Texas Tech Baseball at the Big 12 Championship: Choose Your Own Adventure
Dru Baker and the Red Raiders put the Baylor Bears in a picnic basket on Wednesday morning to open the Big 12 Championship with a win. The final of 11-4 was the biggest game one Big 12 tournament win for the Red Raiders in Tim Tadlock's tenure. A nice gift for the head coach that just agreed to a lifetime deal. The win puts the Red Raiders at 36-13 on the season, 5th in the nation, and 8th in the RPI. More on that later though.
Texas Tech's big day was started and sustained by the bat of Dru Baker who finished 4-5 with three RBI. His lead-off home run set the tone for the Red Raiders in the bottom of the first inning after Mason Montgomery had just worked around a Baylor hit by striking out the side. Both Baker and Montgomery would stay hot. Baker, a triple short of the cycle, and Montgomery with 11 Ks, his second double-digit strikeout game of the season.
The real surprise of the day - the last week frankly - has been the reemergence of Nate Rombach who had a two-run no-doubter blast in the bottom of the fourth inning to break the game wide open at 8-0. It's not really surprising that Rombach hit the home run, he's been known to get the occasional ROMBLAST, but he'd been so bad in Big 12 play I thought he might have lost his smile.
By May 20th, Rombach's averaged dipped below .180. In three games since, he's got 6 hits, 9 RBIs, and a home run in the last two games. He's heating up. He was right behind Baker today going 3-4 with three RBI. More importantly, knock on wood, he's got a three-game streak with no strikeouts.
Now, as of the publishing of this story, Kansas State and TCU are playing for the right to play Texas Tech on Thursday, May 27th, at 4:00 p.m.. In the top of the 6th inning, Kansas State leads 6-3.
Continue on for the Texas Tech baseball choose your own adventure.
IF KANSAS STATE HOLDS ON:
The Wildcats stunned the Frogs today outscoring them (insert Wildcats score here) to (insert TCU score here). Kansas State has now won 3 of the last 4 matchups against TCU and have officially killed TCU's chances to be a top-eight seed.
The Wildcats now move on to face Texas Tech who controls their own destiny to a national seed and a path to Omaha. The Red Raiders look to exact revenge on the Wildcats who took the series from Texas Tech in Manhattan, Kansas earlier this year.
IF TCU COMPLETES THE COMEBACK:
What a game! TCU was down 4-0 in the first inning and down 6-3 in the 6th, but they never gave up. The resilient Frogs shook off the absolute implosion they suffered against Kansas State in game three last weekend where they gave up eight runs to lose in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the win, TCU also revives their chance to hold on to the national seed that Texas Tech is trying to take.
Potentially, the winner of this game takes the national seed while the loser falls past the eighth seed. Why? Well, TCU would then even their season series with Texas Tech. If they could avoid another game against the Red Raiders for the duration of the tournament the Red Red Raiders would hold hardly any leverage.
If Texas Tech wins, the straight-up record against TCU would stretch to 3-1. If the tournament committee is truly guessing between TCU and Texas Tech as a final national seed, that is hard to ignore. Regardless of if TCU has a share of the Big 12 regular season or not.
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