LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 4 Texas Tech baseball team won a back-and-forth affair in its final regular season series opener with a 10-6 victory against Kansas on a beautiful Thursday night at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The Red Raiders (40-13) improved to 14-8 in Big 12 play and 20-5 at Rip Griffin Park with the win over the Jayhawks (29-24, 11-11). The win enabled the Red Raiders to remain in sole possession of second place, a full game back of TCU in the Big 12 standings.
Left-hander Steven Gingery turned in another solid outing during his sophomore campaign. He tossed 5.0 innings while allowing three earned runs on seven hits. Gingery also recorded seven strikeouts against three walks as part of a no decision. Tonight’s outing marked the 11th time this season in which Gingery threw at least five innings.
Freshman righty Caleb Kilian earned the win, improving to 5-0 this season. Junior LHP Jacob Patterson tallied his second save of the year after finishing off the final three frames in scoreless, four-strikeout fashion.
Offensively, Tech recorded 15 hits, with six Red Raiders producing multi-hit bids. The night was headlined by junior Tanner Gardner, who was 3-for-4 and matched a career-high with four RBI. He connected on his first two home runs of the season and scored three runs. Freshman Grant Little also turned in a 4-for-5 performance and two runs scored from the leadoff spot. The four hits matched a career-best for Little.
The Red Raiders struck first in the opening frame thanks to a solo home run to left-center field by Gardner, his first of the year. Thursday’s game was the first time since April 30 vs. TCU in which the Red Raiders scored a run in the first inning of play.
The Jayhawks would take no time to overcome the early deficit. Kansas posted three runs on three hits in the next frame to take a 3-1 lead courtesy of an RBI single by Brett Vosik, immediately followed by a two RBI double by Tanner Gragg. A strikeout to Karre in the next at-bat would end the inning.
Tech would put another run on the board in the home half of the second inning after a walk by freshman second baseman Brian Klein. The two-out free pass was followed by a single to right field by freshman left fielder Ryan Long which advanced Klein to home plate on a fielding error by the Jayhawks to make it 3-2.
The Red Raiders would take the lead once again and added two runs in the bottom of the third. Sophomore outfielder Cody Farhat drew a leadoff walk and a stolen base. He moved over to third base on an infield single by Little. With runners on the corners, Gardner produced the tying run with a double down the left field line to plate Farhat. Freshman third baseman Josh Jung launched a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Little to give the Red Raiders a 4-3 advantage.
A pitching change by the Red Raiders in the top of the frame would bring out Kilian, but Kansas would quickly knot the game at 4-4 in the sixth on a single by Gragg up the middle, scoring Kyriacou from second. A walk to Karre, an RBI single by Cosentino, and a sacrifice fly to center field by McLaughlin would give the Jayhawks a 6-4 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Tech would respond in a big way in the home half of the frame, putting up four runs to re-take the lead at 8-6. Freshman Brian Klein worked an 11-pitch at-bat into a leadoff single to left field. It was the start of five-straight Red Raiders reaching base, as Little followed with a double to left-center field to score Klein.
Enter Gardner, who came into the night without a homer and finished the night with two, launching a two-run blast over the right field wall for the 7-6 lead. An RBI groundout later in the frame by Long scored Jung, who reached on a walk after Gardner’s homer.
It was the 30th time this season the Red Raiders had scored four or more runs in a single inning, improving to 20-2 when doing so.
Tech would tack on a couple of insurance runs in the seventh to complete the score at 10-6. After Gardner was hit-by-a-pitch, Jung singled to right field to put two on for Hargrove, who proceeded to double to right field, scoring both for the four-run lead.
The Red Raiders and the Jayhawks return to action on Friday night at 6:30 for the second game of the series on FOX College Sports.