LUBBOCK, Texas (WNCT) – Eric Gutierrez’ two-run single in the top of the 13th inning lifted No. 5 National Seed Texas Tech to a 3-1 win over East Carolina Saturday afternoon at Dan Law Field inside Rip Griffin Park in Game 2 of the Lubbock Super Regional.
With the win, the Red Raiders improve to 45-18 and force a winner take all game on Sunday, June 12 with a trip to the 2016 College World Series on the line. The Pirates fall to 38-22-1 on the season and suffered their first loss of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. First pitch for game three is scheduled for 3:04 p.m. (ET).
With the game knotted at one-all in the 13th frame, Sam Lanier entered the contest to take over for Joe Ingle on the mound. After getting two quick outs, Tyler Floyd drew a walk and advanced to third on Orlando Garcia’s single through the right side. Stephen Smith followed with a walk to load the bases for Gutierrez, who singled back up the middle plating Floyd and Garcia for a 3-1 lead.
ECU failed to get a runner on base in the home half of the 13th as Robert Dugger (6-0) retired the Pirates in order to force a game three.
Dugger scattered a pair of hits over five scoreless frames where he walked two and struck out five in relief. Starter Steven Gingery allowed one run (earned) on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts in five frames. Hayden Howard tossed 2.2 shutout innings allowing four hits, while Ryan Moseley worked one-third of an inning.
Lanier (2-2) took the loss giving up two runs (both earned) on two hits with a pair of walks in two-thirds of an inning. Jimmy Boyd surrendered a run (earned) on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5.1 frames. Matt Bridges appeared in his second-straight game of the series fanning two in 1.2 innings, while Ingle worked a career-long five scoreless innings where he walked five and struck out six. Chris Holba worked one-third of a frame getting a fly out in the top of the 13th.
Tanner Gardner tallied three of TTU’s seven hits on the afternoon, while Michael Davis, Garcia, Gutierrez and Tyler Neslony each pitched in with a base knock. Davis accounted for the games first run in the fourth on a RBI infield single that pushed across Neslony, who doubled to left field with one out.
For the fifth-straight game of the NCAA Tournament, ECU recorded double-digit hits pounding out 12 on the day. Luke Bolka, Turner Brown, Parker Lamm, Eric Tyler and Dwanya Williams-Suttoneach posted multi-hit games. Travis Watkins, who is batting .500 in post-season play, drove in the lone Pirate run on a sac fly in the sixth inning that plated Charlie Yorgen.
Both teams had chances to score throughout the contest as TTU left 15 runners on base, while ECU stranded 14.