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Red Raiders Advance to National Semifinals

OMAHA, Neb. – Texas Tech secured its place among the final four teams in the College World Series Wednesday night as the Red Raiders eliminated Florida State with a 4-1 victory in front of a capacity crowd at TD Ameritrade Park.

With the win, the Red Raiders (46-19) will get a return matchup against a Michigan team that topped Tech in the CWS opener last Saturday. Tech will need a pair of victories over the Wolverines on Friday and Saturday in order to advance to next week’s championship series.

It is the first time in program history the Red Raiders have guaranteed a top-four national finish at the pinnacle of college baseball as Tech’s previous three trips to Omaha resulted in either two or three-game stays.

The duo of Bryce Bonnin and Taylor Floyd shut down Florida State (42-23) throughout the night, limiting the Seminoles to only three hits while combining to strike out 15, the most all-time for Tech in Omaha. The performance also matched the school record for strikeouts in a NCAA Tournament game.

Florida State’s lone run went unearned to Bonnin (7-1), who struck out seven – one shy of his career high – while giving up only two hits over five innings in a winning effort. The one run allowed marked the fewest for the Tech pitching staff in its now 11 games all-time at the College World Series.

Floyd followed with eight strikeouts of his own, snapping his career high while earning his fifth save of the season and second of the Omaha trip. Florida State managed only a one-out single in the sixth off Floyd, who also collected the save Monday afternoon against Arkansas.

The strong night on the bump gave the Red Raiders some time to find their bats as Tech scored the opening run behind a Cameron Warren RBI single through the left side in the fourth and then broke a 1-1 tie with a Brian Klein solo home run to lead off the sixth. Tech added two insurance runs in the eighth behind a Josh Jung RBI single and a bases-loaded walk issued to Kurt Wilson.

The go-ahead home run Klein’s third of the season and second at spacious TD Ameritrade Park this week alone as he found nearly the same spot in the right field seats on a 1-1 pitch. He becomes the first Red Raider to homer twice in a career at the College World Series.

Jung reached base three times, finishing 2-for-3 overall with a walk, joining Warren (2-for-4) and Dylan Neuse (2-for-5) with multi-hit nights. Neuse’s night will best be remembered, though for his eighth-inning catch where he went full extension to snag a Carter Smith shot into the gap in right center.

Florida State starter Conor Grady (9-6) suffered the loss for the Seminoles after surrendering two runs off six hits over his five complete innings.

First pitch between Tech and Michigan is slated for 1 p.m., Friday afternoon on ESPN. If Tech were to win that game, the two teams would meet again in either a 1 p.m. or 6 p.m. start Saturday.


Ty Parker

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