By Wendell Barnhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas Tech earned its first-ever trip to the College World Series thanks to winning two 1-0 games in the Lubbock Super Regional. Unfortunately, two one-run defeats made the Red Raiders’ stay in Omaha a short one.
Ole Miss scored unearned runs in the seventh and ninth innings to grab a 2-1 victory in a CWS elimination game Tuesday. The Red Raiders ended a historic season with a 45-21 record.
Texas Tech dropped into the loser’s bracket following Sunday’s 3-2 loss to TCU. The Horned Frogs scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to erase a 2-1 Red Raiders lead and one of those runs came thanks to a throwing error.
The Rebels (47-20) scored the first run thanks to a one-out error in the bottom of the seventh. Following a walk, Ole Miss pinch hitter Holt Perdzock drove home the run with a two-out single down the third base line barely out of the reach of Texas Tech’s Ryan Long.
The Red Raiders tied the game in the top of the ninth thanks to pinch runner Zach Davis. He replaced Adam Kirsch after a one-out single and stole second and third. He scored on Anthony Lyons’ sacrifice fly to right field.
In the bottom of the ninth, Texas Tech reliever Cameron Smith made a bad throw to second on what could have been an inning-ending double play. The miscue put Ole Miss runners on the corners with one out.
Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock went with five infielders to try to cut off the winning run but the Rebels’ John Gatlin blooped a single to short right center to drive home the winning run.
Texas Tech’s Ryan Moseley became the first freshman pitcher to start a game at the CWS this year. He went 7.1 innings in his longest career start, giving up one unearned run on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
Texas Tech pinch runner Zach Davis stole second and third in the top of the ninth inning and then scored the Red Raiders’ only run on Anthony Lyons’ sacrifice fly.
Ole Miss pinch hitters Holt Perdzock and John Gatlin drove had run-scoring singles for the Rebels’ only runs.
Numbers to know
* Going back to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship, seven of Texas Tech’s final nine games were decided by one run.
* Ole Miss used four pinch hitters. Three reached base and two had run-scoring singles to drive home both of the Rebels’ runs.
* Texas Tech’s pitching staff finished the NCAA Tournament with 64 scoreless innings out of 71.1. The Red Raiders finished with a postseason ERA of 0.76, allowing six earned runs in eight games.
* Texas Tech lost for just the sixth time when holding its opponent to two or fewer runs. The Red Raiders were 25-5 when holding opponents to two or fewer runs.
* Texas Tech won 19 more games than in 2013, which matches TCU and Florida A&M for best improvement in Division I this season.
* Seventeen of 38 runs in the CWS have come in the seventh inning or later.
* There have been 17 sacrifice bunts and no home runs so far in the CWS. It’s the first time in the aluminum bat era (1974) that there have been no homers in the first seven games of the CWS.
Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock, whose team lost two one-run games with the winning runs scoring in the bottom of the eighth and the bottom of the ninth innings: “We talk about we enjoy playing close games. If you don't enjoy a close baseball game, if you want everything to be a blowout, I mean, that wouldn't be much fun, would it? So we kind of relish those moments and enjoy them and try to thrive in them. It just didn't work these two games.”
Tadlock on the team’s season: “We’re really proud of our guys, they battled throughout the whole year and tried to play the game the right way. It's a game of inches, obviously. It's why we all love this game. It's why we all keep showing up, because it's very unpredictable, and just an inch here or an inch there, and the game could go either way.”
Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco on Texas Tech starter Ryan Moseley: “We knew he would be good, I didn't know he'd be that good. He's tremendous. … We knew that it would be a big challenge. But the fastball was so hard and had a lot of depth to it. I don't know if we realized it would sink where it would be a swing and miss. We swung through more fastballs today than I can ever remember the entire season. There were times I thought it was a slider, and you look up and it's 92. Not a slider, just a fastball that's got a lot of sink to it.”