ORLANDO – A key ninth inning insurance run off the bat of Landon Stripling, and 8.1 one-run innings from three freshmen pitchers powered Texas Tech Baseball to a crucial 3-2 victory over UCF at Joe Euliano Park.

The game started like previous two did for Texas Tech (19-9, 5-7 Big 12) as UCF (18-7, 6-6 Big 12) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the third on a solo home run.

The blast was the lone run that Mac Heuer would allow on the afternoon, as the righty went 5.2 innings and allowed just five hits.

In the fourth, senior Drew Woodcox got ahead in the count and deposited a 3-1 pitch way over the wall for his sixth homer of the season.

After a strike out, the Red Raiders pulled ahead for good when Gavin Kash also left the yard, clearing the batters eye for his seventh home run of the season.

Pitching with the lead for the first time, Heuer retired the side in order in both the fourth and the fifth sending the game to the sixth with the Red Raiders up by a run.

Heuer recorded the first two outs in succession in the sixth, but UCF used a two-out single and a full-count walk to prompt a pitching change.

Needing to strand the runners to preserve the lead, Tech turned to Parker Hutyra, who after a walk struck out the next batter on three straight pitches.

Hutyra returned for the seventh and worked around a one-out walk to take the game to the eighth.

Tech got a lead-off single from Kevin Bazzell in the eighth, but a double play ball that barely stayed fair erased the Bazzell at second.

In the eighth, Bazzell erased a lead-off single on a caught single, but a fielding error placed a runner on first.

The Red Raiders went to the bullpen once again, this time for senior Hudson Luce. Luce needed just eight pitches to get through the frame the lefty retired consecutive batters on a pop-up to short and a liner to short.

Looking for a key insurance run, the Red Raiders loaded the bases in the ninth for Stripling. After a pitching change, Stripling lofted an 0-1 offering into right that scored sophomore Will Burns from third. Burns entered as a pinch runner in the top of the inning for Kash.

Armed with a 3-1 lead, UCF hit a lead-off home run in the home-half of the ninth, but Cole Kaase used a ground ball and two flyouts to seal the Red Raiders 19th win of the season.

UP NEXT:
The Red Raiders return to Rip Griffin Park and open a five-game homestand on Monday when they welcome Stanford for a two-game series. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

–TECH–

Release provided by Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics