The No. 10 Texas Tech baseball team suffered a 5-1 loss to No. 19 West Virginia in the Big 12 Baseball Tournament on Thursday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Starting the game with a strong presence on the mound, junior RHP Caleb Kilian struck six batters out in three innings while giving up one hit. Kilian threw a total of 38 pitches in the first three games with 28 of his pitches being strikes.
Backing up Kilian’s pitching, sophomore Gabe Holt was hit by a pitch and advanced to third with a double down the right-field line by sophomore Dylan Neuse. Junior Brian Klein then hit a sac fly to center field, sending Holt home to give Tech an early 1-0 lead.
West Virginia’s Brandon White was walked at the start of the fourth inning and was sent home as Darius Hill earned a triple to left field, tying the game 1-1. The Mountaineers then took a 2-1 lead as Hill was sent home off a sac fly hit by Marques Inman.
After Kilian struck a batter out to start the fifth inning, two-straight outs went under official review but resulted favoring the Red Raiders. The first play was an out at second as sophomore Braxton Fulford caught a runner stealing. The second out started with a fielded grounder to junior Josh Jung. Jung made the throw to senior Cameron Warren at first and as Warren jumped for the catch, he tagged the runner while in mid-air to end the top of the inning.
Jung was put in scoring position as he was hit by a pitch and moved to third off of two sac hits in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Mountaineers prevented the run as White made an incredible diving catch to rob an RBI hit by sophomore Kurt Wilson.
Junior RHP Taylor Floyd relieved Kilian, starting the eighth inning at the mound for Tech. Kilian pitched in 7.0 innings and matched his career high with nine strikeouts. In his time at the mound, he gave up two hits, two runs and walked a single batter in 90 pitches.
Floyd gave up two-straight hits putting runners on the corners with Kevin Brophy on third and TJ Lake on first with no outs in the inning. Tevin Tucker then sent Brophy home with a sac fly to right field, growing the Mountaineers’ lead, 3-1.
The Red Raiders sent junior RHP Caleb Freeman to the pitcher’s mound in the top of the eighth inning with one out after Floyd gave up a run to put West Virginia up by two. West Virginia added another run on the board as White singled with a hit to right center, sending Lake home for the 4-1 lead.
In the ninth inning, Freeman walked Paul McIntosh and Austin Davis was sent in the game to pinch run. Davis stole second and was sent home by Ivan Gonzales as he earned a double to right center, growing West Virginia’s lead. 5-1.
After giving up a run, Freeman exited the game and junior LHP Ryan Keesee took the mound for the Red Raiders. Facing his first batter of the day, Keesee exited the game after a hit was first back to the mound, hitting his shin. Junior LHP Erikson Lanning was sent in to the mound after Keesee left the game in pain.
Lanning escaped the inning without giving up a run but the Mountaineers retired three-straight Red Raiders to secure their 5-1 win.
With the loss to West Virginia, the Red Raiders will play Kansas at 3:15 p.m. on Friday. The winner of the game will play West Virginia at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The loser will be eliminated from the tournament.