DBU Defeats Texas Tech to Force Winner Take All

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photo provided by dbupatriots.com

THE LEAD
DBU jumped out to a 10-0 lead over Texas Tech through the first six innings and held on for a 10-6 win over the Red Raiders on Sunday night at Rip Griffin Park.  Freshman MD Johnson earned his fifth win of the year, as the righty held Texas Tech scoreless through the first six innings.  With the win, the Patriots force a deciding game on Monday between DBU (44-18) and Texas Tech (43-17) at the Lubbock Regional.

For the second straight game, the Patriots scored in the first inning and, this time, it was multiple runs off Tech starter Ty Damron.  Justin Wall got the wheels turning with a solid double to the wall in left field and Austin Listi then ripped his second triple of the tournament to drive in the first run.  Darick Hall followed with a groundout to second for his 72nd RBI of the season, continuing his climb up the single season record book in that category.

The Patriots put another crooked number on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning when Matt Duce walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on Camden Duzenack‘s sacrifice bunt. After a groundout, Tim Millard was hit by a breaking ball and Jameson Hannah and Wall followed with singles to put the Patriots ahead early, 4-0.  DBU increased that lead to 7-0 after three innings with an RBI single from Duzenack and Jameson Hannah‘s bases loaded double.

Johnson kept the Red Raiders at bay with the large lead, pitching around a couple jams until his offense could score again. Those tallies came for the Patriots once again in the sixth inning when Wall singled and Hall doubled to put runners at second and third with one out.  Reynolds and Duzenack followed with singles and, for the fourth time in the game, the Patriots put a crooked number on the board.  An RBI groundout from David Martinelli gave the Patriots a lead at 10-0 with only nine outs left for Johnson and the bullpen to gather.

The Red Raider offense was finally able to scratch together some runs against Johnson in the seventh inning.  After a leadoff groundball, six walks and three base hits helped Texas Tech score six runs in the inning.

Johnson was lifted in favor of Sean Stutzman with one out and the bases loaded with one run already in and Stutzman was unable to wiggle out of the jam.  Johnson was responsible for four of the runs in the inning and Stutzman was charged with two.  Gavin Fritz came out to record the final out of the inning with the bases loaded and get the Patriot offense back to the plate.

Fritz pitched around a two-out error in the eighth inning to settle things down for DBU, but the offense was unable to increase the lead. With a four-run cushion going to the ninth inning Fritz was able to work around a jam with runners at first and second, as the sophomore righty struck out Stephen Smith to close out the game.

DBU HEAD COACH DAN HEEFNER ON THE TWO WINS OVER NEW MEXICO AND TEXAS TECH
“It speaks to the character and resiliency of this team in what they were able to do today.  I’m really proud of the way we battled in both games.  We needed a good start from MD and he was able to go deep into the game for us against a really good offensive team.”

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
– The win over Texas Tech is the first for DBU over the Red Raiders in Lubbock since May 3, 2011.
– DBU’s 44 wins is tied with the 2004 team for the second most wins in a single-season in the program’s Division I era dating back to 2004.
Gavin Fritz earned his first save of the season and the second of his career.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
7 – The first three hitters in DBU’s lineup, Jameson Hannah, Justin Wall, and Austin Listi combined to go 7-for-14.
72 Darick Hall‘s 72 RBIs are tied with Joel Hutter for the fourth most in a single-season in DBU’s Division I history.
28 – In the Patriots’ two wins over Texas Tech and New Mexico today, DBU racked up 28 hits.

UP NEXT
DBU will face Texas Tech on Monday in the Lubbock Regional Final.  The winner will advance to the NCAA Super Regionals.  First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at Rip Griffin Park.