Texas Tech’s Bullpen Shines in Game 1 Regional Win Over Army
Chase Hampton, the true freshman, was masterful yet again today against Army in game one of the Lubbock Regional.
Hampton got the win moving to 4-0 on the season, throwing six innings and scattering seven hits and only one walk across six complete innings. He allowed just one earned run.
The young pitcher pounded the strike zone, throwing 79 pitches with 50 across the plate for strikes. His best moment might have been after Braxton Fulford had a snap throw to third bounce past the third baseman Parker Kelly allowing a runner to come home unearned. Hampton responded like a grizzled veteran, throwing a first-pitch strike to the next batter and inducing a ground ball out shortly thereafter.
That runs counter to what Texas Tech has done at numerous times this season where bad defensive plays have turned into bad pitching performances. Hampton was unaffected, which gave the Texas Tech defense a little more confidence.
Hampton's start left the Red Raiders with three innings of relief work, but Tim Tadlock sometimes works in mysterious ways. He pulled the hot hand for Connor Queen, who worked around an Army solo home run that cut the Red Raiders' lead to 6-3. He gave Texas Tech two solid innings of work before Micah Dallas came on for the save.
The bullpen work from Dallas tells us two things. First, the next two starts will go to Monteverde and Montgomery. Second, Dallas is an elite reliever. He was great last year, and will be an absolute x-factor in that role in the post-season.
Those two gentlemen weren't why the Texas Tech bullpen was the star of the show, though. It's just that national publications are seeing the crew's home run celebration for the first time.
If you haven't seen it, the entire bullpen scales the fence in the outfield and jumps to the top of the fence to wave the batter around the bases during his trot.
The bullpen got to do it on this two-run shot from Cal Conley in the third inning that gave Texas Tech a lead they'd never give back.
The bullpen scaled the fence a second time for Braxton Fulford's home run that made it 5-2.
Then, a third time in the game and a second time waving Cal Conley around the bags when he scored the final run of Texas Tech's game with a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Army will play the loser of UCLA and UNC who are scheduled get started at 6 p.m. tonight at Dan Law Field. Texas Tech will play the winner of the same matchup.
Both of those games will be played on Saturday, June 5th. The loser's game in the afternoon before Texas Tech and the second winner play at 8 p.m.