Doug Thennis’ walk-off grand
slam capped a six-run bottom of the ninth that gave the Texas Tech Red Raiders a
dramatic series-clinching win over the second-ranked Missouri Tigers in front of
a crowd of 2,643 at Dan Law Field on Sunday afternoon.
The win moves Texas Tech’s overall
record to 14-12 and the Red Raiders now stand at 4-5 in Big 12 play, which puts
them in a tie for fifth-place with Oklahoma State.
Missouri drops to 20-4 and 4-2 in Big 12 play
and has now lost consecutive games for the first time this
The Red Raider offense exploded in
the final three innings of the game as Tech put up 11 runs over three innings on
nine hits. Three Red Raiders ended the
afternoon with multiple-RBI games with Doug Thennis leading the way with a
Trailing 11-9 in the bottom of the
ninth, the Red Raiders began another ferocious rally as Missouri freshman
reliever Tyler Clark walked left fielder Taylor Ashby and then gave up a single
to shortstop Chris Hall. Junior second
baseman Willie Rueda then tied up the game with a two-RBI triple to the gap in
left-center field. The triple marked his
first of the season and gave him four RBIs on the afternoon. Missouri Head Coach Tim Jamieson elected to
load the bases to set up a possible double play but Thennis put a dramatic end
to the game with a towering grand slam home run over the left field wall that
gave the Red Raiders a 15-11 win.
The Red Raiders, who trailed all the
way until the seventh inning, erased Missouri’s 7-4 lead in the bottom half of
the seventh with a three-run outburst that was capped by designated hitter James
Leverton’s game-tying two RBI single up the middle. Junior right fielder Roger Kieschnick was hit
by a pitch with one out in the inning and was moved over to third thanks to a
double by freshman catcher Monk Kreder.
Thennis drove Kieschnick home with a single to center and then moved over
to second on the throw by Tiger center fielder Ryan Lollis. Leverton then laced a hard hit two-RBI single
up the middle that knotted the game for the first time at
Missouri answered Texas Tech’s three-run
rally in the top of the eighth as the Tigers took advantage of an unusually
shaky outing by Tech closer Zach Stewart.
Missouri put up four runs in the inning, three
coming with two outs, and collected six hits off the junior right-hander who
doubled his season total of runs in that one inning. The four-run inning gave Missouri an 11-7
Texas Tech scratched away at the
in the bottom half of the eighth as the Red Raiders closed the gap to 11-9
thanks to an RBI double by sophomore third baseman Joey Kenworthy and an RBI
single by Kieschnick. Tech had the bases
loaded with just one out in the inning but Clark came in out of the Tiger bullpen and ended the
threat by striking out Tanner Rindels and Leverton.
Missouri jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in
the top of the first inning in what turned out to be a rough outing by freshman
RHP Chad Bettis. Bettis gave up four
runs in the first inning in his second-straight outing and ended the afternoon
having given up a season-high seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and walked
three over 4 1/3 innings.
Zach Stewart picked up the win in
relief for Texas Tech as he rebounded from Missouri’s rally in the eighth and pitched a
perfect ninth to improve to 2-0 on the year.
Tyler Clark fell to 1-1 after giving up six runs on three hits and three
walks over one inning.
Texas Tech returns to action on
Tuesday evening as the Red Raiders will play host to the Texas A&M-Corpus
Christi Islanders in a two-game midweek series.
First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. on Tuesday and 3 p.m. on Wednesday.