May 19, 2002
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech shortstop Gera Alvarez hit two home runs in the first four innings and drove in seven runs as the 22nd-ranked Red Raiders completed a weekend sweep of No. 17 Baylor Sunday with an 11-1, seven-inning run-rule win.
The loss means Baylor (34-22, 13-13 Big 12) can finish no better than tied for sixth in the Big 12, and depending on the results of Sunday's Texas-Texas A&M and Kansas-Kansas State games, the Bears could finish as the eighth seed entering next week's Big 12 Tournament.
Texas Tech (40-16, 16-11 Big 12), meanwhile, finished the regular season in third place in the conference, behind only Texas and Nebraska.
Things started early for the Red Raiders. Tech's first two men reached on singles, and three-hole hitter Gera Alvarez brought them in with a three-run bomb to left that quickly put the Red Raiders on top 3-0. An error by shortstop Trey Webb led to to one more run in the first when it was followed by a walk and another single.
Baylor pushed across their only run in the fourth. Chris Durbin lined a one-out double into the right-centerfield gap, moved to third on a grounder to second and scored when Mike Huggins beat out a slow bouncer to third base.
But in the bottom of the fourth, Tech put together three singles (including two infield hits) to bring up Alvarez. The senior shortstop celebrated Senior Day with his second homer of the game, a two-out ground slam that pushed the Tech lead to 8-1 and knocked Baylor starter Steven White (5-4) from the game.
Trey Taylor came in and got out of the fourth with a foul pop out to first, but walked a pair in the fifth and was pulled in favor of Kyle Edens. Edens got second baseman Bryon Smith to pop up in fair territory just in front of home plate, but in the high sky both the first baseman Huggins and the catcher Josh Ford lost the ball, and third baseman Michael Griffin was unable to get to the ball in time. The pop glanced off Griffin's glove, and with two outs, both runners were able to score on the play to put Tech up 10-1. Edens then struck out the next man to escape further trouble.
Two walks and two groundouts accounted for Texas Tech's final run of the game in the sixth off Edens.
Tech starter Dusty Buck (8-1) got the win, completing his first game of the year in the shortened affair. Buck allowed just three hits and one run, with one strikeout and no walks.
White lasted only 3 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits, striking out three and walking two.
The Big 12 Tournament begins Wednesday at The Ballpark in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers. Go to www.Big12Sports.com for more information on the tournament.