By Ty Parker
LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 15 Texas Tech baseball erupted for six runs in the third and stymied the Cowboys with a season-high 17 strikeouts to take a 12-4 victory over No. 16 Oklahoma State in the series opener between the two teams Friday night in front of a sold out Rip Griffin Park
The Red Raiders (27-13, 9-7) chased OSU starter Elliott Jensen (3-3) in the third, hammering him for a season-high seven runs. Meanwhile, a trio of Red Raider pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts with Tech starter Micah Dallas (4-0) and reliever Dane Haveman recording career highs.
Tech’s 17 strikeouts were the most in a Big 12 Conference game this season, the most by Tech in a Big 12 game since May 1, 2010 against Missouri, and marked a season-high for the Cowboys (25-14, 10-6).
The win was Tech’s fifth straight against the Cowboys and keeps the Red Raiders in a tie for third place in the league standings with no. 17 West Virginia. OSU falls to second, a game back in the loss column to No. 18 Baylor.
Dallas settled in after a shaky first inning to record a career-high eight strikeouts and limit one of the hottest offenses in the league to four runs into the sixth. The Cowboys, who have averaged over 12 runs per game in their last six league contests, managed just two hits off the Tech bullpen as Haveman posted a career-high six strikeouts before sophomore Ryan Sublette worked around a walk to get three more strikeouts in the ninth.
Sophomore center fielder Dylan Neuse led four Red Raiders with multi-hit games. He finished 3-for-5 with a two-run triple in the top of the third that sparked the big inning. The triple was Neuse’s Big 12-leading sixth of the year and moves him into a tie for fourth nationally in the category.
Junior Josh Jung also had a big night, going 2-for-3 with a home run, two walks and a season-high four RBI. He capped off the victory with a three-run laser over the left field wall in the bottom of the eighth that made it 12-4. Jung made his seventh-straight start at shortstop Friday and is hitting .360 since sliding over to the new position. He is Tech’s RBI leader during the month of April with 20.
Sophomore right fielder Gabe Holt went 2-for-5, jumpstarting the Tech offense in the bottom of the first with a double off the wall in right center after Oklahoma State took a 1-0 lead in opening frame. Neuse moved him to third where he scored on a ground out from junior Brian Klein. Holt came around to score again in the third as he singled for his 16th multi-hit game of the year.
Sophomore catcher Braxton Fulford added a 2-for-4 showing at the plate. He singled to lead off the third before Holt followed with a single to setup Neuse’s two-run triple. Fulford added an RBI single in the fifth that put Tech in front 8-2.
Senior Cameron Warren connected on a solo home run in the seventh, his team-leading 10th of the year. The dinger gave Warren his 50th RBI of the season, which leads the Big 12.
The Red Raiders will look to secure the series win on Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. first pitch on ESPNU. Texas Tech will send junior right-hander Caleb Kilian (6-2) to the mound, while Oklahoma State will go with sophomore left-hander Parker Scott (2-0).