Texas Tech baseball sweeps mid-week series from Stanford

The Red Raiders got two much-needed home wins over Stanford ahead of this weekend's Big 12 series against Houston.

Texas Tech's infielder Austin Green (20) gestures after hitting a home run against Stanford in game
Texas Tech's infielder Austin Green (20) gestures after hitting a home run against Stanford in game / Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY

On the heels of another disappointing Big 12 series, a two games to one loss to UCF in Orlando, the Texas Tech baseball team hit what felt like a make-or-break moment in the 2024 season with a two-game home set against Stanford. Fortunately, Tim Tadlock's team pulled off the sweep against the Cardinal to hopefully get back on the winning track.

Friday, the Red Raiders pulled out a 10-9 walk-off win in eleven innings. But the win required some late-inning heroics from the lineup.

After leading 7-5 after seven innings, Tech would surrender the lead as the bullpen faltered once again this season by allowing two runs in the eighth. Then, an error in the top of the ninth put the Cardinal up 9-7 as Tech appeared headed for another close home loss.

Fortunately, that's when catcher Kevin Bazzell uncorked a two-run homer to knot the game at nine. Then, in the tenth, both bullpens would toss shutout innings.

In the bottom of the 11th, after the Cardinal failed to score in the top of the frame, Tech loaded the bases thanks to three straight infield singles. That set up Austin Green who looped a single over the drawn-in infield for the walk-off win.

Tuesday afternoon was much different but almost equally as tense. Fortunately, it too went the way of the home team.

In the first four innings, Tech built a 12-0 lead. Eventually, the Red Raiders would lead 15-3 in the bottom of the fifth.

However, Stanford would again take advantage of the Red Raider bullpen. Scoring nine runs in the final four innings of the game, the Cardinal would make things too close for comfort. In fact, the Cardinal would bring the equalizing run to the plate in the final frame but Isaiah Rhodes got a strikeout to end the visitor's threat.

There's no question that Tech needed these two wins. Now, it must be noted that Stanford is not a good team. Yes, they have name recognition, which most of Tech's non-conference home opponents do not have this year. However, they are now just 11-15 on the season.

That's the point though. Dropping these two games at home against a beatable opponent would have been crushing to a Tech team that seems to be teetering on the edge this year.

Now, the Red Raiders have to find a way to start winning Big 12 series. That begins this weekend at home against Houston.

The Cougars are not a great team either. With an overall record of just 15-12 and a Big 12 record of 4-8, they are behind the Red Raiders in the league standings.

However, Tech has recently dropped series to poor or mediocre teams such as UCF and Baylor while narrowly winning a series against BYU. Soon, Tech will face off with quality teams such as TCU and Arkansas with all five of those games being on the road, and if this squad wants to get into the NCAA Tournament, wins against the Frogs and Hogs will be imperative.

Hopefully, the two wins against the Cardinal will prove to be momentum swinging moments in this season. After all, had the ball bounced a different way in each game, they could have been killers for a team that has struggled with consistencicy and confidence for most of the season.