SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Golden Spikes candidate Eric Gutierrez (Jr., 1B) and Tyler Nelsony (Jr., LF) each homered as the No. 20 Texas Tech Red Raiders (13-5) pounded the San Diego State Aztecs (15-4) 11-0 on Saturday at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The blowout win snaps the Red Raiders’ four-game road losing streak and is their first win on the road in 2015.
Texas Tech scored almost twice as many runs in this game as it had scored in the four previous road games on the season(14). The squad pounded out 14 hits in the game which is the most they have had in a road game this season with the prior high being eight. Four Red Raiders had multiple-hit games with eight getting at least a hit and all 10 reaching base in the game.
Gutierrez Ends Drought, Nelsony Leads Offense
Pre-season All-American Eric Gutierrez hadn’t homered entering the game even though his bat was alive putting together a .311/.443/.457 opening to the season with 12 RBI. The junior found his long-ball stroke in the fifth when he smashed his first homer of the year off of Dalton Douty (Jr., RHP) to push the Red Raiders’ lead to 7-0. Gutierrez went 2-for-5 in the game with an RBI single in the third inning.
Nelsony led the onslaught with a 4-for-5 day, scoring three times and driving in three runs. Nelsony initiated the scoring by doubling to lead-off the second inning before scoring on a sac fly. The junior would unload on a 1-0 delivery from Cody Thompson (So., RHP) with a three-run blast, his team-leading third on the year, to extend the lead to 6-0. After a pair of late inning singles, the left fielder grounded out in the ninth to finish a triple shy of the cycle.
Texas Tech hit .600 with runners in scoring position while driving in 10 runs with five separate hitters contributing in this clutch category.
Sophomore right-hander Cody Thompson didn’t have the same effectiveness as staff-mate Bubba Derby (Jr., RHP) in game one as he struggled out of the gate. After cruising through the first inning, Thompson was tagged in the second and third for six runs (five earned) on six hits. The sophomore gave up a double and a home run to Nelsony in a rocky start that put the Aztecs in an early hole from which they were never able to escape.
Cameron Smith Dominant
Texas Tech starter Cameron Smith (Sr., LHP) was not going to be dismayed over the offense performance put on the Red Raiders by the Aztecs in game one. The southpaw came out firing and eased through the first five Aztecs he faced before allowing baserunners in each of the next three innings. However, Smith dialed in and didn’t allow another runner to reach base after surrendering a one-out single to David Hensley (Fr., DH) in the fourth, retiring the last 11 hitters before leaving after the seventh inning. The senior struck out six while allowing three each hits and walks to improve to 2-1 on the year.
Pallares Keeps Producing
In spite of the loss, the Aztecs are still getting great production out of the lead-off spot in the lineup as senior center fielder Steven Pallares added another 2-for-3 effort into his already stellar start to the year. After grounding out in his first at bat, the senior reached base three times in the game and smacked a double off Smith in the third inning. Pallares was erased on a double-play in the fifth after drawing a walk and then singled to help load the bases in the eighth inning. The outfielder is 4-for-6 with a walk and three runs scored in the series for San Diego State.
The Aztecs send Mark Seyler (4-0, 3.33) to the bump in hopes of slowing down the Red Raiders who haven’t announced a starter as the teams face off in the rubber game of the series at 4:00 pm et on Sunday.