• 66°

Texas Tech tops ECU, forces Game 3 today

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Eric Gutierrez singled in two runs in the top of the 13th inning and Texas Tech beat East Carolina 3-1 on Saturday night to even the Lubbock Super Regional at a game apiece.

The Game 3 winner Sunday will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

Gutierrez, the 2016 Big 12 Player of the Year, ended an 0-for-16 spell that dated to the second game of the Lubbock Regional last week. He was 0 for 9 against ECU before his single in extra innings.

“I mean, I have confidence in myself and obviously the team has it, too,” Gutierrez said. “Just because I was 0 for 16, to me it doesn’t matter. Just go up to the plate and battle and grind it out.”

Texas Tech relief pitcher Robert Dugger completed his longest outing of the season after coming on in the eighth inning with two runners on base and no outs. He retired 15 of the next 18 batters through five innings of work while striking out a career-high five.

Both teams relied on their pitching and defense to stave off multiple threats throughout the afternoon. East Carolina had 12 hits and stranded 14 runners, and Texas Tech had seven hits and stranded 15.

The Pirates’ biggest threat came in the bottom of the 12th with the bases loaded and two outs. But Dugger once again found a way out, getting Brady Lloyd to ground out to second base for the fielder’s choice.

Texas Tech turned four double plays — its most during the postseason.

“At any level of championship baseball you need to turn double plays,” Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock said. “The teams that do get to keep playing. A lot of times you see that when you don’t turn one, it ends up hurting you. Fortunately today, those balls went to us and we were able to turn them.”

The Red Raiders appeared to have the winning run headed home in the top of the ninth after Tanner Gardner’s liner was tipped into right field by first baseman Bryce Harman. But Harman recovered and his throw home was ruled in time to get Tyler Floyd out at the plate and keep it tied 1-1.

Texas Tech broke it open in the fourth inning when Tyler Neslony doubled down the right field line and then scored two batters later off an errant throw to first.

East Carolina evened it in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Travis Watkins — his seventh RBI of the series.



Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening


Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year


China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis


Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine


Blotter: Sept. 18


County sees ninth COVID-19 death this week, more than 30 cases reported


Gov. Cooper announces schools can move K-5 to plan A; school board vote needed locally


Wet weather brings crashes, traffic to standstill on interstate


Salisbury man victim of Facebook scam, duped out of $2,000


Two charged after fight outside Salisbury home


Rowan-Salisbury Schools ships out thousands of old devices for refurbishing


Caught in the infodemic: NC school policies frustrated by scientific challenges

East Spencer

East Spencer to hold community day, provide free food, supplies




Landis officials provide plan for COVID-19 funds, discuss town’s financial position


Blattner brought technology into schools before it was cool


State has slight decline in SAT scores


New environmental specialists begin work on backlog soil evaluations


Friends, colleagues say Seay left his mark on Rowan judicial system


Rep. Howard says ‘still work to be done’ as she seeks 17th term in House


Trump disputes health officials, sees mass vaccinations soon


‘Nothing left in the bucket’: Wildfire resources run thin


At least 1 dead, hundreds rescued after Hurricane Sally


Blotter: Sheriff’s Office seeking information in shootout