No. 4 Tech Rocks K-State, 17-1, in Opener
Dru Baker

MANHATTAN, Kansas – No. 4 Texas Tech baseball belted six home runs, including three from Jace Jung, to overwhelm Kansas State, 17-1, on Thursday night in the first of three games at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas.

The Red Raiders (20-4, 3-1) got back-to-back home runs in the third inning and back-to-back-to-back dingers in the eighth on their way to handing K-State (13-11, 0-4) its worst loss of the season.

Tech added four doubles to finish with a season-high 10 extra-base hits in the contest. The 17 runs mark the most Tech has scored in a game in Manhattan and its second largest output of the season.

Twelve different Red Raiders tallied a hit on Thursday. Jung and Dillon Carter led the way with three hits each, while Baker, Dylan Neuse and Kurt Wilson each added multi-hit games. Both of Neuse’s hits went for doubles as he finished with three RBI, while Jung led the charge with four runs driven in.

Tech got its leadoff man aboard with a double in the first and second innings, but Kansas State starter and potential first-round pick Jordan Wicks (4-2) recorded seven of his nine strikeouts in the first three innings to keep the Red Raiders at bay.

With two away in the third, Baker and Jung ended the scoreless tie with back-to-back solo shots to right field. The Red Raiders added onto their lead in the fourth as the first three batters reached base and scored, starting with a Braxton Fulford RBI double followed by a Neuse sacrifice fly and a Cal Conley RBI single.

Tech carried a 5-0 lead into the fifth when K-State scored its only run of the contest on a Zach Kokoska solo shot to center. Kokoska, who entered the day as the Big 12 leader in home runs, temporarily regained the league lead after Jung had tied him in the third.

Jung would not only tie Kokoska once again in the seventh, but take over as the Big 12’s home run leader with two home runs in the inning. He led off the frame with a towering blast to left, which was followed by dingers from Kurt Wilson and Murrell to give Tech its second back-to-back-to-back home run sequence of the season. Jung added a two-run shot to cap off the frame as the Red Raiders grew their advantage from 5-1 to 13-1.

Tech not only got it done at the plate, but on the mound as well with the combination of Brandon Birdsell, Micah Dallas and Chase Webster. Birdsell earned the win, allowing one run on two hits over 5.0 innings. He retired the first 11 Wildcats in order and now has a 1.57 ERA in his last four starts.

Dallas continued his dominance out of the bullpen with two clean innings and three strikeouts. Chase Webster tossed two scoreless frames to close it out as the Red Raiders tacked on four more runs in the ninth.


Release provided by Ty Parker Texas Tech Athletics

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