It has been a frustrating few weeks for Texas Tech (8-7). After starting the year with five straight wins, the Red Raiders dropped seven of their last ten games heading into today’s contest, seeing their team ERA sky rocket to 6.61 and their team batting average fall to .311. The woes have not been limited to the plate or the mound. Texas Tech has also suffered from a rash of fielding and running mistakes, the last being a game-ending pickoff of freshman Jamodrick McGruder, the tying run in an 8-7 loss to TCU.
While most fans today came to see their respective teams, the real battle was on the mound between TCU’s sensational freshman Matt Purke, a first round pick of the Texas Rangers in the 2009 draft, and Texas Tech junior Bobby Doran, who has been one of the few bright spots in the Red Raider pitching staff in 2010.
TCU got on the board first with a solo home run for DH Jimmie Pharr, his first of two on the day, to left field in the second inning.
The Horned Frogs extended their lead in the fourth. C Bryan Holaday started the inning off with a single before 1B Matt Curry and RF Matt Elander hit back-to-back triples. After Pharr took a Doran pitch in the arm, TCU 2B Jerome Pena singled through the right side, plating Elander, and putting the Red Raiders in a 4-0 hole.
Texas Tech finally got on the scoreboard in the next inning. Freshman Barrett Barnes led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to left center, his third on the season, and first since opening day.
TCU would get the run back, and add another, in the next inning with a bases loaded sacrifice fly to left field by Curry, his second RBI on the day, and a passed ball that allowed a run, making it 6-1 in favor of the home team after five innings.
Doran’s day would end after five innings, allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits. Doran recorded six strike outs over the first three innings, but non in his final two.
Doran started out hot, locating his fastball and curve in the zone. After the second go through, the TCU hitters got more comfortable against the righty and started hitting him hard. The fielding woes didn’t help out Doran at all.
The fielding problems for Tech didn’t disappear. With runners on the corner, C Jeremy Mayo’s throw on a steal attempt went into center field, allowing Pena to score and Witte to move to third. Von Tungeln’s grounder to second gave TCU another run, scoring Witte from third.
The Horned Frogs finished the game with a 9-1 victory, moving to 11-2 on the year while Texas Tech fell to 8-8. TCU has won all three games against Tech in 2010, with one remaining tomorrow.
Matt Purke threw a complete game, his first outing over 5.1 innings on the year, giving up only four hits, one run, and striking out eight Red Raiders. Purke’s victory moves him to 2-0 on the year, while Doran falls to 0-1.
Expect Chad Bettis to be on the mound for Texas Tech tomorrow, as he has yet to appear this weekend. TCU will counter with Kyle Winkler.