After Friday’s 9-0 loss to Missouri, the team got together
and the message was simple from Texas Tech head coach Dan Spencer – need
to play with pride.
The Red Raiders took that message to heart and turned around
the weekend, the series and possibly even the season at this point with a Big
12 Conference series win, beating Missouri 7-0 in the series finale.
“It’s huge, I don’t know if you can turn the season around
in a day, but you sure feel better about yourself and the kids feel better
about themselves,” Spencer said. “They really responded to a poor performance
on Friday night, I thought they really played with some passion.”
The series win marked the first for the Red Raiders since
taking two of three from Oklahoma State at the end of last season in Lubbock.
Tech (25-22, 5-13 in Big 12 play) desperately needed a
series win and turned the ball over to Rusty Shellhorn, who had primarily been
a mid-week series starter this season, and he impressed.
Shellhorn (5-2) shut down the Tigers bats, who had put up 12 runs in the past two games, holding them
to just two hits during his outing.
The redshirt junior, who was working on four days rest,
matched a career-high in innings pitched, going seven innings, and strikeouts,
setting down seven Tigers in the game.
good, didn’t throw to many pitches on Tuesday,” Shellhorn said. “I just came
out, did my stuff over the week and I was ready to go. Felt good.”
With Shellhorn dealing, the Red Raiders offense came
through, in a big way – seven runs on 10 hits.
In Tech’s previous three Big 12 series finales, the Red
Raiders had scored seven runs combined.
For Missouri (23-19, 7-11) entering Saturday’s game, the
Tigers had a four-game winning streak and looked like they would finish off the
Red Raiders, but then came up flat in the final two games.
“Not only that, but from Friday night,” Missouri Head Coach
Tim Jamieson said about momentum from the previous week. “You got a chance, one
more game to win the series. We’re starting to make a move in the conference
and overall record and things like that, and to come out and give less than our
best is always disappointing.”
The Red Raiders were able to get after the Tigers starting
staff, running Saturday and Sunday’s starters from the game before they could
even register five innings pitched.
Tech started chipping away at Sunday’s Brett Graves (3-5)
and finally broke through in the middle innings.
The most damage for the Red Raiders came in the fifth
inning, when Tech was able to plate four runs on five hits, including Reid
Redman’s two-run single and an RBI triple from Tim Proudfoot.
Redman, who finished the game going 2-for-3 with two RBIs,
said it was nice to finally be able to put everything together to get that
elusive first Big 12 series win.
“Well it took us
long enough,” he said. “But it was good, I think we needed some momentum going
into the next couple of weeks and it was really big for us to win this.
Hopefully this momentum will carry into next week at A&M.”
Now the Red
Raiders will try and carry this two-game winning streak and extend it on
Tuesday as they travel to New Mexico State to conclude a two-game season series
with the Aggies.