Red Raiders coach: Arkansas was 'really good'

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Texas Tech second baseman Gabe Holt heads to third base Tuesday, April 24, 2018, during the first inning against Arkansas at Baum Stadium.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Texas Tech second baseman Gabe Holt heads to third base Tuesday, April 24, 2018, during the first inning against Arkansas at Baum Stadium.

— Tim Tadlock’s No. 4 Texas Tech squad has been one of the most explosive teams in the country this season, but could not come up with keys hits Tuesday night at No. 7 Arkansas.

Texas Tech (32-10) was held to a season-low tying four hits and just missed on being shut out for only the third time this season.

“We have to do a better job at recognizing the strike zone and adjusting,” Tadlock said. “That’s just part of baseball. Their pitchers really threw the ball well, especially the last guy (Barrett Loseke), who we didn’t make a lot of contact against.”

Loseke had 10 strikeouts and was perfect in 4 2/3 innings. The Red Raiders struck out a season-high 17 times.

“We didn’t put the bat on the ball like we usually do,” Tadlock said. “We have to do better at that, but that has something to do with Arkansas pitching, which was really good.”

Texas Tech also had a rough night defensively with four errors, leading to an unearned run in the Razorbacks' three-run first inning.

“We just didn’t make enough plays tonight,” Tadlock said. “We missed some chances at the plate and had a few things happen that normally don’t for us.”

Arkansas got all five of its runs in its first two at-bats against Texas Tech starter Ryan Sublette (0-2), whose ERA ballooned to 9.50 after he allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits in 2 1/3 innings. He walked one and hit a pair of batters, including one during the second inning in which Arkansas put four consecutive hitters on base with two outs and scored twice on RBI singles by Luke Bonfield and Dominic Fletcher.

“That was tough, but we had seven more innings so that can’t be used as an excuse,” Tadlock said. “We just have to make plays.”

It was the first of a two-game series between the former Southwest Conference rivals and a meeting that Tadlock was happy that Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn agreed to in the off-season. Both teams are in position to be a national seed in the NCAA Tournament and entered with NCAA RPIs ranked Nos. 3 and 8.

“We do what we can to do what the NCAA says to build up the resume,” Tadlock said. “Coming up here and playing these games helps us with that and we are happy to do it; just would have liked to have played better tonight.”

Arkansas had 10 hits to Texas Tech’s four. The Red Raiders stranded five, well behind the Razorbacks' 13, but enough to make a difference in a relatively tight game.

“Arkansas has a very good baseball team, one that hits the ball really well, has a good lineup and pitched pretty well tonight,” Tadlock said.

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