No. 12 OSU evens series with No. 22 Tech
Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 22 Texas Tech dropped game two of its Big 12 series with No. 12 Oklahoma State, 9-4, Saturday afternoon at Rip Griffin Park. The Cowboys jumped in front 1-0 in the second inning with the first of their four home runs in the contest and never relinquished the lead.
“Big 12 weekends are tough,” said head coach Tim Tadlock. “Game of baseball is tough. It’s a hard game and as you mature, you understand the amount of demands, and how you got to go about your preparation … Big 12 pitching, Big 12 teams. If you beat them on Friday, or if they beat you on Friday, you’re going to get their best on Saturday. No matter what happens on Saturday, you’re going to get their best on Sunday. Just the way the league is.”
On top of allowing a season-high four home runs – the most since Oklahoma’s six on May 19, 2022 – the Cowboys took advantage of plating seven of their nine runs with two outs. Four of those came in a five-run eighth inning that effectively sealed the game.
“These guys do a really good job of kind of being all over almost every pitch and it makes you have to go out there and compete a little bit more,” said Saturday’s starter Mason Molina. “They are a lot more polished hitting team than we faced in the past. Just a different ballgame.”
Molina turned in a solid start for the Red Raiders but suffered his first loss of the season. The sophomore exited the game with little run support, leaving with a 3-1 deficit after 5 1/3 innings. Molina sat down eight in a row in between a pair of solo home runs allowed to designated hitter Tyler Wulfert in the second and fourth innings. The second home run was with two outs, the first as the leadoff batter.
Molina finished with six strikeouts. Dating back to last season, the sophomore owns at least five strikeouts in each of his last seven starts.
“He pitched good enough to keep us in the game,” said Tadlock. “Probably wasn’t as sharp as he liked to be. Probably didn’t have his best stuff. A sign of a guy that can pitch is when they don’t have their best stuff and they keep you in the game, so I thought he was just fine.”
It was just the third time this season the Red Raiders’ offense was limited to four runs or less. Three of Texas Tech’s four losses are in those games this season.
Three of the Red Raiders’ four runs on Saturday were solo home runs struck by Damian Bravo, Ty Coleman and Austin Green. Bravo’s came in the third while Coleman’s was in the eighth and Green’s was in the ninth.
OSU chipped away with four single run innings through the first six innings before slamming the door with its five-run eighth inning.
The loss snaps a six-game winning streak against Oklahoma State.
Sunday will serve as the rubber match between the two squads. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. It will be Tech’s first rubber match of the 2023 season.
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