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Inside Game Day
Saturday, June 11, 2016

By Al Myatt

Al Myatt

Texas Tech forces deciding game

By Al Myatt
All rights reserved.

Postgame audio: Cliff Godwin, Sam Lanier & Charlie Yorgen...

LUBBOCK, TX East Carolina was playing for its first ever trip to the College World Series on Saturday. Texas Tech was just trying to get to Sunday.

The Red Raiders (45-18) accomplished their objective with a 3-1 win as Eric Gutierrez had a two-run single in the top of the 13th inning at Rip Griffin Park.

The deciding game of the best-of-three series is today at 3 p.m., Eastern time.

ECU (38-22-1) had a 12-7 lead in hits. Both clubs missed opportunities as Texas Tech left 15 on base and the Pirates stranded 14.

ECU put the Red Raiders in a must-win situation with an 8-6 victory Friday night as Travis Watkins hit a grand slam and a two-run homer.

A sacrifice fly by Watkins accounted for the only run for the Pirates in the sixth inning Saturday, tying the score at 1.

Texas Tech had taken a 1-0 lead in the fourth after a one-out double by Tyler Neslony. He scored on a two-out single by Michael Davis.

Charlie Yorgen was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the sixth as ECU was designated the home team. Freshman Dwanya Williams-Sutton was walked to give the Pirates runners at first and second with none out.

The Red Raiders pulled starting left-hander Steven Gingery at that point for lefty Hayden Howard, who picked off Williams-Sutton for the first out of the frame.

Turner Brown's single put Yorgen at third and Watkins collected his seventh RBI of the series with a fly to left.

The four hour, 56-minute marathon included stellar relief performances by ECU's Joe Ingle and Robert Dugger (6-0) of Texas Tech.

Ingle allowed one hit over five innings, entering the game in the eighth. He walked five but struck out six.

Leftfielder Williams-Sutton made a diving catch on a liner by Gutierrez, the Big 12 Player of the Year, to end the top of the 11th after Ingle had walked a pair.

Yorgen made a leaping catch and niftily reached down to tag out Neslony to end the top of the 12th after the Texas Tech left fielder broke for second on a pickoff attempt at first.

Dugger allowed two hits, walked two and fanned five over the final five innings.

"When you're trying to make your first trip to Omaha, it's not going to be easy," said ECU coach Cliff Godwin. "They played just a little bit better than us. ... You can't go through the back door to get to Omaha. You've got to go through the front door and tell everybody you're coming."

Godwin went to the CWS as an assistant at Ole Miss in 2014.

The Pirates saved the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the ninth. Tyler Floyd led off with a walk and Gutierrez was intentionally walked with two out. Tanner Gardner's smash to first was knocked down by ECU's Bryce Harman, who retrieved the ball in time to get Floyd going home.

Five players had two hits for the Pirates in game two Parker Lamm, Williams-Sutton, Brown, Eric Tyler and Luke Bolka. Watkins was 1-for-2 with three walks. Gardner was 3-for-6 for Texas Tech.

ECU will probably start left-hander Jacob Wolfe (6-3, 2.66 earned run average) today. The Red Raiders had not named a starter Saturday night although Ryan Mosely and Ty Damron were possibilities. Texas Tech will be the home team today.

A crowd of 4,817 was on hand Saturday, matching the stadium record set Friday night.

E-mail Al Myatt

PAGE UPDATED 06/12/16 01:01 AM.

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