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May 5, 2013

Rounding the Bases

No. 19 Oklahoma State tied a season high with four errors en route to a 5-2 loss to Texas Tech on Friday at Rip Griffin Park.

Didn't matter. The Red Raiders would have won the game anyway behind some consistent hitting amid an extremely inconsistent year and Trey Masek's complete game.

That's what makes a series loss to the Cowboys so frustrating. The odds favored Tech to win a Big 12 series since upending Texas in Austin at the beginning of conference play. It just had to win one of two remaining games.

It didn't.

Saturday's game was a throwaway as Oklahoma State smacked the Red Raiders, 11-5, and had an 11-1 advantage going into the bottom of the ninth.

Sunday was different though. Left Jonny Drozd gave Tech 7.2 innings of great baseball before his squad ultimately gave up three unanswered runs in the ninth inning.

"Just frustrated," head coach Tim Tadlock said after Sunday's series clinching 3-0 loss. "Just frustrated. A ball lands over your outfielder in a no doubles (shift). Just a whole frustrating deal. The whole inning basically was. A little disappointed in the bullpen, obviously."

The skipper, who realizes his team was eliminated from making the NCAA Regionals based on its resume weeks ago, knows the important thing is keeping ahead of Texas for the eighth and final spot in the Big 12 tournament.

Tech (22-26, 7-14) is still ahead of the Longhorns (24-22, 6-15) by the game it led with entering the weekend. While the Red Raiders lost their series, Texas also dropped two of three against Kansas State and will have to make up at least a game with just three conference games to go.

Tech also has the tiebreaker if the Longhorns finish with the same record thanks to the Red Raiders' head-to-head series win.

"It's better than none," Tadlock said. "I'm glad we have one game (in hand). I'd like to have two or three and would have liked to have it closed out by now. That's kind of where we're at right now.

"But really, as far as that all goes, if your focus goes to one game or what they're doing, what we're going to do, we've really got to focus on the little things."

Both Texas and Tech are not scheduled for Big 12 games this upcoming weekend so the race will hang over them a little longer.

Tech will get a tough Baylor team at home for its next series while the Longhorns will go to Fort Worth for a series with TCU.

Texas -- also not in the running for an at large berth to the NCAAs -- will play meaningless games against Texas Southern this upcoming weekend. The Red Raiders break for finals after playing a game against Dallas Baptist on Tuesday that serves little more purpose than an opportunity to get the bad taste out of their mouths.

Tadlock added he wants his players to focus on simply playing better baseball through the five remaining regular season games. Win or lose.

"College baseball is different," Tadlock said. "If we're a college basketball team, we're going at best to the NIT right now. Whereas college baseball is a unique deal. You get into postseason and you get on a streak, you can play as long as anybody.

"Reality is we've got to play good baseball for any of that to happen."

Scoreboard

Tuesday vs. No. 17 New Mexico, W 12-8

Friday vs. No. 19 Oklahoma State, W 5-2

Saturday vs. No. 19 Oklahoma State, L 11-5

Sunday vs. No. 19 Oklahoma State, L 3-0

This week's schedule

Tuesday vs. Dallas Baptist, 3 p.m.


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