Tenth-ranked Texas Tech beat No. 8 Ole Miss 5-1 in the 2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.
The Rebels tallied seven hits on the day, including three doubles, while Ole Miss pitching limited Texas Tech to six. The bats didn’t get going until late with five hits coming in the final two innings. Michael Fitzsimmons provided a spark off the Ole Miss bench, going 2-for-2 with a double. Ryan Olenek added a pair of hits and an RBI as the team’s starting center fielder.
Ole Miss right-handed pitcher James McArthur (0-1) was saddled with the tough loss. Pitching back in his home state, the New Braunsfels native did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and all three runs scored off him were unearned. He finished the day surrendering two hits and three walks through 5.0 frames.
Texas Tech received a big day from its starter Steven Gingery (3-0), who went 8.0 innings and allowed only one run on five hits and two walks. Five of the Red Raiders’ six hits came from the two through four hitters in the lineup. Cleanup hitter Tanner Gardner went 2-for-4 with four RBI.
A failed pickoff attempt allowed the Red Raiders to score first and take a 1-0 lead. McArthur walked the second batter of the inning, and on the ensuing at-bat, his throw to first got away from first baseman Chase Cockrell and rolled down the line. The TTU baserunner scampered to third on the miscue, and a sacrifice fly brought him across the plate for the game’s first run.
The Rebels hurt themselves in the sixth as a pair of errors led to two Texas Tech runs. First, it looked as if McArthur forced his second groundball double play of the contest, but Grae Kessinger’s throw to second sailed wide to allow both runners to reach safely. Attempting to pick off the lead runner, McArthur’s throw went into the outfield and placed both Red Raiders in scoring position. A base hit plated two to give Texas Tech the three-run advantage.
Texas Tech scored twice in the eighth to increase its lead to five, but the Rebels responded with a run. Tate Blackman doubled before Olenek followed with a two-bagger of his own, cutting the deficit to four, 5-1.