Texas Tech Slugs Its Way To A 15-10 Win Over No. 24 Kansas
April 17, 2009
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech pounded out a season-high 21 hits and senior second baseman Willie Rueda returned from a hamstring injury by going 4-for-6 with four RBIs as the Red Raiders handed No. 24 Kansas a 15-10 loss on Friday night in this Big 12 series opener at Dan Law Field.
The win brings the Red Raiders back to even in Big 12 play as they now stand at 8-8 in league play and 17-23 overall. The loss snaps a six-game win streak by the Jayhawks as they fall to 24-13 overall and to 7-6 in the Big 12.
The Jayhawks came storming out of the gates with two outs in the top of the first inning as they plated four runs to take a commanding early lead. After retiring the leadoff hitter on a groundout, Tech starter Brian Cloud walked the next two batters and then surrendered four consecutive hits, including two doubles. Jayhawk left fielder Casey Lytle drove in two of the runs with a single through the right side.
Texas Tech came firing back in its half of the first as the Red Raiders cut the Jayhawk lead to one run (4-3). After a leadoff single by Rueda, junior shortstop Joey Kenworthy put the Red Raiders on the board with a two-run home run to left. The home run was just his second of the season and both have come in Big 12 play. Senior first baseman Chris Richburg gave Tech its third run of the game when he followed Kenworthy's lead and blasted a solo home run, his tenth, over the fence in left-center field.
After holding the Jayhawks scoreless in the second, Tech took its first lead of the night with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second that put the Red Raiders ahead 5-4. An RBI double by Rueda tied the game and then junior center fielder Taylor Ashby gave Tech the lead with an RBI single that went deep in the hole at short.
The two teams traded runs until the sixth inning when the Red Raiders were finally able to put the game out of reach. Tech exploded for six runs in the bottom half of the inning, including a huge two-out, two-RBI double by Ashby that gave the Red Raiders a seven-run cushion. The two-RBI single by Ashby gave him four RBIs on the night which tied Rueda for the game high.
Robbie Kilcrease picked up the win for Tech in relief and improved to 3-0 on the year. He allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits and a walk while striking out two over two innings. Shaeffer Hall (3-3) suffered the loss for Kansas as he gave up a career-high nine runs on 13 hits over two innings.
Rueda, who missed the last six games after reinjuring his left hamstring in the series finale against Texas A&M, paced the offense with four hits and four RBIs. His four hits matched his season high while his four RBIs came up one short of his career-high of five.
Texas Tech will try and clinch this series tomorrow afternoon when the two teams meet for a 5 p.m. first pitch. The Red Raiders will send senior right-hander AJ Ramos (3-3; 4.87 ERA) to the mound while Kansas will counter with sophomore right-hander T.J. Walts (4-0; 3.15 ERA).
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