LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 3 Texas Tech baseball overcame an eight-run first inning from Oregon to earn its first win of the season, 12-11, Saturday evening in front of a second-consecutive sellout crowd of 4,432 fans at Rip Griffin Park.
The Red Raiders (1-1) countered the Ducks (1-1) with seven runs of their own in the first two frames. Tech, however, trailed until the bottom of the seventh when two bases-loaded walks tied the game, before freshman Dru Baker drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI groundout on an 0-2 pitch that proved to be the difference.
The win evens the four-game series with the Ducks at one game apiece and marks the first time Tech has overcome an eight-run deficit in a win since a 13-11 win at Dallas Baptist on April 14, 2010, a game the Red Raiders trailed 9-0.
Sophomore catcher Braxton Fulford made his first start of the year at catcher and went yard twice, driving in three RBI. It marked the first multi-home run game of his career as he reached base safely in three of four at bats Saturday.
Sophomore outfielder Gabe Holt extended his hitting streak to 19 games dating back to last season, reaching base all five times at the plate Saturday as he finished 2-for-2 with three walks, three runs, three steals and the game-tying RBI walk. The three steals matched his career high.
Tech's bullpen carried the load on Saturday with junior Taylor Floyd and freshman Trey Garlett combining for 6.0 innings of relief, giving up one run on seven hits combined. Floyd received credit for the win after striking out five in 2.2 innings of scoreless work. Freshman Clayton Beeter made his first career appearance and picked up the save, closing it out with back-to-back strikeouts.
The Red Raiders got on the board in the bottom of the first with an RBI single from junior Josh Jung, his first hit and RBI of the season. Jung and freshman short stop Dru Baker later scored on a base hit from sophomore Dylan Neuse, who recorded his first-career mutli-RBI effort a day after posting his first multi-hit game.
After Oregon tacked on a run in the second, Fulford lifted one over the left field wall to leadoff the second for Tech and close the gap to 9-4. With runners on the corners, Klein drove a fly ball to center deep enough to score Holt from third. One batter later, junior designated hitter Doug Facendo sent a no-doubter beyond the barrier in left to pull Tech within two at 9-7.
The Ducks added one in the third and sixth before Fulford again went deep to make it 11-8. Jung would cut it to two with his first double of the year, a liner down the left field line that plated Holt.
The Red Raiders took the lead with three runs in the seventh. Facendo and Neuse led off with walks, and a single from pinch hitter Tanner O'Tremba loaded the bases. Fulford and Holt drew walks to tie the game, and Baker grounded an 0-2 pitch left of the second baseman to bring in the game-winning run.
Oregon starter Ryne Nelson tossed 4.1 frames and gave up seven runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and four walks. Kolby Somers received the loss, allowing a pair of runs on three walks and a hit. Centerfielder Jonny DeLuca and designated hitter Aaron Zavala led the Ducks at the plate with three hits each.
The Red Raiders will look to rebound Saturday as game two of the four-game series begins at 3 p.m. CT at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.