3 lead. Three-straight singles resulted in a tie game, as Holt & freshman Cody Masters put runners on the corners with back-to-back knocks, then an RBI double from sophomore Josh Jung knotted the game up at three. After a pitching change, Little skied a deep sacrifice fly a few feet from the right field foul pole, sending Masters home for the first Red Raider lead of the night.
The lead was short-lived, however; as a two-run homer from Balta began the TCU half of the fifth and put an end to Martin's night. After three scoreless frames from Harpenau, a solo home run from Rizer in the eighth padded the TCU lead to 6-4.
The Red Raiders and Horned Frogs will play under the lights again on Saturday, with a 7 p.m. start time slated for ESPNU from Lupton Stadium.