LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 9 Texas Tech baseball team scored multiple runs in four different innings to defeat Louisville, 10-4, on Saturday night at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park, moving to 2-0 in the 2018 NCAA Lubbock Regional.
The Red Raiders (41-17) racked up 10 runs on 10 hits to take hold of the catbird seat, needing one win to advance to the next round of NCAA Tournament play. Tech held the Cardinals (44-18) to four runs on eight hits, stranding 12 Louisville hitters on base for a 3-22 mark with runners on base & 2-19 when in scoring position.
It was the first time since 1995 the Red Raiders have scored at least eight runs in the each of the first two games of a regional.
Three Tech hitters produced multi-hit bids at the plate, with sophomore Brian Klein putting down three in the contest. Sophomores Josh Jung & Grant Little each had two hits and two RBI, joining Klein and freshman Gabe Holt with multi-RBI performances in the win.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Caleb Kilian put together a fantastic outing to his first postseason start, going 5.1 innings against the Cardinals on Saturday night. He improved to 9-1 this season after giving up just two runs on four hits & one walk, while striking out for and stranding seven Louisville hitters on base.
Louisville struck first in the third inning for a 1-0 lead after two scoreless frames. A lead-off single from Lavey was fulfilled by an RBI groundout from Wyatt to second base after a pair of free passes (hit-by-pitch & walk) moved Lavey to third.
The Red Raiders answered in the bottom half of the inning with three runs for a 3-1 advantage. Tech evened the score thanks to a sacrifice fly from Holt. Junior Cody Farhat began the frame with a walk & moved to second on a stolen base, then a single from freshman Braxton Fulford moved him 90 feet from home, allowing Holt's deep fly out to center field to tie the game at one. With the bases loaded, a walk to Little put the Red Raiders ahead, then a balk during junior Cameron Warren's at-bat scored Klein to complete the three-run frame.
The Cardinals got one back in the fourth on a fielder's choice to cut the score to 3-2. A bloop-hit from Lavey to right field brought in Oriente, who was hit-by-a-pitch earlier in the inning, but eliminated the runner going to second for an out.
Tech countered in its half of the fourth inning with three runs to make it a 6-2 game. Holt dropped a perfectly-placed double inside the left field foul line with runners on the corners to score senior Michael Davis from third and put two in scoring position. After a pitching change, Klein roped a first-pitch single to center field to clear the bases and give Tech a 6-2 lead.
The Red Raiders padded the lead in the sixth with two more runs for an 8-2 advantage. Little sent Jung home all the way from first base after a double to the gap in left-center field for the first run of the frame. Then, Little would score on an error with two outs.
Another multi-run inning was produced by the Red Raider bats in the seventh after Jung connected on his 12thhomer of the year over the right field wall to push the lead to 10-2. His dinger scored Klein, who hit a two-out single down the right field line to keep the frame alive.
A double from Stowers and a single from Dunn in the ninth inning rounded out the scoring to bring it to its final at 10-4.
The Red Raiders will face the winner of Kent State & Louisville at 6 p.m. on Sunday night at Rip Griffin Park with a chance to advance to their third super regional appearance in school history.