The UTRGV baseball team knocked off the No. 10-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders 6-3 on Tuesday at Dan Law Field in Lubbock in non-conference action.
The win over Tech is the Vaqueros’ third victory against a Big 12 opponent this season, and the highest-ranked opponent UTRGV has beaten since March 14, 2012, when the team won 5-2 against No. 8-ranked Texas A&M.
Including a 5-2 win over No. 16 Oklahoma State on Feb. 16, UTRGV has now defeated two ranked teams in the same season. The last time UTRGV is known to have multiple wins over ranked teams was in 1983, when UTRGV took three out of four at No. 1 Wichita State.
UTRGV also has a 6-5 win at Kansas State from March 17, making this the first time UTRGV has three wins over Big 12 competition since 2000, when UTRGV beat Texas Tech three times and Texas A&M twice, with all those wins coming at home. This is the first time UTRGV has ever beaten three different Big 12 opponents and the first time UTRGV has won multiple road games against Big 12 competition in the same season.
The Vaqueros used a five-hit, five-run second inning to take a commanding lead early in the game. Former Washington Husky player Jacob Hirsh brought in Jacob Flores for UTRGV’s first run on a flare to left field. Center fielder Coleman Grubbs then singled to center to score Hirsh from second for a 2-0 lead.
Conrado Diaz reached on an error to give the Vaqueros two base-runners, setting up for Christian Sepulveda to drive them both in on a double to left field. Senior second baseman Anthony Gomez dropped a base hit to put UTRGV out in front 5-0 in the middle of the second.
Chase Adams got the start for UTRGV and went four innings, giving up two runs while striking out two with three walks. McAllen Memorial alum Juan Carreon II then took over for 1 1/3 inning and surrendered one run.
Grubbs added another Vaqueros run during the top of the sixth to push the lead to 6-2. He finished 2 for 6 with two RBIs and one run.
After giving up another run in the bottom frame to make it 6-3, UTRGV loaded the bases during the seventh with a Anthony Gomez single, Tyler Torres hit-by-pitch and a perfectly place bunt down the third base line by Aaron Galvan. The Vaqueros failed to bring any across the plate, however, after two strikeouts and a ground out to second ended the top of the seventh.
Texas Tech took advantage of UTRGV’s mistakes during the bottom frame as the first three Red Raiders reached on walks from Zach Martinez and Max Balderrama Jr. The sophomore from Crosby, Texas, Balderrama Jr. managed to keep Tech off the board with a fly out, strikeout and an out made by a sprinting Grubbs deep in center to end the inning.
Ben Butler and Ryan Jackson entered the game during the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, shutting the door on a comeback attempt from the Red Raiders. Jackson earned his eighth save of the season, while Balderrama earned the win, his fifth of the year.
The Vaqueros are now 29-14 overall and lead the Western Athletic Conference by one game at 14-4.
UTRGV and Texas Tech will wrap up their non-conference matchup at 2 p.m. today at Dan Law Stadium.