TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the second day in a row, the No. 2 Texas Tech baseball team fought its way back from a late deficit and secured a 4-3 victory at No. 9 Florida State on Sunday that capped a perfect 3-0 stay in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Red Raiders (11-1), who topped Florida Atlantic 7-1 on Friday and rallied for a 6-5 victory over Florida State in 11 innings on Saturday, controlled the lead until the fifth when FSU (8-3) got its only two hits on the day and gained a 3-2 advantage. A Cal Conley home run in the seventh tied it and a sac fly from Cody Masters put Tech back in front in the eighth on its way to a seventh-straight win.
The pitching staff was sensational once again on Sunday. Despite allowing seven free passes, sophomore starter Austin Becker had a no-hitter going into the fifth when a single, walk and home run suddenly gave FSU a 3-2 lead.
The bullpen was lights out from there with Jakob Brustoski, Ryan Sublette (1-0) and Andrew Devine combining for 4.2 shutout innings. The trio did not allow a hit and walked two while striking out six.
Sunday was the second time over the weekend Tech held its opponent to two hits as it limited FAU to just a pair of singles on Friday. The Red Raider bullpen went 3-0 over the weekend and allowed just one run on eight hits in 15.2 innings pitched with 24 strikeouts and five walks.
Sublette earned the win Sunday with 2.0 shutout innings in the seventh and eighth as Tech mounted its rally. He struck out three before handing the ball off to freshman Andrew Devine for the ninth, who earned his first career save.
Sophomore Cole Stilwell set the tone at the plate as he blasted a solo shot out of the ballpark in the second inning to open the scoring. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk, while senior Brian Klein went 2-for-3 with a leadoff double in the eighth that eventually put him in position to score the go-ahead run on a sac fly from junior Cody Masters.
Conley also went yard and led the Red Raiders with two runs driven in. Following Stilwell's dinger in the second, Masters doubled and Conley brought him in from third with an RBI groundout to first. He connected on a game-tying homer in the top of the seventh that made it a 3-3 game.
In the eighth, Klein led off with a long single to left and took third on a passed ball. With one out in the frame, Masters looped a shallow fly into center and Klein was able to score easily on a throw that hooked up the third base line.
KEY DEFENSIVE PLAY
With Tech leading 2-0 in the third, FSU threatened with men on first and second and two outs when five-hole hitter Reese Albert lifted a deep fly ball to left field that carried freshman Dillon Carter back to the track. He reached up to make the catch while simultaneously banging into the wall and falling to the ground, holding on to protect the 2-0 lead.
It'll be a busy month of March at Rip Griffin Park as 16-of-20 games through the end of the month take place at home. Tech hosts UNLV for a two-game midweek set Tuesday and Wednesday before welcoming Rice to Lubbock for a three-game set this weekend.