Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock thought playing a bunch of baseball on Tuesday could be good preparation for arguably his team's most important series of the season coming up this weekend.
Sure enough, a number of players can board the plane for Morgantown, West Virginia, with some positive mojo, not least Hudson White.
The sophomore catcher went 4 for 4 with a home run and a career-high six runs batted in Tuesday night as No. 24 Tech run-ruled Abilene Christian 13-3 in seven innings. White stroked a run-scoring single in the first inning, a two-run double in the second, a leadoff single in the fourth and a three-run homer in the sixth that made it 10-3.
"I was just trying to do my same routine, stick to it every day," he said, "and any day you get a four-hit day, it's a blessing."
The game was the second of the day for Tech (34-16) and ACU (29-19). In the completion of a suspended game, the Red Raiders won 15-11, rallying with an eight-run seventh and a seven-run eighth. That was after they were no-hit for 5 1/3 innings and trailed 9-0 after six.
Last week, Tadlock said finishing a game his team trailed 6-0 when it was stopped on April 25 at ACU was the right thing to do, adding that the Tech offense was tough to hold down at Dan Law Field/Rip Griffin Park. The double-digit run totals were the Red Raiders' 18th and 19th at home this season.
"There's 27 outs in a game, and we're not easy to get out," Tadlock said after the sweep. "When guys are moving on the right pitch and letting the next guy do their job, passing the baton ... we can be really tough to pitch to. I think we showed that tonight and probably had some breaks along the way."
Tech, in fifth place in the Big 12 with a 9-9 conference record, calls on No. 13 West Virginia (36-12, 13-5) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. WVU is the Big 12 leader and 16-5 at home this season.
"It's going to be fun," Tech left fielder Nolen Hester said. "They're playing really good baseball right now. I've heard it's hard to play there. I think it'll be a really good challenge, and we'll see what we're really made of."
Zac Vooletich continued his surge, extending his consecutive-games hitting streak to 16. After flying out in his first plate appearance Tuesday, the Red Raiders' right fielder reached base in his last eight trips via four singles, two walks, a double and being hit by pitch. He raised his average to .442.
"That's really cool Voo did that," Tadlock said. "He's doing a good job moving on the right pitch, which is really key to the whole thing for everybody."
Jacob Rogers (2-2) got the win in the second game with three sharp innings in relief. The freshman righthander entered to start the fourth, faced 10 batters and allowed only two balls out of the infield. The struck out three and allowed only one base runner, on a walk.
"His fastball was really good tonight," said White, Rogers' batterymate. "I think he was 92, 94 (miles per hour). He has a lot of life behind his fastball, and if you can command your fastball and you have the type of life he has, you'll get a lot of people out."
Hester, 3 for 5 with two runs scored, has reached base in 36 consecutive games. The Red Raiders' leadoff batter ended the second game with a two-run single in the seventh that brought the run rule into effect.
He wasn't aware a run rule was in play until he went to the on-deck circle. He said former Avalanche-Journal sports editor George Watson alerted him.
"I didn't know that until George, the guy who sits down in the front row — me and him were talking while I was on deck, and he said that," Hester said. "I was like, 'There's a run rule?' Might as well go try to knock those guys in. Gets us out of here quicker."
TEXAS TECH 13, ABILENE CHRISTIAN 3
Abilene Christian 003 000 0 — 3 5 0
Texas Tech 331 030 3 — 13 13 2
Game ended on 10-run rule.
Boggan, Krkovski (1), Berberich (2), De La Cruz (5), Byrd (6), Gay (7), Britt (7) and Miesse; Petty, Rogers (4), Free (7) and White. W—Rogers (2-2). L—Boggan (3-2). 2B—ACU, Ladusau (10); Texas Tech, Hester (13), White (10), Vooletich (7). HR—Texas Tech, White (7). Records: Abilene Christian 29-19, Texas Tech 34-16.
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Hudson White's homer, six RBI help Texas Tech baseball team finish sweep of ACU