LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 7 Texas Tech baseball team picked up its first conference series victory of the year after an 8-5 win over West Virginia on Saturday at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The Red Raiders (23-6, 3-3) claimed the three-game set over the Mountaineers (10-14, 1-5) after scoring eight runs on 10 hits in the rubber match, their 15th time with 10 or more hits in a contest. Tech earned a 4-1 win on Friday after a 1-0 loss on Thursday to force the deciding-game three.
It marked three-straight years the Red Raiders have taken the season series from the Mountaineers. The win pulled Tech even in conference play at 3-3 in 2018.
Three Red Raiders put together multi-hit performances on Saturday afternoon. Junior Cody Farhat and sophomores Brian Klein & Grant Little all had two hits in the finale, while Little had two RBI and two runs scored.
Senior left-handed pitcher Dylan Dusek earned the win after tossing 2.1 innings out of the bullpen. The Sugar Land native allowed just one hit and one walk, while striking out three to improve to 2-0. He relieved sophomore RHP John McMillon, who tossed 5.0 hitless frames before running into three runs and four hits in the sixth inning.
Junior righty Ty Harpenau, who earned the win on Friday night, picked up his first save of the year after inducing a double play to end the game.
The Red Raiders drew first blood in the opening inning, scoring in the first frame for the ninth time this season. Holt opened the inning with an infield single, then moved up to second on a groundout. While stealing third, the throw down from the catcher scooted away from the third baseman, allowing Holt to scurry home for the early 1-0 lead.
West Virginia took the lead in the fifth inning with three runs to make it a 3-1 game. After a one-out walk, a double from Zitel down the left field line plated the first run to tie the contest. Then, an RBI single from Illig gave the Mountaineers a 2-1 advantage. With the bases loaded after a pair of singles, an RBI groundout from Zarbnisky brought home WVU's third run of the day.
In the sixth inning, the Red Raiders scored four runs to retake the lead at 5-3. Klein kicked off the inning with his second double of the game, lifting one over the head of the right fielder. He'd be fulfilled by a towering two-run home run by Little to knot the game up at three.
It was Little's fifth dinger of the year and the third homer by a Red Raider that tied a game this season.
Tech wasn't done there as a walk to senior Michael Davis quickly became two runners in scoring position thanks to a double to the gap in right-center field by senior Zach Rheams. After a strikeout, the catcher attempted to catch Davis napping at third, but the throw went into left field, allowing both Red Raiders to move up, giving Tech a 4-3 lead. Farhat followed with a single to left field shortly after, scoring Rheams to make it 5-3.
Another home run plated three more for the Red Raiders in the seventh. After two free passes via a walk to sophomore Josh Jung & a HBP to Little, Davis smashed a three-run dinger to the left of the batter's eye to push the lead to 8-3. It was Davis' seventh homer of the year and his second in as many games.
Some ninth-inning theatrics brought the finale to a three-run game. A single from Kearns and a bases-loaded walk to Zarbnisky plated two with one away in the frame. Enter Harpenau, who needed five pitches to induce a game-ending double play to seal the win.
The Red Raiders play their first neutral-site game of the year on Tuesday in Midland when they take on New Mexico State at 7 p.m. at Security Bank Ballpark.