LUBBOCK, Texas – A grand slam from sophomore left fielder Dylan Neuse helped No. 3 Texas Tech rally for a series-clinching 10-7 win over Kentucky on Saturday at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
All four of Tech's victories this season have been of the comeback variety, as the Red Raiders (4-1) rallied from three runs down Saturday with a six-run fifth inning, highlighted by the blast from Neuse.
It marked the second straight game Tech has posted a six-run inning after the Red Raiders did so Friday in the sixth, erasing a 4-1 Kentucky lead to take a 7-4 win.
Neuse led the team with five RBI Saturday, recording his first home run as a Red Raider in the second before connecting on a grand slam in the fifth that put Tech ahead 8-5. He finished 2-for-5 with the pair of home runs, has hit safely in all five games as a Red Raider and recorded an RBI in four straight games.
Freshman shortstop Dru Baker added three hits to lead the Red Raiders, while fellow freshman Tanner O'Tremba and senior Cam Warren also added multi-hit games. Seven of Tech's 13 hits went for extra bases.
Starting pitcher Caleb Kilian struck out four in 4.1 innings of work. He received solid support behind him as the Red Raiders turned three double plays on the day. Freshman Hunter Dobbins (1-0) earned the win in his first appearance as a Red Raider, closing out the fifth inning. Junior Dane Haveman tossed 2.0 strong innings before turning it over to redshirt freshman Clayton Beeter, who recorded a two-inning save.
Kentucky's Ryan Shinn led the Wildcats, going 3-for-5 with a home run, two doubles and three RBI. After a solid first four innings from Kentucky starter Jimmy Ramsey, the Red Raiders bumped him from the game in the fifth and ended up handing reliever Mason Hazelwood (0-1) the loss.
Tech jumped out to a lead for the second time this season thanks to an RBI single from junior second baseman Brian Klein in the bottom of the first. Klein knocked in junior third baseman Josh Jung with a soft liner to single after Jung reached on an error and took second.
Kentucky tied it at 1-1 in the top of the second before Neuse led off the bottom of the frame with his first home run as a Red Raider to put Tech back in front, 2-1. The Wildcats would fight back with four runs in the fifth to gain a 5-2 advantage.
The Red Raiders went to work in the fifth with sophomore Gabe Holt hitting a leadoff double followed by a single from Baker that cut it to 5-3. Jung ripped a double to left to put runners on second and third, then back-to-back walks to junior second baseman Brian Klein and designated hitter Doug Facendo made it 5-4 and forced Kentucky back to the pen. Neuse sent the third pitch he saw over the left-center field wall to give Tech an 8-5 lead.
Kentucky put runs across in the sixth and seventh to make it a one-run game, but O'Tremba drove in an RBI in the seventh and Baker scored in the eighth to provide insurance for the Red Raider bullpen.
The Red Raiders will go for the series sweep Sunday at 2 p.m. at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park. Freshman Mason Montgomery (0-0) will start for Tech and will face Jimmy Ramsey (1-0) for Kentucky.