LUBBOCK, Texas — Jace Jung looked a lot like his big brother Wednesday afternoon, ripping two home runs in a 15-0 Texas Tech win over Texas Southern.
The Red Raiders moved to 5-3 on the season with the win — their fifth straight.
Both of Jung’s home runs went the opposite field, clearing the fence in left-center field. They moved Jung ahead of Nate Rombach for the team lead in homers.
The freshman second baseman nearly made it three home runs, but his third drive of the day smacked off the batter’s eye in center field for a booming double.
“Absolutely it’s rare,” Tim Tadlock said of Jung’s opposite field power. “It’s also rare to have that kind of power and have pitch recognition, strike zone awareness, aggression, all those things.”
Texas Tech scored its 15 runs over four innings, and ended the game in the seventh inning with the run rule.
Jung and the rest of the offense provided plenty of insurance runs, but Texas Tech’s pitchers did not need it. Five Red Raider pitchers, all freshmen, took the mound and each of them held the Tigers without a run.
Chase Hampton made the first start of his career, and it got off to a rocky beginning. The young right-hander walked the first two batters of the inning and advanced them on a balk. After that, he settled in. Hampton began to locate his fastball, and the Tiger hitters could not touch it. He struck out three in a row to get out of the first without a scratch.
“Any time a guy gets in a jam, if you can locate a fastball you can pitch out of a jam, and that’s what I thought he did,” Tadlock said.
Hampton pitched two more innings, and finished his day with four strikeouts in three scoreless, no-hit innings.
Hayde Key, Jamie Hitt, Brady LeJeune-DeAcutis and Derek Bridges all followed him with scoreless innings of their own.
“There’s not a guy we rolled out there today that we didn’t think could pitch this weekend for us,” Tadlock said.
Offensively, the Red Raiders jumped on Texas Southern starter Alex Olguin in the second inning, peppering the gaps with drives and bringing in eight runs. Easton Murrell first got Tech on the board with a 2-run double, and he came around to score on a Dru Baker single. The next batter was Jung, whose 3-run shot put Texas Tech up 6-0. Back-to-back doubles from Dylan Neuse and Nate Rombach brought another run home, and the eighth and final run of the inning scored on a Texas Southern error.
Jung’s second homer of the game gave the Red Raiders 10 runs, and Cal Conley sent one into the Texas Tech bullpen to put the team up 12-0 in the fourth inning.
It’s still early in the season, but the younger Jung is showing signs of becoming a star like his older brother Josh. With Jung surrounded by proven mashers like Baker, Conley and Neuse, Texas Tech packs a powerful punch at the top of its order.