HOUSTON, Texas - Nate Karns logged five strong innings while Joey Kenworthy and Taylor Ashby added two RBIs each to lead Texas Tech to a 7-3 win over Tennessee on Saturday afternoon at the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park.
The win snaps a two-game losing skid for the Red Raiders as they improve to 3-4 on the season and 1-1 in tournament play. Tennessee falls to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in tournament action after defeating No. 6 Texas last night.
Texas Tech took advantage of two Tennessee errors in the top of the first inning and built a 1-0 lead on a groundout by Doug Thennis. Thennis hit a routine grounder to Volunteeer shortstop Danny Lima but he couldn't field it cleanly and that allowed Chris Hall to score from third. Hall led off the game with a single to right-center.
The Red Raiders extended their lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Tech loaded the bases with a leadoff walk by Monk Kreder, a hit by pitch on Chris Richburg and a single by Jeremy Mayo. Hall then drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to right while Joey Kenworthy grounded out to give the Red Raiders the three run early cushion.
The Volunteers scratched out a run in the bottom half of the second as Tech starter Nate Karns loaded the bases with no outs before retiring the next two Tennessee hitters on strikeouts. Karns couldn't end the inning as he walked nine-hole hitter P.J. Polk and that brought home Yan Gomes who led off the inning with a single to right.
Junior right fielder Roger Kieschnick gave
Tech a 4-1 lead when he blasted a solo home run 416 feet to straight away center
field. The home run was his third of the season and the 25th of his career.
Houston product Joey Kenworthy drove in his second run of the game in the top of the fourth when he hit a double in front of a diving Volunteer center fielder Kentrail Davis. Kenworthy's RBI gave the Red Raiders a 5-1 advantage.
After the Volunteers struck for two runs in the bottom of the fifth, sophomore Taylor Ashby answered for the Red Raiders in the top of the sixth with a two-out, two-run single that made the score 7-3.
Nate Karns (1-0) earned his first career win as a Red Raiders as he logged five strong innings allowing three runs on just four hits and struckout five. Nick Hernandez was saddled with the loss for Tennessee as he gave up five runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Texas Tech will conclude play in the 2008 Houston College Classic on Sunday afternoon as the Red Raiders will face off against the 11th-ranked Rice Owls. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.