PHOENIX – The No. 4 Texas Tech baseball team dropped its Tuesday night contest to Grand Canyon, 9-4, at GCU Ballpark. The Lopes jumped in front in the first and kept control throughout while the Red Raiders missed out on several golden opportunities to overcome their deficit.
The loss is the Red Raiders (24-7) second in a row, marking the first time they’ve dropped back-to-back games since Feb. 19-20 during the opening weekend of the season.
The offense was productive all night for Tech, smacking 10 hits, three of which were home runs, but it was situational hitting that was the ultimate downfall. Tech finished with 10 runners left on base and 0-for-5 with runners on third base and less than two outs.
The Red Raiders’ 1-2-3 hitters – Easton Murrell, Cole Stilwell and Jace Jung – each produced multiple hits. Murrell registered a solo home run to start a game for the fourth time this season, of his five total home runs this season, to put Tech in front 1-0.
Grand Canyon matched Tech’s home run in the home half of the first, but it was a three-run shot to quickly turn around the contest. Once an 0-2 count, then worked full, the 3-2 pitch quickly turned the game into a 3-1 lead for GCU with one swing of the bat.
Murrell went back-to-back, hitting his second home run () in his second plate appearance in the third to cut the GCU lead to one, 3-2. Stilwell and Jung followed with base hits, but GCU got out of the jam stranding both the runners in scoring position, which was the beginning of Tech’s story on this night.
As Tech attempted to chip away, GCU found an answer in the third, and again in the fifth inning matching each run scored. Using Murrell’s home runs for the previous two runs, Kurt Wilson got the first hit () with a runner in scoring position in the fifth. But GCU answered with one run of its own in the fifth to keep its two-run lead initially gained in the first. It was 5-3 after five innings were completed.
Grand Canyon used a leadoff walk, that eventually scored on a passed ball to push its lead to 6-3 in the seventh. With Tech having its 2-3-4 batters on deck for the top of the ninth, GCU made sure to negate that threat as it added three in the bottom of the eighth to push its lead to 9-3.
Jung recorded his ninth home run of the season in the ninth, for his team-leading third hit of the evening.
The Red Raiders and Lopes are back at it on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. CT.