LUBBOCK, Texas – In front of a sold-out crowd of over 4,700 Texas Tech fans, the Fairfield University baseball team saw as balanced and complete of a lineup that they have seen all year as the fifth-seeded and seventh-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders punched out 16 hits leading to an 12-1 victory over the Stags in the opener to the NCAA Lubbock Regional. With the loss, the Stags will fall to the loser’s bracket to try and keep their 2016 season alive and will play the loser of Dallas Baptist and New Mexico tomorrow at 3pm EST on ESPN3.
The Red Raiders showed their balanced lineup right in the first frame, putting together three-straight hits, and the singles from Cory Raley and Tyler Nelsony both drove in runs, giving Texas Tech the early 2-0 lead.
Going up against Davis Martin, who was a perfect 8-0 coming into the game and one of 18 Semifinalists for National Pitcher of the Year, the Stags were able to string a couple of hits together in the second, leading to their first rally. Back-to-back two-out single from Brendan Tracy and Troy Scocca both went into center field, putting runners at first and second with two outs. Jack Gethings came up in the RBI situation and tried to get the ball through the right side, but Texas Tech second baseman Michael Davis made a nice ranging play to his left to end the threat.
Davis would have an impact a few minutes later on the offensive side of the ball as the left handed hitter launched his second home run of the season off the top of the right field wall. The long ball extended the home team’s lead to 3-0.
The Stags started another rally in the third, but this time had something to show for it. After Tyler Gambardella and Drew Arciuolo walked to begin the inning, Michael Conti laid down a sacrifice, but the Texas Tech catcher elected to throw to third and the ball got away, scoring Gambardella for the Stags’ first run, making the score 3-1.
It would be all Red Raiders after that, as the home squad scored three times in the fourth, all coming with two outs and nobody on. Nelsony picked up RBI’s number 52 and 53 as he singled through the left side, breaking the game open at 6-1.
John Signore came into relief for Kyle Dube to start the fifth, and after retiring the first three batters he faced to start the game, the freshman ran into trouble in the sixth. Signore would be charged with three runs on three hits in the frame, but only one left the infield. Back-to-back bunt singles allowed Texas Tech to play ‘small-ball’ and they would score their runs on a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly, and a groundout to take a commanding 9-1 advantage.
Tracy led all Stag players with two hits, the last one coming in the sixth inning but he was left stranded at second.
The Stags will now enter the loser’s bracket and play the loser of second-seeded Dallas Baptist and third-seeded New Mexico tomorrow at 3pm EST on ESPN3.