Michigan Miscues Help 19th-Ranked Texas Tech Snare Series Opener

LUBBOCK, Texas — No. 19-ranked Texas Tech broke open a pitchers’ duel with six unearned runs in the fifth inning and cruised to an 11-2 win over the No. 24-ranked University of Michigan baseball team Thursday night (March 21) at Rip Griffin Park.

Michigan junior lefty Tommy Henry and Texas Tech freshman right-hander Micah Dallas were locked in terrific pitching battle early through four and a half innings. After giving up a leadoff single to sophomore Jordan Nwogu, Dallas retired nine straight batters before sophomore Jesse Franklin pulled a home run to right to lead off the fourth and put the Wolverines up, 1-0. It was Franklin’s third round-tripper of the year.

Henry (5-1), who entered the game with a minuscule 0.51 earned-run average on two runs allowed in 35 innings, looked in control through the first four innings, allowing just two walks and a bunt single while fanning four. However, the Red Raiders interspersed six hits around a pair of Michigan errors to plate six unearned runs in the fifth inning and knock out the Wolverines ace.

After Cameron Warren doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth, Michigan had a chance for a double play when the next batter popped up a bunt to first, but the throw was off-line and bounced into center, allowing Warren to advance to third. No. 9 hitter Max Marusak, who had a bunt single in his first at-bat, dumped a base hit over the second baseman’s head to tie the game.

An error on a bouncer up the middle put runners on first and second, and the Red Raiders then rattled off an RBI single, two-run double off the top of the right-field wall and another RBI single to take a 5-1 lead. Following a fielder’s choice and stolen base, another run-scoring single made it 6-1 and ended Henry’s day.

Dallas pitched five innings in his first collegiate start and allowed three hits and no walks with eight strikeouts to improve to 2-0. He and four Texas Tech relievers combined for 11 strikeouts while allowing six hits and two ninth-inning walks.

Texas Tech tacked on another run in the sixth with aggressive baserunning and a bit of luck. Marusak struck out swinging against redshirt freshman reliever Isaiah Paige but reached first on a wild pitch, hustled to second on a flyout to center, and stole third. Marusak strayed too far down the line after a pitch in the dirt was recovered quickly by sophomore catcher Joe Donovan, but he raced home when the throw went to third and scored after the return throw to the plate bounced off his back.

The Red Raiders took advantage of another Michigan error in the seventh. With runners on second and third and two out, the catcher’s throw back to the pitcher glanced off the left-handed hitter’s bat and rolled toward Michigan’s dugout on the third-base side, allowing one runner to score and make it 8-1. Texas Tech added three more runs in the eighth on three singles followed by three bases-loaded walks.

Michigan closed the scoring in the ninth inning, when junior Jordan Brewer led off with a walk, moved to third on fifth-year senior Miles Lewis‘ checked-swing double down right-field line, and scored on senior Blake Nelson‘s groundout to shortstop.

Nwogu had a pair of singles for his third multi-hit effort in the last five games. Franklin’s home run extended his hitting streak to five games, and Nelson’s single to lead off the seventh inning gave him at least one hit in each of the last six games.

The Wolverines will look to even the three-game series Friday (March 22) when the teams return to Rip Griffin Park for game two of the series starting at 6:30 p.m. CDT.


Release by MGoblue.com