COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas Tech dropped its Big 12 series opener 4-2 at No. 9 Texas A&M on Friday evening in front of 5,178 fans at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Texas Tech (26-23, 5-14 Big 12) out-hit the Aggies, 9-6, while eight of nine starting position players HAD at least one hit. Texas A&M (33-13, 12-7 Big 12) won its fourth straight against the Red Raiders while remaining in a tie for third place in the league standings.
Trailing 3-2 in the top of the eighth inning, Texas Tech had runners at second and third base after catcher Bo Altobelli singled to left field, first baseman Stephen Hagen reached on a throwing error by the pitcher and both runners advanced on shortstop Tim Proudfoot's 11th sacrifice of the season.
Texas A&M closer Kyle Martin ended the Red Raiders rally with back-to-back strikeouts of right fielder Jordan Lopez and left fielder Nick Hanslik.
The Aggies added an insurance run in the eighth before Martin added a pair of strikeouts in the ninth while junior Jamodrick McGruder was left stranded at second base.
Michael Wacha (7-0) earned the win for Texas A&M while going seven innings and allowing two runs and scattering eight hits with nine strikeouts and one walk. In the game, Wacha notched his 300th career strikeout - becoming just the third Aggie with 300 career strikeouts.
Martin picked up his third save of the season pitching two scoreless innings with four strikeouts and a walk without allowing a hit.
Texas Tech starting pitcher John Neely (3-6) took the loss allowing three runs on five hits in 5.1 innings of work with three strikeouts and two walks.
Tech trailed 2-0 before Hagen and Lopez each drove in a run with RBI singles - Lopez' coming with two outs.
A&M relievers stepped up in the late inning striking out two batters in each of the final three innings of the game.
Senior third baseman Reid Redman led Texas Tech at the plate going 2-for-5 with a double. Seven other Tech players had base hits, but only Redman tallied a two-hit performance.
The Red Raiders and Aggies will continue their three-game conference series on Saturday with a 2:05 p.m. first pitch at Blue Bell Park.