Kash belts walk-off homer to even series against KU

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech’s Gavin Kash smashed a 486-foot walk-off home run on Friday night, lifting the Red Raiders past Kansas, 8-7, at Rip Griffin Park. For the second game in a row, the two teams entered the ninth inning tied, this time it took 10 innings, and it was the home team that came out on top to even the series.

“A big moment for [Kash] and our team,” said head coach Tim Tadlock. “Big swing. You needed it and glad he did it.”

Nearly 24 hours after falling to Kansas via a home run hit in the top of the ninth in game one of the series, Kash returned fire Friday night to put Tech in position to win its fourth Big 12 home series of the season on Senior Day Saturday afternoon. A win would also put the Red Raiders in a position to claim the No. 5-seed in the Big 12 tournament but can finish no worse than the No. 7-seed.

After producing just one run the night before, the offense was back to itself scoring eight runs off of 14 hits. Nolen Hester, Gage Harrelson and Austin Green each recorded three hits apiece while Zac Vooletich registered a pair of hits.

In addition to Kash’s home run, Green and Dillon Carter both connected for home runs giving Texas Tech three long balls on an evening the wind was blowing to right field. The Red Raiders improved their mark to 18-4 when registering two home runs or more in a game this season.

Tech built a 4-0 lead after the first three innings, aided by three runs recorded with two outs in the bottom of the second which started with Carter’s sixth home run of the season, a solo homer, to spur the charge.

The Jayhawks scored four in the top half of the fourth, tying the game 4-4, but the tie was short-lived as Tech answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half to go back in front. The Red Raiders loaded the bases before KU could record an out in the bottom half of the fourth. With no outs and the bases full, the next two at-bats were a pair of sacrifice flies by Green and Kash that put Tech in front 6-4.

In the fifth, both teams scored one run. Kansas hit a solo homer while Tech manufactured a run from a leadoff walk worked by Dylan Maxcey to make it 7-5 after five innings were complete. It was the top of the eighth when the Jayhawks tied the game, again using a home run, this time a two-run shot that leveled the game 7-7. Seven home runs in total were hit on the windy Friday night, four by KU.

Trendan Parish had a short 3 2/3 inning start but was backed up by a strong bullpen effort between Ethan Coombes, Ryan Free and Kyle Robinson. Coombes was first in line before Free was stretched the longest of the group. He tossed four innings while striking out five without issuing a walk. Free did allow two runs, which was the home run KU used to tie the game in the eighth.

“I thought Coombes came in and executed some pitches,” said Tadlock. “Free probably had three pitches he didn’t execute. One of them went out of the ballpark and one of them was a single to right on a 0-2 count. I thought that was the best he’s thrown the ball in a few weeks.”

Kyle Robinson tossed a scoreless top half of the 10th before Kash ended the game in the home half. Robinson’s record moves to 1-1 with the win.


Release provided by MATT BURKHOLDER Texas Tech Athletics

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