In the midst of the largest music festival in the western hemisphere, South by Southwest, the Texas Tech Red Raiders did something in Austin that had not been done since the 2001 season.
Texas Tech defeated the University of Texas in a series at UFCU Disch-Falk Field down in Austin, Texas.
Pitching seemed to be the major theme over the weekend as the Tech pitching staff allowed a mere four runs over the three game set. Texas scored in only three of the 27 innings they stepped in the batter's box, progressively gaining the Red Raiders more and more confidence as the weekend went on.
However, the strangest part of the weekend was the fact that the Red Raiders won two of the three games, but actually lost the one in which right-handed ace Trey Masek (3-0. 0.22 ERA) started.
Here is a quick look at each game from this past weekend:
Friday, March 15th
Texas Tech 1, Texas 0
Texas Tech looked to come into Austin and get an opening night win for the first time since 1994 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field and they did just that.
The offense was definitely at a premium for both sides; however, Texas Tech scored just enough to win the opening game.
Behind the exceptional pitching performance of Sophomore right-hander Dominic Moreno, Tech squeaked out a 1-0 victory on Friday night in front of 6,550 hostile Longhorn fans.
Moreno (2-1) finished the night going seven innings, while allowing just four hits and no runs to solidify the win in his first career Big 12 outing.
There wasn't a whole lot of scoring on the night as the lone run of the ballgame came on a Jarrard Poteete solo blast that sailed over the right center field wall to ensure the victory.
That proved to be enough as Jerad McCrummen entered the game in the eighth and shut the door on the Longhorns potential ninth inning rally.
Saturday, March 16th
Texas 2, Texas Tech 1
Game 2 of the series was one in which Texas Tech looked to clinch the series as they sent their ace right-hander Trey Masek from nearby Giddings, TX to the hill.
However, Texas would quickly end Masek's scoreless inning streak at 32, while tagging him for one run on three hits in the first inning.
Masek would settle in though, as he pitched eight innings, scattering six hits on one run, but also gave up a season high four walks on the afternoon.
With the game all knotted up at 1-1 in the top of the ninth inning, the Red Raiders had a great scoring opportunity with runners on 2nd and 3rd with only one out.
However, Texas head coach Augie Garrido went to his bullpen for Junior All-American closer Cory Kneble who quickly shut the door on any sort of Tech rally with consecutive strikeouts to end the inning.
UT would then walk off with the victory in the bottom of the ninth as Texas pinch hitter Jacob Felts would end the game on a double that just sailed off of center fielder Brett Bell's glove, plating Madison Carter from first base.
Sunday, March 17th
Texas Tech 4, Texas 2
The rubber match between Tech and Texas got a little chippy in the late innings, but the visiting Red Raiders would end up silencing the large crowd at UFCU Disch-Falk Field with a 4-2 victory.
Freshman right-hander Matt Withrow got the nod for Texas Tech, however; he would go just two innings, allowing two runs on three hits.
Coach Tadlock then decided to call on the 6'7 lefty Jonny Drozd, which proved to be the deciding factor in the game as he would secure the win for Texas Tech. Drozd went 5.1 innings and seemingly shutting down the Texas offense.
The Tech offense also got in the mix early in the game. After UT designated hitter Ben Johnson skied a 2-run blast over the left field wall in the second inning.
Texas Tech then quickly responded with two of their own on a Bryant Burleson single and a Devon Conley sacrifice bunt, which tied up the game 2-2.
The Red Raiders would then add on to their lead as Jarrard Poteete would strike again on a two out, RBI single through the right side, plating Devon Conley.
Drozd only allowed four hits on the afternoon and made some outstanding defensive plays which gave the Raiders more and more confidence as the game went on. Drozd also earned Big 12 newcomer of the week as he went 12.1 innings, along with a perfect 0.00 ERA.
Three Stars of the Weekend
#1 Dominic Moreno (7 IP, 4 Hits, 0 Runs)
#2 Jonny Drozd (5.1 IP, 4 Hits, 0 Runs)
#3 Jerad McCrummen (3.2 IP, 2 Hits, 2 Saves)
This team is undoubtedly a different squad than year's past. Not only from a talent perspective, from an attitude perspective. That kind of attitude is something that has been missing for almost a decade among the Red Raider baseball program and it appears they are on the rise.
If you haven't wandered out to Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park yet this season, now is as good of time as any as Texas Tech will play host to the No. 18 Arizona State on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.
Texas Tech head football coach Kliff Kingsbury will throw out the first pitch and the game will be televised on Fox College Sports.