Wildcats baseball has bounce-back win against Texas Tech
Tuesday’s 6-2 victory by No. 16 Arizona (11-3) over Texas Tech (7-6) was a bounce-back win for the Wildcats that centered around an 8.0 inning performance by sophomore pitcher Tyler Crawford.
As the Arizona offense took advantage of the runners on base, Texas Tech batters scattered hits off Crawford, collecting eight in total. Crawford accomplished the day’s goal of mixing pitches and giving the opposing hitters different looks as he limited any Red Raider surge. Texas Tech went 2-10 with runners on base against the lefty.
“[Crawford] pitched the way he’s supposed to pitch,” pitching coach Shaun Cole said.
Cole had questioned Crawford’s concentration in his previous appearances but said he was satisfied with Tuesday’s performance, especially with runners on base. Now, Crawford can expect to see a consistent high level of focus from what he called his “safety net.”
Carl Miller / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA Baseball wins against Texas Tech 6-2 in the first of a two-game series this week. Their second game will take place today at 1pm at Hi Corbett Field.
“I felt focused and really tried to keep the ball down and keep them guessing,” Crawford said. “[Cole] tells us all season that if they throw up a zero we need to do that, and that was definitely a goal for me today.”
Crawford’s 8.0 innings of work and five strikeouts were career highs for the sophomore. Crawford surrendered two runs Tuesday night.
The first run came in the top of the fourth when Texas Tech center fielder Brett Bell led off the inning with a single and was later driven in on a double by second baseman Bryant Burleson to tie the game at one.
Following the run, Crawford settled in, retiring 12 out of the next 15 Texas Tech batters. The tempo appeared to carry over to the offense, as the Wildcats tied the game in the bottom of the fourth and struck for four more runs in the sixth inning.
“When [Crawford] is filling up the strike zone, it’s great because the momentum is staying on our side,” center fielder Johnny Field said. “It just feels easier to put up runs when momentum is on your side, and he did that for us today.”
Tuesday night, the Wildcats’ middle of the order carried the team, as they went 4-10 and contributed to all six of their runs via the RBI or run.
Arizona’s batters were steady throughout the night but broke through against Texas Tech’s starting pitcher, Johnny Drozd (1-1), in the sixth inning. Field, Brandon Dixon and Trent Gilbert fueled the inning when all three reached base and drove in three of the four runs.
“[Drozd] didn’t really have much velocity on his fastball tonight, but he did a good job locating his off-speed pitches for strikes,” Field said. “He kept us a little off-balance, but we’re a pretty good lineup and we finally got to him in the sixth.”
Freshman Tyger Talley (0-0) will make his fourth appearance but first start for the Wildcats on Wednesday afternoon as they go for the two-game sweep of the Red Raiders.