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No. 7 Tech Forces Elimination Game with 10-3 Victory Over WVU

OKLAHOMA CITY – No. 7 Texas Tech baseball avoided elimination for the second time, exploding for four runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh and getting a pair of stellar outings from the bullpen to claim a 10-3 win over No. 17 West Virginia on Saturday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

With the win, the Red Raiders (39-16) force an elimination game against the Mountaineers (36-19) Saturday evening shortly after the conclusion of the TCU/Oklahoma State game, which started at 2:35 p.m. The winner of tonight’s game advances to Sunday’s championship game of the 2019 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.

It’s the first time since 1998 Tech has won three or more games at the conference tournament. Tech went on to win the tournament title that year. The 10 runs scored are its most in a tournament game since a 17-5 win over Oklahoma in 2001.

Sophomore Ryan Sublette (1-0) and junior Dane Haveman combined for 7.2 innings of relief that limited the Mountaineers to just one run on five hits after they scored in the first and threatened with the bases loaded in the second.

Sublette entered in the second with the game tied 1-1 and the bases loaded. He got the second out of the inning on a sacrifice fly to right, then got a slow grounder to shortstop Josh Jung, who barehanded and threw to get the speedy Brandon White at first to prevent any further damage.

The Tech defense also kept a run off the board in the first. With WVU leading 1-0, it had runners at the corners with one out and sent a fly ball to left field. Sophomore Kurt Wilson charged to make the catch and fired home in time to let catcher Braxton Fulford make the tag for the inning-ending double play.

The Red Raiders kept pace early on thanks to sophomore Gabe Holt, who scored in the first inning on a single from junior Brian Klein. Holt walked and stole second to setup Klein’s RBI single. In the second, Holt connected on a two-out single that drove in Cody Masters to make it a 2-2 game.

WVU held a 3-2 lead through four before Tech piled up a four-run fifth to take over. Klein doubled in a run and then scored on a two-run home run from Jung. The dinger was Jung’s 11th of the season and second in the tournament. Senior Cameron Warren followed with a single and pinch-hitter Doug Facendo doubled, and Wilson knocked in Warren with an RBI ground out to make it 6-3.

Tech added two in the seventh as Warren went yard for the 14th time this season, first time at the tournament this year and third time in Oklahoma City overall. Fulford added a sacrifice fly to make it an 8-3 game after seven.

The Red Raiders tacked on two more in the eighth on a two-run triple from freshman Dru Baker. It marked the first triple of his career as he went 2-for-2 off the bench.

The top-seeded Red Raiders square off with the Mountaineers for the fourth time in three days Saturday night following the conclusion of the TCU/Oklahoma State game. Starters are TBD. Stay tuned to @TTU_Baseball on Twitter for the latest information on a start time.

–TECH–

Ty Parker



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