The Michigan baseball team clung to a 1-0 lead over Texas Tech at the start of the bottom of the fifth inning. A clutch Red Raiders double put the tying run in scoring position.
Sophomore Braxton Fulford stepped up to the plate and bunted an 0-2 pitch. Fulford popped up the bunt to junior first baseman Jordan Brewer, who attempted to turn a double play. But, instead, he allowed the runner to advance to third on a throwing error.
“And that’s what started the big inning,” said Michigan coach Erik Bakich. “We would have been out of that inning, in the fifth inning with a zero and instead it turned into a huge inning for them and a bunch of unearned runs for us.”
One batter later, Michigan had another opportunity to turn a double play with a runner on first. But after a costly error by sophomore shortstop Jack Blomgren, Texas Tech had runners on first and second.
The Red Raiders would go on to score six runs that inning and never lost control of the game from that point forward—winning 11-2 in the first game of the series.
“You can’t (have errors) against any team but, especially a really good team,” Bakich said. “They will every time, make you pay for it and they made us pay for it. So they took advantage of our mistakes.
“They did what we’ve done to a lot of the teams that we’ve played, and opened up a big margin in the scoring … (it) usually turned into a pretty big inning and that’s what Texas Tech did against us.”
The defensive errors continued to plague the Wolverines in the second game on Friday. The game was tied, 2-2, in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Red Raiders opened the inning with a single and a walk, putting the pressure on junior right-hander Karl Kauffman. The next batter singled to right center scoring one run, but a throwing error by junior right-fielder Dominic Clementi allowed another runner to reach third.
Clementi accrued another throwing error on the very next at-bat, allowing Texas Tech to score two more runs. Once again, the Red Raiders pulled away for a 10-3 victory.
Michigan committed two more errors in the final game of the series, though those were less costly than those in previous games. Still, the Wolverines fell, 8-5, the first time they have been swept this season.
In the series against the Red Raiders, the Wolverines totaled eight errors compared to Texas Tech’s three. It proved to be the difference in a fruitless weekend for Michigan.
“We were right there playing pitch-to-pitch in all three games for about half the game,” Bakich said. “And then they just separated because of one play, one swing whatever it may be.
“(The errors) were just very costly because they came at the most inopportune times.”