LUBBOCK, Texas – Freshman Chase Hampton carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning Saturday afternoon to help No. 5 Texas Tech shut out Kansas, 5-0, in the regular-series finale inside Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The shutout marked the fourth for Tech this season and its first in Big 12 play as the Red Raiders had not previously blanked a conference foe at home since topping Oklahoma by the same score to open their 2016 series. The win clinched the series for the Red Raiders (35-13; 14-10), who now head to Oklahoma City having won their final three series of the regular season.
Hampton (3-0) had only allowed a two-out walk to Tavian Josenberger in the fourth before James Consentino broke up the no-hit effort with a leadoff single to start the sixth. He was erased just two pitches later as Hampton induced a 4-6-3 double play from Conner VanCleave and a liner to finish the inning, marking the longest outing of his still young career.
It was only the fifth start of the season for Hampton, who set a new season high with seven strikeouts to earn the win. He gave way to Derek Bridges after a leadoff single to start the seventh. Bridges recorded the first out in the seventh before Connor Queen came on to retire Kansas in order over his 1.2 innings. Brendan Girton surrendered only a one-out single in the ninth to close out the victory.
Nate Rombach powered home three of Tech’s five runs on the afternoon as he blasted a two-run homer over the fence in left field in the fourth followed by a RBI single in the eighth. He was 2-for-3 overall with three RBI, his second three-RBI performance in as many days.
Cal Conley preluded Rombach’s home run in the fourth with a solo shot of his own that was part of a 2-for-4 day at the plate. The home run was the sixth of the season for Rombach and the 13th for Conley, who finished 2-for-4 overall to join Rombach and Easton Murrell with multi-hit days.
Murrell provided the first run of the afternoon as he sent a RBI single into center field in the second as part of a 2-for-3 day. The Jayhawks escaped further damage, however, thanks to a line-drive double play off the bat of Rombach, one of two in the game for the Red Raiders as Jace Jung sent a rocket to first that ended the third in similar fashion.
Kansas starter Everhett Hazelwood (2-4) departed after Rombach’s home run in the fourth as he took the loss after giving up four runs off five hits with three strikeouts. The Jayhawks combined for only six walks on the afternoon, one day after tying the Tech single-game record with 17 free passes.
The series win gives the Red Raiders some momentum heading into next week’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships where Tech will be the No. 3 seed. Kansas (30-26; 8-16) will play in the No. 8 versus No. 9 seed game Tuesday in Oklahoma City regardless of the outcome of the rest of the league’s slate Saturday.