LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech’s Chris Sadberry and College of Charleston’s Taylor Clarke each went eight innings in a classic playoff pitcher’s duel. The Red Raiders scored the game’s only run in the third inning with a two-out triple and held on to win 1-0 in the first game of the NCAA Lubbock Super Regional.
No. 16 College of Charleston (44-18) lost just its first game of the 2014 postseason after sweeping through the CAA Tournament and the NCAA Gainesville Regional. No. 10 Texas Tech (44-19) won its 15th one-run game of the season as the Red Raiders play in their first-ever super regional.
Sadberry (5-3) picked up the win by not allowing a CofC run through eight innings, giving up four hits and striking out eight.
For his second-straight NCAA start, Clarke (10-4) allowed just one run, this time going the full-length and pitching eight innings. He only gave up five hits and struck out three with one walk. Clarke tied his career-long start with his eight innings and it marked the first time that he's pitched every inning without any bullpen relievers in a game.
“It was obviously a tough loss for us today,” head coach Monte Lee said. “I thought Taylor Clarke was outstanding. He did everything that he needed to do to help us win that ballgame.”
Texas Tech’s Tyler Neslony tallied the game’s only RBI in the third inning, a line drive to right field that rolled to the wall with two outs, allowing Stephen Smith to score from second. Clarke was able to strand Neslony at third to end the inning with no more damage.
College of Charleston had a big opportunity to score first in the top of the third inning with a leadoff double from Brandon Glazer. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Ryan Welke, but was thrown out at home plate on a ground ball to the shortstop.
The Red Raiders had a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the seventh inning with a runner on second with one out, but CofC’s Morgan Phillips laid out to make an incredible catch in the left-center gap on a potential RBI ball from Devon Conley.
The top of the eighth inning started promisingly as Glazer notched his second hit of the day on an infield chopper to third. Ryan Long tried to bare hand it and throw out Glazer, but the throw was wide and Glazer advanced to second. After another sacrifice bunt moved him to third, Glazer broke home on a grounder off the bat of Champ Rowland. Sadberry scooped the ball and threw to Hunter Redman who tagged Glazer for the second time in the game.
CofC did not get a baserunner in the ninth inning as Tech’s Jonny Drozd came on to get his fourth save of the season.
College of Charleston will have the opportunity to even the series on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET with the second game on ESPNU. Freshman phenom Bailey Ober (10-2, 1.55 ERA) will take the mound for the Cougars. Texas Tech has not yet announced a starting pitcher.