STILLWATER, Okla. – No. 9 Texas Tech clinched its series against No. 3 Oklahoma State on Saturday with a 9-3 win at O’Brate Stadium. And just like Friday, the victory was sparked by a grand slam with two outs that propelled a huge inning.
In the fifth inning Saturday, Owen Washburn provided the grand slam (watch) that helped tally a seven-run inning for the Red Raiders. The night before, Cole Stilwell launched a grand slam that was part of a five-run fourth inning. While Friday’s slam flipped the lead, Saturday’s broke a 1-1 tie. What both did was put Texas Tech in front for good in the visitors’ ballpark.
Laying the foundation for the win was right-hander Brandon Birdsell. The junior tossed 7.0 innings, allowing two earned runs and three hits. He struck out five and issued two walks. After his 12th start of 2022, Birdsell leads the Big 12 with a 2.12 ERA and a .186 opposing batting average. He is tied for the Big 12 lead in wins alongside Texas’ Pete Hansen at eight.
With four regular season games left, the win keeps Tech (34-16, 13-7) in the hunt for the Big 12 regular season title. Oklahoma State (34-16, 13-7) entered the weekend atop the Big 12 but is now tied with Tech in league play while TCU (31-18, 15-8) moved in front after Saturday by winning its second-straight at Kansas. TCU finishes Big 12 play on Sunday while Texas Tech (vs. Oklahoma) and Oklahoma State (at Baylor) each have one series remaining.
After two scoreless innings to start Saturday’s game, Stilwell proved he was still red hot as he provided the game’s first RBI in the third shooting a two-out double (watch) into the right-field gap to bring Parker Kelly home. Kelly drew a leadoff walk and Tech capitalized.
An Oklahoma State solo home run tied the game, 1-1, in the fourth, and what followed was the Red Raiders’ scoring surge.
After Washburn’s grand slam, the Red Raiders loaded the bases again but came up short of driving home additional runs as Easton Murrell flew out to deep center field after three-straight singles from White, Kelly and Carter.
The Cowboys scored one in the sixth, a triple followed by a balk. Colin Clark took over for Birdsell in the eighth and retired the first two batters he faced before issuing back-to-back walks and an RBI single. Derek Bridges finished the inning needing just four pitches to record a strikeout (watch) and strand two baserunners.
The win secured the Red Raiders’ fourth-straight series win against Oklahoma State and they will attempt their second-straight road sweep in Stillwater after taking all three in 2018 during their last visit.
The series finale is Sunday at 1 p.m. at Oklahoma State.
Release provided by MATT BURKHOLDER Texas Tech Athletics