Texas Tech splits day one of Mary Nutter Classic
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Texas Tech rallied from behind in the top of the seventh to down Cal Poly, 3-2, before falling to UC Riverside, 6-4, in extra innings Thursday at Big League Dreams.
Being down 2-1 heading into their final at-bat, the Red Raiders (10-3) rallied for three runs thanks to hits from Demi Elder, Makinzy Herzog and Ellie Bailey to take the lead once and for all.
However, Texas Tech saw a 10-game win streak snapped after an extra-innings slugfest with UC Riverside (6-5). Despite the loss, starter Herzog shined, hurling nine strikeouts in six innings of work.
Texas Tech 3, Cal Poly 2
Tech got on the board early after Herzog, Kailey Wyckoff and Ellie Bailey all strung together singles to plate the first run of the contest. However, Cal Poly answered with a pair of runs of their own after two walks and a single from Juju Sargent and Kiara Blanchard.
The next five frames commenced a full-blown pitcher’s duel as neither side was able to produce a run. Tech’s best chance to score a run came in the top of third after the first two batters reached but were left stranded.
With three outs left to work with, Elder kickstarted the Red Raider offense with a double to left field. Herzog followed and doubled down the left-field line to tie the contest at two. After a ground out put Herzog at third, Bailey singled to center to plate the go-ahead run.
Sage Hoover (6-0) entered in the bottom of the third and tossed 4.1 scoreless innings to prime the Red Raiders for the win. After forcing a pop up in the seventh, Herzog (SV1) solidified the win after recording the final two outs.
Ramuno (3-2) suffered the loss, seeing all 7.0 innings of action and allowing three runs and 10 hits.
Game Two: UC Riverside 6, Texas Tech 4 (8 innings)
UC Riverside struck first in the top of the third as Marissa Burk singled to score Lauryn Garewal, who leadoff and was hit by pitch. The Red Raiders, as they have done all season, punched right back and capitalized off a Highlander fielding error to plate a run.
Gianna Araki stepped up to the plate in the top of the fourth and gave her Highlanders a 2-1 lead with a solo shot. Despite stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, Elder came in clutch in the bottom of the fifth with a three-blast to put Tech up 4-2. The homer marked the first of the left-handed speedster’s career.
UC Riverside etched away at the lead with a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth to pull back within one. Then, in the top of the seventh, a questionable call put kept a runner in scoring position for the Highlanders following a double that Tech looked to have tagged the runner out at second.
Nadia Whitt then came up big for UC Riverside with a double to plate Garewal and send the game into extras after Tech couldn’t plate the leadoff in the bottom of the frame.
With the international tie breaker in affect, UC Riverside started with a runner on second base. Erna Carlin (0-2) fanned the first two batters of the frame before Leah Brito smashed a two-out, two-run homer to hand the Highlanders the lead again and for all.
Maddie Heinlin (3-2) earned the win after throwing the complete game. She finished the night with nine strikeouts and allowed nine hits.
Texas Tech returns to action in day two of the Mary Nutter Classic tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. against Utah.
Release provided by Hanna Cooper Texas Tech Athletics