A day after the Texas Tech baseball team slugged its way to 17 runs to open this weekend’s road series at Kansas State, the bats fell oddly silent on Friday as the Red Raiders fell to the Wildcats 7-2. In fact, it was a bit of an unusual game all the way around for Tim Tadlock’s team.
First of all, the bats were atypically quiet in this game with Tech mustering just a pair of runs in the fifth inning. It was the second-fewest runs the Red Raiders have scored in a game this year ahead of only the shutout they suffered in game one of the Oklahoma State series in Lubbock two weekends ago.
But what was even more unexpected on Friday was that starting pitcher Patrick Monteverde was ineffective for the first time this year. In fact, you could say he was battered by the Wildcat lineup.
Entering the game with an ERA of just 0.75, the transfer who has been the star of the pitching staff thus far gave up six runs in only four innings of work. Previously, he had given up just four runs in total on the season. And his night got off to a rocky start right from the beginning.
Allowing two homers in the first inning, Monteverde and the Red Raiders fell into an instant 3-0 hole. That deficit would grow to 6-0 by the end of the third inning when KSU would plate three more runs.
And all along, the Tech bats never got going. Time and time again, Texas Tech baseball fans are accustomed to seeing the Red Raiders battle out of large holes by slugging their way back into games. But on Friday, it wasn’t to be.
In all, Tech would leave nine runners on base. That included three runners stranded by leadoff hitter Dylan Neuse.
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KSU starter Carson Seymour was surprisingly effective on the night. Entering the game with a robust 4.50 ERA, he had amassed a record of just 2-4 on the year before picking up the win on Friday. Thus, the fact that he held Tech to just two runs in 5.2 innings of work was certainly an unexpected development and a huge boost to a KSU team that saw its pitching staff humiliated on Thursday night.
Seymour flirted with disaster all evening as he gave up seven hits and walked six hitters. But Tech couldn’t get the breakthrough hits when opportunities presented themselves and it resulted in the team’s second Big 12 loss of the year and only the second overall loss since the season’s opening weekend in February.
Sometimes baseball is a strange game and that was what it proved to be on Friday night in Manhattan, Kansas. That’s the beauty of the game and what makes it so fun to follow. But here’s hoping things return to normal Saturday in the series finale.