LUBBOCK, Texas – Baylor had runners in scoring position in six of the first seven innings and outhit Texas Tech 12-8 but failed to take advantage in a 7-1 loss on Friday evening at Rip Griffin Park. The setback secured the series for the Red Raiders as the Bears have now lost six of the eight all-time Big 12 series in Lubbock.
"We had our opportunities but just couldn't get a timely hit, couldn't get one in the gap, when we needed it," said BU Head Coach Steve Smith of his team's 14 runners left on base. "That's the nature of this game – sometimes it's not the amount of hits you get, it's when you get them. You have to give some of the credit to their guys on the mound."
The Red Raiders (25-27, 9-14 Big 12) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning off starter Dillon Newman as Devon Conley had an RBI double and Eric Gutierrez hit a two-run homer. The runs proved to be all Texas Tech needed behind a strong start from Jonny Drozd (4-5), who picked up the win while giving up seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts in six innings.
Baylor (26-25, 11-11 Big 12) followed TTU's first inning with six straight innings of having scoring chances to no avail. In the second, Jake Miller and Grayson Porter were left aboard after one-out singles. With the bases loaded in the third and two outs, Miller missed on a huge chance by flying out to right field. Adam Toth singled, stole second and moved to third on a Steve DalPorto groundout in the fourth, but was stranded after Brett Doe struck out. Nathan Orf reached on a single and Cal Towey walked with two outs in the fifth but stayed put on a fielder's choice grounder from Miller.
The two opportunities that hurt the most came in the sixth and seventh. In the sixth, DalPorto doubled with two outs and Doe followed with a liner down the right field line that appeared to hit the line for a run-scoring double. However, the ball was called foul and Doe ended up grounding out to third. In the seventh, Logan Brown and Lawton Langford singled and Orf walked to load the bases with no outs. But Towey and Miller struck out swinging and Porter flew out to right to end the threat.
"We get a ball down the line – Doe's ball – it couldn't have been more than an inch foul, if it was," Smith said. "But the umpire is there, right on it. Again, we need to hit with guys on. We had our opportunities and didn't get it done."
Texas Tech then followed with a three-run frame in the bottom of the seventh to add insurance to the lead before Baylor scored its lone run in the eighth on a Langford two-out single.
Newman (3-3), who retired the last seven batters he faced, took the loss for Baylor after allowing four runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts in six innings. The two walks doubled his total on the season as he entered the game with only two walks in 63.1 innings. His one-out walk to Conley in the third inning ended a streak of 40 innings and 164 batters faced without allowing a walk. The outing was just the third time in 11 starts that he's allowed more than three runs this season.
The teams complete the final Big 12 regular season series tomorrow at 12:06 p.m. CT as BU RHP Austin Stone (3-2, 2.98 ERA) will take on Texas Tech's starter that has yet to be announced.
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