LEXINGTON, Kentucky – The No. 3 Texas Tech baseball team slipped in game two of its three-game set with No. 5 Kentucky, 11-6, on Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Red Raiders (14-2) recorded six runs on nine hits, but were bested by 11 & 12, respectively, from the Wildcats (14-2), who used a five-run sixth inning to earn a series win.
Three Tech hitters posted multi-hit performances, with junior catcher Zayne Willems, sophomore infielder Josh Jung and freshman infielder Gabe Holt all recording two knocks in the contest. Jung finished with his second consecutive two-hit, three RBI day at the plate.
Sophomore RHP John McMillon started the game for the Red Raiders, tossing 5.0 innings while allowing a season-high five runs on seven hits. He matched a 2018-best seven strikeouts before giving way to sophomore lefty Dane Haveman, who entered the game with the scored tied at five. However, a five-run sixth would doom the Red Raiders and hand Haveman his first loss of the year.
The Wildcats struck first in the bottom of the second inning for an early 1-0 lead. After Collett hit into a fielder's choice, he was moved up to second on a walk, then pushed home by an RBI single from Johnson.
Tech struck back for three in the third inning, taking over the lead at 3-1. Back-to-back walks to Willems & Holt started the frame, then a HBP to Masters loaded the bases with nobody out. Enter Jung, who shot a two-RBI single to left field, scoring two, while keeping two in scoring position. That set up Koelzer to record the third RBI of the inning, driving in Masters on a groundout to push the lead to 3-1.
It was the 14th game in 16 contests the Red Raiders have had at least one inning with three runs scored.
Kentucky got one back in the bottom half of the inning, as Becker sent a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Aklinski, who began the frame with a double and moved over to third on a wild pitch.
Jung brought in another run in the fourth, smacking a double to right field, scoring Willems after he opened the inning with a single to left field to make it 4-2.
The Wildcats regained the lead in their next trip to the plate, as a three-run homer from Squires with two away made the score 5-4. However, the Red Raiders got a dinger of their own from Willems, a solo shot that evened the score at five.
Three-straight bunt singles with runners in scoring position gave the Wildcats an 8-5 lead in the bottom of the frame. With the bases loaded, a single from Becker & a sacrifice fly from Cottam plated two more Wildcats to make it 10-5.
With one away in the eighth, three-straight Red Raiders reached base via a pair of singles from Beck & Fulford, followed by a walk to Holt to load the bases. A fielder's choice from Masters would plate one, but that would be it in the inning to bring the deficit to 10-6. Kentucky erased it with an RBI double from Pompey in the eighth to push the lead to 11-6.
The Red Raiders wrap the series against No. 5 Kentucky on Sunday at noon CDT at Cliff Hagan Stadium.