LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 3 Texas Tech baseball team kicked off its four-game set against No. 11 South Alabama with an 8-1 victory on Friday night at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The Red Raiders (10-0) racked up eight runs on 12 hits in the first home night game of the year, while holding the Jaguars (7-3) to one run on two hits. It was the lowest offensive output of the season for South Alabama, as the Jaguars scored a previous-low of four runs against Indiana (Feb. 18) and six hits against Oklahoma & Virginia Tech in a doubleheader (Feb. 17).
The first ranked matchup of the year for the Red Raiders will be one remembered in the record books, as the win improved Tech to 10-0 for the first time in program's 69-year history.
A season-high five Red Raiders recorded multi-hit performances at the plate, with seven getting at least one knock in the contest. Senior Michael Davis, juniors Cody Farhat & Cameron Warren, sophomore Clay Koelzer & freshman Gabe Holt all had two hits on Friday. Warren & Koelzer both finished the day with two runs scored, while freshman Kurt Wilson had two RBI on a triple in the third inning.
Junior right-handed pitcher Davis Martin started the series for the Red Raiders, going 5.0 innings for the third-straight outing. The San Angelo native gave up just two hits and one run, unearned, issuing three walks and striking out four. Martin has had at least four strikeouts in all three starts this season, who improved to 3-0 this season, which is the fastest he's reached the mark during his three years at Tech.
The bullpen of sophomores Dane Haveman (LHP) and Connor Queen (RHP) polished off the night with 4.0 hitless frames, striking out six combined and walking four.
The Red Raiders cracked open a 3-0 lead in the third inning, their ninth game with at least one three-run inning in a contest. The frame started with Warren legging out an infield single and a hit-by-pitch to Koelzer to put two on. After a groundout moved the duo into scoring position, Holt scored Warren with an infield single hit at the shortstop. Wilson followed shortly after by launching a two-run triple over the right fielder's head to make it 3-0.
Wilson's two-RBI knock marked the fourth time this season Wilson has had two runs batted in during a contest.
Tech kept the runs coming and the line moving in the next frame, as four-straight singles from Davis, Warren, Koelzer & Farhat sent two more Red Raiders across home plate. With runners on the corners following the hit parade, a double play brought in Farhat for another three-spot and a 6-0 Tech lead.
South Alabama got one back after a passed ball with two away scored Aberouette to make it 6-1. A blooped double down the right field line, sandwiched with a pair of walks, had the bases loaded for Swaggerty, who after the passed ball, lined out to sophomore infielder Josh Jung at third to end the inning.
With one away in the seventh, Jung smoked a triple to the left-center field wall to easily score Wilson & push the lead to 7-1. As Klein walked in the next at-bat, the ball rolled past the catcher, sending Jung screeching home on the passed ball for the 8-1 lead.
The Red Raiders return to action with a Saturday afternoon doubleheader against the Jaguars, beginning at noon at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.