Advertisement

Bo Blessie throws six scoreless, Ty Coleman drives in 3 RBIs in Texas Tech win over Gonzaga

Texas Tech's Ty Coleman (10) claps after scoring a run against Kansas State in an elimination game of the Big 12 baseball tournament, Friday, May 27, 2022, at Globe Life Field in Arlington.  Kansas State won, 6-5, in 11 innings.
Texas Tech's Ty Coleman (10) claps after scoring a run against Kansas State in an elimination game of the Big 12 baseball tournament, Friday, May 27, 2022, at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Kansas State won, 6-5, in 11 innings.

For the first three games of the year, it’s been newcomers providing the offensive punch.

But, there are still some veterans who know how to ensure there’s not a lull in what started out as a pitcher’s duel Sunday afternoon.

Ty Coleman went 5-for-5 and drove in three runs, and Bo Blessie provided six scoreless innings in an efficient first start to help the No. 22 Red Raiders down Gonzaga 12-3 at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.

"I would say a career day is pretty cool to watch and do it, but seeing Bo going out there and dominate the strike zone — and I talked about it before the season started — said he was going to be fun to watch and that he was today," Coleman said. "I think it was five and two-thirds where he got no hits. It was just fun to watch him pitch today."

With the victory, Texas Tech (3-0) secured the series win over the Bulldogs (0-3) to start the 2023 campaign — which is in the midst of a 10-game homestand. The Red Raiders and Gonzaga conclude the four-game set at 11 a.m.

Trendan Parish is scheduled to pitch for Texas Tech, while Gonzaga has not announced its pitcher. Parish made one start, logging 20 appearances, and was 2-2 with an 8.26 ERA last season.

Bo Blessie, RHP, Texas Tech
Bo Blessie, RHP, Texas Tech

Blessie (1-0), who struggled with command at times, gave up his first hit after Enzo Apodaca singled through the left side with two outs in the sixth inning. TTU’s right-handed hurler walked the next batter, Connor Coballes before inducing Cade McGee into a grounder to third to end the threat and preserve the Red Raiders 5-0 advantage.

"Usually with those power arms, if they had great command they probably wouldn't be here," Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock said when asked of Blessie battling through four walks. "He's not going to be perfect, by any means, but he's got the stuff to pitch out of some jams. Thought he had great mound presence."

It marked the first time the Bulldogs had a runner in scoring position and the best chance Gonzaga had to put a run on the board with Blessie on the bump. The former Midland Junior College standout tossed 66 pitches through six complete.

Gonzaga managed to load the bases with two outs following a four-pitch walk by Sam Canton, who drew it on reliever Andrew Devine. Despite the trouble, Devine induced a grounder to shortstop for the force out at second base.

Enzo Apodaca ended the shutout, hitting a home run to left-centerfield off TTU lefty Ryan Free — a Grayson College transfer — before the Red Raiders shut the door on the victory.

Ty Coleman, DH, Texas Tech
Ty Coleman, DH, Texas Tech

Burns, Harrelson, Hudson White and Gavin Kash each drove in two runs. White recorded his first hit after being unable to do so in his first five at-bats. Last season, White started on an 0-for-16 slump before ending it with a home run.

Kash, who is 6-for-9, has driven in six RBI — just like Austin Green in the first three games of the year.

"I think we're going to be really talented," Coleman said of the newcomers, including Bazzell, Kash, Harrelson and Burns, who accounted for seven of the team's 12 total runs Sunday. "We're going to shock a lot of people. The hottest guy on our team is hitting in the sixth hole right now (Gavin Kash). ... If we're that complete, top to bottom, it's gonna be really fun to watch."

Through the first three innings, Blessie was entrenched in a pitcher’s duel with Gonzaga starter Bradley Mullen as both kept the opposing lineups off-kilter.

The Red Raiders won the battle of attrition thanks to solid at-bats from freshman Will Burns, who earned his first start at shortstop.

Coleman started off the second inning with a single through the right side before Gavin Cash got on after a four-pitch walk. Hudson White struck out and Gage Harrelson loaded the bases by beating out a slow roller to shortstop.

The threat ended as Will Burns struck out looking following an 11-pitch battle with Mullan, who tossed more than 30 balls in the bottom half.

In total, Mullan threw 64 pitches while Blessie reached 30 through three complete before the Red Raiders took control.

"Today, I was just lucky enough to have the defense behind me and made me look good," said Blessie, who struck out four and issued four walks after throwing 66 pitches. "Nothing really was too much different from last year."

After a line out, Coleman, Gavin Kash and Hudson White recorded back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases before Harrelson slapped the ball into the left field — which plated two runners and led to Mullan being pulled down 2-0.

Burns recorded a sacrifice fly for the final tally of the inning, and Blessie continued his efficient pace to keep the Bulldogs off the board through his six innings of work.

The Bulldogs pushed across three against the Red Raiders' bullpen arms.

"Last year, I was banged up pretty much the whole time, had some issues with the arm," Blessie said of last season, in which he made seven appearances, logged 7.2 innings and had an 8.22 ERA. "But, being healthy, it's gonna make a big difference for not only me but for us (as a team). Staying healthy is the most important."

Notables

Coleman, who finished 5-for-5, was the first Red Raider to tally five or more hits in a game since Hudson White netted five hits against Kansas back on April 2, 2022.

Cade McGarrh, a freshman out of Frisco Liberty, was placed at third base in the ninth inning.

Ethan Coombes, who came on in relief in the ninth, was a former Lubbock Christian University pitcher. The Portales, New Mexico, native played for Eastern New Mexico (three years) and Howard College (one year) before one season with the Chaps. The righty has pitched in JUCO, Division II and Division I.

TEXAS TECH 12, GONZAGA 3

Gonzaga 000 000 102 — 3 5 2

Texas Tech 000 324 02x — 12 14 1

Bradley Mullan, Jacob Rutherford (4), Matthew Mueller (8), Everett Swaim (8) and Ty Johnsen; Bo Blessie, Andrew Devine (7), Ryan Free (8), Ethan Coombes (9) and Hudson White. W — Blessie (1-0). L — Mullan (0-1). 2B — Gonzaga, None; Texas Tech, Kevin Bazzell 1 (2), Ty Coleman 2 (3). 3B — Gonzaga, None. Texas Tech, Gavin Kash 1 (1). HR — Gonzaga, Enzo Apodaca 1 (1). Texas Tech, Kevin Bazzell 1 (1). Records: Gonzaga 0-3, Texas Tech 3-0.

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Bo Blessie throws six scoreless, Ty Coleman drives in 3 RBIs in Texas Tech win over Gonzaga