Just as the calendar is turning from April to May, Tim
Tadlock’s baseball club seems to be turning a corner in the season.
In the last two games, the Red Raiders clubbing 27 hits and
scoring 21 runs including Tuesday night’s midweek 12-8 victory against No. 17
New Mexico at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
“Coming off a big win Sunday, that was big for us,” second
baseman Bryant Burleson, who finished 2-for-3 with two runs and one RBI, said.
“Then coming out today and getting a good win, I mean that’s always going to
build confidence and keep that rolling into the weekend. Maybe we get a few
more wins this weekend.”
Texas Tech (21-24) entered the game coming off a huge 9-3
victory against No. 11 Oklahoma on Sunday, and carried the momentum from the
win into its second meeting with New Mexico this season. The Red Raiders with the win against the
Lobos are now 4-1 against Top 25 teams this season.
The first time the two teams met it was a 10-3 victory for
the Lobos (27-17) on April 2 in Albuquerque, but the second time around was
Tech got the bats going early as Eric Gutierrez, who
finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs, blasted a Kevin Baumgartner (2-4) pitch to left
field for his third homerun of the season in the first inning giving Tech a 2-0
Red Raiders continued to pour it on in the second inning as
Jarrard Poteete led off the second with a solo home run to right field, marking
the first time since April 9 against Dallas Baptist the Red Raiders have hit
multiple homeruns in one game.
Tech would push three more runs across in the inning, taking
a demanding 6-0 lead and Tadlock said he was happy to see the bats get going
again early on.
“Yeah, that was really good to see,” he said. “I’ve told
some people away from you guys, just friends, it’s just a matter of time when
Gutierrez’s power shows up because it’s in there. We’ve all seen it in batting
practice and it showed up tonight when that ball hit that tree. Then we had
some big at bats in the second inning and the third inning.
“They did a good job.”
With the Red Raiders taking a 9-0 lead after three innings, freshman
right-hander Matt Withrow had some cushion to work with.
Withrow (3-3) was able to hold a New Mexico lineup that had
averaged 9.7 runs per game during its 10-game winning streak coming into
Tuesday’s game to just three runs.
The Odessa, Texas native finished the game going five and
one-third innings pitched giving up three runs on eight hits while striking out
three and walking two.
“Consistency,” Withrow said about what’s been working for
him in his last two starts. “Coach (Ray) Hayward always preaches it. Got to go
out there and be consistent.”
The Lobos would make a run at the Red Raiders, chipping away
at the lead eventually getting within two, 9-7, but that’s as close as they
Tech tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom of the
eighth, securing the 12-8 victory and first winning streak since beating Kansas
and New Mexico State in back-to-back games on April 21 and 23, respectively.
“I think our guys have got something to be proud of,” Tadlock
said about their recent success. “To go, like we talked about on Sunday, to win
(at Oklahoma) on Sunday and these guys have been playing really good, been
beating some people.”
Tech now gets ready to take on yet another Top 25-opponent
as the Red Raiders face No. 19 Oklahoma State in a three-game series this
weekend at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
With winning their last two games, Withrow said they just
have to keep it going and see what happens.
“Just got to keep it rolling,” he said. “Keep that right
mindset. We have a little momentum going, keep it in going into the weekend.”