LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech baseball team defeated Kent State, 10-7, on Saturday in the first of a three-game weekend series at Rip Griffin Park. The series will wrap up on Sunday with a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. to make-up for Friday’s game that was postponed due to below-freezing temperatures.
It remained a cold day on Saturday, with first pitch temperatures hovering in the low 40’s, but the offense was one thing that was not cold as the game got underway. The first inning had a combined six runs, and lasted 34 minutes, as Kent State scored two runs, and Texas Tech poured on four in the bottom half. Each team was sparked by a home run – Kent State a two-run shot, and Tech a three-run blast. Kurt Wilson provided Tech’s first long ball of the season with his three-run homer which pushed his season RBI total to a team-leading seven.
The Red Raiders’ offense provided four more runs in the sixth inning, and two in seventh, as they scored a season-high 10 runs. Jace Jung, who walked four times in five plate appearances, scored a team-high three runs, while Wilson and Hudson White also provided multiple trips across home plate with a pair each.
Owen Washburn led Texas Tech with two hits and shared the team-lead in RBIs with Wilson – three each.
Texas Tech capitalized on base runners gifted by Kent State as they drew 10 walks and picked up two trips to the base pads on hit by pitches. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders’ pitching staff allowed three walks, matching a season-low set last Tuesday against Dallas Baptist.
Andrew Morris got the start for Texas Tech and gave the team 5.1 innings on the mound. He struck out 10 (watch), upping his season total to 16. He was charged with five earned runs and surrendered five hits. Jamie Hitt spelled him for one out, and Brendan Girton finished the sixth, and stayed on the mound for the seventh and eighth innings. He was credited with the win while Trendan Parish picked up his second save of the season closing out the ninth.
In the sixth, Texas Tech took advantage of three walks in four at-bats to lead off the inning, drawn by Jung, Wilson and White. Washburn made it four walks in the inning to score Jung to tie the game 5-5, and Parker Kelly put Tech on top, 6-5, after being hit by a pitch. Dillon Carter broke the game open on the next at-bat with a two-RBI single scoring Washburn and White.
Washburn would plate Jung and White in the seventh inning with a double to centerfield to score Texas Tech’s ninth and 10th runs, both who got on base via walks.
Head Coach Tim Tadlock
On starter Andrew Morris…
“What we’re looking at is executing pitches in the moment and [Morris] settled in there in the fourth and fifth innings and really executed them. I think our biggest thing right now is that it is still really early, and he has some really good stuff. But as far as runs, I’ll tip my hat to Kent State because they hit some good pitches.”
On Owen Washburn’s progression…
“Washburn is a kid who really likes playing, he likes to work at it, and he has aspirations to keep playing like I am sure all of them do. He’s the kind of guy you want to see keep getting better. The good thing about Owen is that you kind of know what you are getting every day. He likes to play, and he knows the strike zone.”
On Kurt Wilson being so versatile…
“Kurt Wilson reminds me a lot of a guy who plays for the Dodgers named Chris Taylor. He’s the kind of guy who can pretty much play any position on the field except catcher, really athletic, really reads the ball off the bat well, he has an above average arm, and we always thought Kurt Wilson could play shortstop. It was just really figuring out over the past few years if he was going to pitch, or hit, and it kind of came about this year where he needed to play short. We have given him enough time to settle in there, and he gets to more balls than most guys.”
Release provided by Texas Tech Athletics