Behind the pitching of left-handed pitcher Jonny Drodz and some timely hits, it looked as though the Red Raiders were on their way to snapping a seven-game losing streak on Friday night against the Jayhawks.
"That's usually how baseball goes," Drodz said. "We try to stay out of the big innings, it's the big innings that get us. So I was trying to minimize the damage, but just after a blow like that it's just hard to come back from."
Tech (17-21, 4-9 in Big 12 Conference play) looked good through the first few innings grabbing a 1-0 lead on a Jake Barrios RBI single, scoring Brett Bell, then Drodz turned it on and shut down Kansas.
During one stretch of the game, Drodz set down 14-straight Jayhawk batters keeping them off the bases from the first inning with one out until Ka'iana Eldredge broke it up in the sixth with a leadoff single.
"There's a few pitches that I wish I could take back going back through the game," Drodz said. "It's baseball. It's pretty good so I'm happy."
Drodz made it into the seventh inning, but didn't make it out.
The left-handed pitcher, after getting the first batter to ground out, gave up back-to-back doubles to Dakota Smith and Connor McKay, which brought an end to his night and got the Jayhawks (23-14, 8-5) back into it tying it up at two apiece.
Kansas would push across two more runs across in the inning on a sacrifice fly and a throwing error from shortstop Tim Proudfoot, giving the Jayhawks a 4-2 lead.
Drodz (3-4) finished the game going six and one-third giving up four runs, three earned on seven hits while striking out six and surrendering no walks.
"He was outstanding," Tech head coach Tim Tadlock said. "He mixed all of his pitches and commanded the fastball. Gave us six strong really, and was probably time to get him out of there in the 7th … Glad to see him go out and throw well."
Down 4-2, the Red Raiders just did not have enough in their bats to make another comeback, and the Kansas bullpen didn't help.
After Thomas Taylor (4-0) went seven innings giving up just two runs on six hits, striking out five and walking two, the combination of Frank Duncan and Jordan Piche' out of the bullpen shut down the Tech bats including Eric Gutierrez's in the eighth inning.
After scoring a run earlier in the frame on a wild pitch, pulling Tech within one at 4-3, Gutierrez stepped into the box 2-for-3 in the game with two doubles and an RBI already but struck out looking to end the inning.
Tech would go down in order in the bottom of the ninth ending the game and extending its losing streak to eight.
"We're staying positive," third baseman Jake Barrios, who went 2-for-4 with one RBI, said. "We were in the mix of that game till the very end, few things would have changed we would have won the game. Just staying positive."
Now Tech turns to Saturday, which in the last two Big 12 series when the Jayhawks have won the Friday game they have come back to lose the next one on Saturday.
For the Red Raiders on the game notes before the series opener the starter for Saturday was listed as TBA, but after the game Tadlock said he hasn't talked to him yet but believes junior pitcher Trey Masek could get the start.
Masek returning slowly from an injury earlier in the season when he complained of soreness in his right arm keeping off the mound from March 17 till seeing his first action on Sunday night against LCU going out and throwing three innings of work.
Now he will get maybe another chance to get the arm going at full speed again in a Big 12 series and try and pull the Red Raiders out of this current slump.
"Yeah, we are looking forward to seeing Trey (Masek) pitch," Tadlock said. "Sure are glad he's ready to go."