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Red Raiders roll in regional opener

The No. 9 Texas Tech baseball team claimed game one of the 2018 NCAA Lubbock Regional with a 9-2 victory over New Mexico State on Friday afternoon at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.

The Red Raiders (40-17) used a three-run first inning and a four-run seventh to help down the Aggies (40-21) for the third time this season. Tech also faced New Mexico State on Feb. 20 in Lubbock (12-0) and April 3 in Midland (2-1). It was also the third-straight year the Red Raiders have won the regional opener.

Four Red Raiders produced multi-hit bids at the plate as Tech totaled 11 in the game. Senior Michael Davis, junior Cameron Warren, sophomore Josh Jung & freshman Gabe Holt all had two hits in the game, while Davis had three RBI & Warren and senior Zach Rheams had two.

Senior left-handed pitcher Dylan Dusek got the start for the Red Raiders, posting 2.0 scoreless innings with two hits allowed and a strikeout. He gave way to junior righty Ryan Shetter, who put together a strong showing in relief to improve to 5-0 this season. The Friendswood native tossed 5.0 innings, allowing just one run on three hits & one walk, while striking out five.

Tech plated three runs in the opening frame to jump on the Aggies early, all with two outs in the inning. Jung sent a single up the middle to get it rolling, then sophomore Grant Little flipped an 0-2 count into an RBI double to the gap in left-center field for a 1-0 lead. One pitch later, the score was 3-0, as Rheams crushed a two-run homer over the right field wall and onto the track to hang a first-inning crooked number. It was Rheams' team-leading 14th dinger of the season.

NMSU cut the lead to two behind a solo homer from Ortiz in the third inning; however, Tech responded with two runs of their own to make it 5-1. Jung once again started it with a single to right field, then moved to second on a walk to Rheams. Shortly after, Warren sent an RBI single to left-center field to score Jung & Davis followed with a deep sacrifice fly to right field to score Warren to push the advantage to 5-1.

In the seventh, Tech opened it up with a four-spot, scoring all four runs with two outs in the frame, to extend the lead to 9-1. After a pair of walks to Little & Rheams, Warren repeated his third inning performance, shooting a two-out single through the left side of the infield to score Little for the first run. Davis followed with a bases-clearing double off the top of the left-center field wall, then junior Cody Farhat fulfilled his double with a single to right field to complete the four-run frame.

The Aggies threatened with multiple runs in the eighth inning, but were held to just one in the frame. A walk, followed by three-straight singles plated the first run of the frame, with the RBI knock coming from Henderson. A pop-up and a double play ended the inning and kept any further damage, completing the score at 9-2.

The Red Raiders will face Louisville at 7 p.m. on Friday night at Rip Griffin Park.

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