LUBBOCK, Texas – Kansas State’s Jordan Cruz hit a three-run home run with two outs in the top of the 10th inning to lead the Wildcats to a series-clinching 7-4 win over Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon in front of 2,754 fans at Dan Law Field.
The loss moves Texas Tech’s (17-23)
losing skid to eight games and matches the longest losing streak since the 1987
season, Larry Hays’ first as the head coach of the Red Raiders.
Senior first baseman Jason Seefeld broke a 3-3 ballgame with two outs in the bottom of the eighth when he belted a solo home run over the left field wall to give the Red Raiders a 4-3 lead heading into the top of the ninth.
Tech closer Zach Stewart retired the first batter of the ninth but then allowed a double down the left field line to Brett Scott. With two outs and a 3-2 count to Byron Wiley, Stewart let one get a way and Wiley drove a double off the center field wall that allowed Scott to score and tied the game at 4-4.
Junior right fielder Roger Kieschnick had the chance to be the hero for the Red Raiders in the bottom of the ninth as he came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. Instead, he slapped at the first offering he got from KSU reliever Daniel Edwards and grounded out to end the inning and ultimately Tech’s hopes of winning the game.
The Wildcats came out firing in the top of the 10th as they got back-to-back hits with one out in the inning and then Cruz silenced the Tech faithful with a three-run home run that fell in the K-State bullpen in right field. The home run was just his second of the season.
The Red Raiders had built a 3-1 lead with some clutch RBIs hits from Willie Rueda and Joey Kenworthy in the bottom of the fourth, however, that lead wouldn’t last as K-State tied it up with two runs in the fifth. Tech starter Chad Bettis gave up a two-run to Nate Tenbrink that tied the game at 3-3 and was Bettis’ seventh home run allowed of the year.
Stewart (2-1) suffered the loss for Texas Tech as he gave up four runs on five hits over 2 1/3 innings. Daniel Edwards (2-3) earned the win in relief for the Wildcats as he logged 1 2/3 innings of shutout work.
Texas Tech will try and salvage the series finale on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
R H E
WP = Daniel Edwards (2-3)
LP = Zach Stewart (2-1)
SV = None
(Courtesy: Texas Tech)