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.
But once again the big inning came back to get Texas Tech in
the end, Kansas pushing across three runs in the seventh inning securing the
4-3 victory at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
“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
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
Drodz made it into the seventh inning, but didn’t make it
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
“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
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
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.”