By Ty Parker
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Junior starter Caleb Kilian delivered a complete-game two hitter and the No. 11 Texas Tech baseball team shut out West Virginia, 3-0, in the series finale Sunday at Monongalia County Ballpark after a three-hour rain delay prior to first pitch.
After a pair of narrow defeats Friday and Saturday, Kilian’s magnificent effort on the mound and a trio of stellar defensive plays in the infield allowed the Red Raiders (23-11, 6-6) to salvage a win in the three-game set.
Kilian’s outing was near perfect as no Mountaineer reached second base and the two singles were his only blemish. The outing marked the first complete-game shutout by a Red Raider since Cameron Smith in the deciding game of the 2014 Coral Gables Regional over No. 3 Miami on June 2, 2014.
Furthermore, Kilian (5-2) did not allow any free passes to make his effort the first complete-game shutout with no walks since Trey Masek in 2013 against LaSalle. It’s also the lowest hit total allowed during a complete-game shutout since A.J. Ramos allowed three hits against Kansas on April 20, 2007.
The Mountaineers (22-13, 6-6), meanwhile, trotted out seven pitchers during the contest. Tech sophomore Gabe Holt continued his strong play at the dish with his fourth straight multi-hit game. His double in the fifth broke a scoreless tie, bringing in sophomore Cody Masters from second. Holt, who went 7-for-14 on the weekend, has now hit safely for 10 straight games.
Junior Brian Klein made it 2-0 later in the fifth with a sac fly to left that brought in freshman Cole Stilwell, who reached on a walk and was moved to third by Holt. Junior Doug Facendo tacked on an insurance run in the eighth with a pinch-hit single to right that brought in starting third baseman Parker Kelly with two outs from second.
Head coach Tim Tadlock went with a different look on Sunday with junior All-American Josh Jung moving from third to shortstop for his first career start at the position. Sophomore Parker Kelly filled in at third base, and the duo combined to make three impressive plays to record outs and provide Kilian the defensive resistance to hold WVU to two hits.
Six of Kelly’s seven hits on the year have been doubles as he tallied one in the eighth. Freshman Mason Minzey was also thrust into the lineup at catcher and tallied his first career hit in the second. Masters was moved into the leadoff spot while Holt was moved to the No. 3 spot and the regulars all moved down a position.
Texas Tech will remain on the road to take on Duke (20-16, 8-10 ACC) in Durham, N.C., on Tuesday in a midweek tilt at the Durham Bulls Athletic Complex. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. CT on ACC Network Extra and the Texas Tech Sports Network.