By Ty Parker
LUBBOCK — The No. 10 Texas Tech baseball team went yard six times Saturday, including three times in the first inning, on its way to a 15-10 victory over Wichita State in front of 3,562 fans at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The Red Raiders (10-3) followed Friday’s 12-2 win with another offensive showcase to clinch the series against the Shockers (5–8). Tech has now won four in a row and eight straight at home.
A trio of Red Raiders connected on the first home runs of their careers Saturday. Freshman catcher Cole Stilwell and sophomore designated hitter Cody Masters both went deep in the first inning, while freshman shortstop Dru Baker connected on a solo blast in the eighth.
Senior Cameron Warren also homered for the third straight game, marking the first time a Red Raider has accomplished the feat since Zach Rheams last season. Warren now has five home runs on the year to lead the team.
Sophomore Dylan Neuse went yard for the fourth time this season and was a double short of the cycle. He had a single in the first, a triple in the second and a massive three-run home run in the fifth that came just after WSU plated six runs in the top of the frame to put Tech back in front, 12-10.
Masters, Warren and Neuse each finished with four RBI in the contest. As a team, the Red Raiders have scored 12-plus runs in three straight games. The 15 runs and 16 hits Saturday were the second-most by the Red Raiders this season, while the six home runs were the most for Tech since May 2, 2010 against Missouri.
The Red Raider bullpen was effective once again, holding WSU scoreless for the final four innings. Starter Caleb Kilian pitched into the fifth and was replaced after yielding six runs on seven hits. Junior Caleb Freeman closed out the sixth and got his first win of the of the season. Junior John McMillon had his best outing on the year, going 2.2 innings with five strikeouts, no walks and just two hits surrendered.
Tech took a 5-1 lead after one thanks to the solo home run from Stilwell and then back-to-back dingers from Warren and Masters. Masters went deep again in the second inning, connecting on a three-run shot this time that put Tech up 8-4.
The Shockers briefly took the lead in the fifth with a six-spot in the top of the frame, but Tech regained the lead for good, getting its third three-run homer of the contest – this time from Neuse – to go up 12-10.
Tech added a run in the seventh on an RBI triple for Warren, his second as a Red Raider and first of the year. Baker tallied the first home run of his career in the eighth to make it 14-10, then sophomore Gabe Holt got an RBI single after freshman Max Marusak tripled.
Neuse and Baker led six Red Raiders with multi-hit games as they each finished with three hits. Warren, Masters, Holt and Marusak all posted two hits apiece.
The Red Raiders and Shockers will close out the series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. first pitch at Rip Griffin Park on FOX Sports Southwest. Freshman left-hander Mason Montgomery (1-0) will be on the mound for Tech, while the Shockers will go with sophomore right-hander Liam Eddy (2-1).