Texas Tech Baseball Loses Marathon Game 1 in Statesboro Regional
Texas Tech battled Notre Dame and a rain delay, a terrible home plate umpire, and the inability to get a hit with runners in scoring position tonight to drop game one of the NCAA Regional in Statesboro.
In the first inning, Texas tech jumped on the ND starter and loaded the bases. Once those bases were loaded the Fighting Irish's ace bounced back and got a couple of strikeouts to end the inning. The pitch that rung up Kurt Wilson was absolutely outside, but more on that later.
In the bottom of the first inning, Texas Tech's starter also struggled. Andrew Morris struggled to find his best stuff and ND worked the bases loaded before a ground-rule double led to two runs. With only one out in the inning and less than 30 minutes into the game, a lightning delay began.
Both teams and the tarp were back and forth for six hours before the NCAA officials on hand cleared the teams to resume.
The Red Raiders' best reliever Derek Bridges would end the first inning, and Chase Hampton would take over from there. Hampton had the game of his life after struggling early and putting his first two runners on base in the bottom of the second inning Hampton would strike out the side. After the first two free passes, Hampton would throw six complete innings and strike out 12 batters working around three base hits and allowing zero runs.
Texas Tech would waste runners on base in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th innings before finally getting two runs in the top of the eighth inning to tie the game at 2-2.
If you look at the box score, Hampton does have a charged run to him but that was only after Mason Molina came in after an ABSOLUTELY PHANTOM AND BOGUS catcher's interference call put a runner on base. Hampton would exit the game having thrown a career-high number of pitches and Mason Molina would allow a steal and throw a wild pitch to score the runner that shouldn't have been on base.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame would use seven pitchers and an enormous strike zone aided by an umpire who was completely sold every time the ND catcher "framed" a pitch.
That run in the bottom of the 8th would give ND a 3-2 lead.
Texas Tech would get a runner to third in the top of the 9th, but as they had all night, leave him stranded.
I don't want to take too much away from Notre Dame here, they played a fantastic game. The umpire was not the reason Texas Tech lost the game. Ok, he wasn't the only reason.
Regardless, Texas Tech will now have to work out of the losers bracket to come back and potentially move on to a Super Regional.
Tomorrow morning, Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro will play. Texas Tech will then play the loser of that game, weather permitting. Then the winner of the first game will play Notre Dame, weather permitting.
Texas Tech will have every pitcher available to win tomorrow, including Brandon Birdsell who will start the game, and Andrew Morris who only pitched one out today.
If Texas Tech loses their next game, they'll head back to Lubbock and their season will be over.