By Scott Lacefield - Associate Director/Athletics Communications
LUBBOCK, TEXAS – No. 30 Texas Tech scored three runs in the seventh inning – including a pair of RBI singles from Bryant Burleson and Tyler Neslony – to clinch its three-game Big 12 series over Kansas State with a 7-4 victory on Saturday in front of 2,768 fans at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
Texas Tech (27-11, 7-7 Big 12) claimed its second Big 12 series of the season – first at home – while also improving to 20-4 at home this season. K-State dropped to 20-15 overall and to 2-6 in Big 12 play.
The series win is the first for the Red Raiders over the Wildcats since taking two of three games in 2010 in Lubbock.
With the score tied at four in the bottom of the seventh inning, Tech rattled off three runs in the inning while catcher Tyler Floyd led off the inning with a walk, then advanced to second on a balk and advanced to third base on center fielder Stephen Smith’s sacrifice bunt, which also allowed Smith to reach base on a fielding error by Wildcats pitcher Jake Whaley.
That set the stage for Burleson who singled through the right side to score the eventual game-winning run, and then Neslony drove in Smith with a single up the middle to give Tech a 6-4 advantage. Sophomore first baseman Eric Gutierrez, who extended his career-long hit streak to 12 games, plated Tech’s final insurance run with a ground ball double play that scored Burleson giving Tech a 7-4 lead.
Junior right-handed pitcher Corey Taylor (5-0) entered in the sixth inning and proceeded to pitch four scoreless innings to end the game. Taylor allowed just two base hits and struck out two batters allowing one walk. Taylor faced only 14 batters from the sixth-to-ninth inning.
Whaley (1-2) took the loss allowing all three runs (one earned) in the seventh inning on one hit with one walk.
Burleson went 2-for-4 with two RBI, Neslony went 2-for-4 and drove in a run and senior right fielder Adam Kirsch hit a solo home run – his fifth of the season – while going 1-for-3.
Tech starting pitcher Chris Sadberry took a no decision going five innings allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
The Red Raiders and Wildcats will conclude their series on Sunday with a 1:07 p.m. first pitch. The game will be televised on FOX College Sports with Robert Giovannetti and Mike Gustafson calling the action from Rip Griffin Park.