Texas Tech 6, Texas 3: No. 11 Red Raiders knock off No. 3 Horns in opener of Big 12 series
For the first time in a while, Texas finds itself looking at an 0-1 count.
Texas Tech got to Texas ace Ty Madden in a 6-3 win at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Friday afternoon. The loss was UT's first in the opener of a series of least three games since the 2019 season.
Texas has won its last 12 series. To extend that series streak to 13, Texas (34-10) must now rally over the course of the weekend.
"We haven't had to deal with that all year, but it's adversity. It's part of the game. It's a good test for the team," Texas outfielder Mike Antico said. "You can't look back now and say we should have done this, that and the other thing. We've just got to look forward to tomorrow."
In a game that was rescheduled because of the forecast and delayed a couple of times by the weather, Texas Tech (29-10) struck first on the day's first hit. To lead off the second inning, Braxton Fulford homered into the visiting bullpen.
That homer would be Texas Tech's only hit over the first three innings. Facing Madden, the Red Raiders struck out three times in the third.
But with Texas leading 2-1 in the fourth, Texas Tech scored on a two-out triple and a wild pitch by Madden. The next inning, the Red Raiders aggressively added three runs. Two of Tech's three hits in the fifth and a sacrifice fly were recorded on either the first or second pitch of an at-bat.
Madden's day ended after the fifth inning. Six days after a 122-pitch outing against Oklahoma State, Madden threw only 78 to the Red Raiders. After the game, UT coach David Pierce revealed that Madden was struggling with a blister that he had been dealing with all spring.
"He just couldn't overcome it, couldn't get the slider down," Pierce said.
Texas Tech finished with six hits, five of which went for extra bases. In addition to Fulford's home run, the Red Raiders rattled off three doubles and a triple.
One of those doubles belonged to Dillon Carter, who also scored a run. Carter, though, had a bigger impact on defense. The Texas Tech freshman robbed Texas of two runs with two diving catches in center field. Carter also ran down a long fly ball off the bat of Antico in the first inning.
Averaging 6.9 runs per game this season, the Longhorns were blanked after pulling within three runs in the fifth inning. In the eighth, Tech reliever Brendan Girton struck out Trey Faltine with two outs and two Longhorns aboard. Texas stranded a runner at second in the ninth.
Texas finished with five hits. One of those came with a runner aboard.
"As an offense, we weren't rolling how we usually do," Antico said. "We didn't really have that get ’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in going tonight, which has been the reason for our success throughout the season."
Texas dropped to 12-4 in Big 12 play with the loss. The third-ranked Longhorns entered the day locked in a first-place tie with No. 5 TCU, but the Horned Frogs took sole possession with an 8-2 win at West Virginia on Friday evening.
No. 11 Texas Tech is now 9-7 in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders are the Big 12's third-place team.
Around the bases: With inclement weather still in the forecast, the first pitch of Saturday's game has been moved up to noon. ... Antico and Faltine both hit solo homers for Texas on Friday. ... Madden and reliever Drew Shifflet combined to strike out 11 batters over their seven innings. ... With a first-inning walk, Zach Zubia extended his on-base streak to 20 games. Zubia had a 41-game streak at the beginning of the 2018 season.