The No. 10 Texas Tech baseball team defeated West Virginia, 10-3, in the quarterfinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship to force a third game against the Mountaineers on Saturday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
West Virginia started the game with Tyler Doanes earning a single to center field. Tech’s starting pitcher, freshman Mason Montgomery, then walked Darius Hill and gave up a single to Marques Inman. Inman’s hit sent Doanes home to give the Mountaineers an early 1-0 lead. The top of the inning ended with a double play as sophomore Kurt Wilson caught a fly ball in left field and a threw a runner out at home.
Sophomore Gabe Holt started the bottom of the first inning with a walk to land on base for his 30th consecutive game. Holt then earned his league-leading 26th steal and was sent home with a hit to center field by junior Brian Klein to tie the game, 1-1.
The Mountaineers loaded the bases in the top of the second inning as Montgomery gave up a single to Ivan Gonzalez and walked TJ Lake and Tevin Tucker. After giving up two-straight walks, Montgomery was taken out of the game and replaced with sophomore Ryan Sublette. West Virginia then took the lead, 2-1, as Doanes hit a sac fly to left field, sending Gonzalez home.
Following the one-run inning, Tech loaded the bases with sophomores as Cody Masters and Easton Murrell was walked and Braxton Fulford was hit by a pitch. Holt then reached first on a fielder’s choice as Murrell was tagged out at second. Masters scored with the hit to tie the game, 2-2.
After Sublette retired three-straight batters in the third inning, West Virginia took a 3-2 lead as Lake hit a home run over the center-field wall. Freshman Max Marusak tried to catch the ball but ran into the wall and was checked out by the trainers.
Marusak continued to get banged up as he was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning. He then advanced to second on a passed ball and was sent home with a double to left field by Klein to tie the game, 3-3. With Klein on second, Jung hit a two-run home dinger to give Tech a 5-3 lead after striking out in his first two at-bats. The Red Raiders added another run on the board for a 6-3 lead as Warren singled through the right side, moved to third with a double by junior Doug Facendo and was sent home off of a sac hit by Wilson.
Sublette was relieved in the top of the sixth inning after giving up a base hit by junior LHP Dane Haveman. Sublette pitched in a career-high 4.1 innings and struck a season-high four batters out. He gave up two hits, one run and no walks.
As Haveman maintained the Red Raiders’ lead, Warren grew Tech’s lead, 7-3, sending one over the left-field wall on the first pitch thrown to him in the seventh inning for his 14th home run of the season. Following the home run, Facendo was hit by a pitch and advanced to third with a hit through the left side by freshman Dru Baker. A sac fly by Fulford sent Facendo home, giving Tech an 8-3 lead.
Both Jung and Warren were walked to start the bottom of the eighth inning. Facing two outs, Baker sent a hit down the right-field line for a triple, sending Jung and Warren home to grow Tech’s lead, 10-3.
West Virginia’s Austin Davis singled to start the ninth inning but the Red Raiders earned a double play as Jung fielded a grounder, threw Davis out at second and Klein threw the batter out at first. Marusak then caught a fly ball to secure the 10-3 win.
With Tech’s win, the Red Raiders and Mountaineers will play a winner-take-all game at 4 p.m. on Saturday for a spot in the championship game.