MIDLAND, Texas - Junior right-hander Nate Karns struckout a career-high 11 and the Red Raiders withstood a late UTSA rally to post a 7-6 win over the Roadrunners in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday night at CitiBank Ballpark in Midland.
The win gives Texas Tech and UTSA a split in today's doubleheader as the Roadrunners shut out the Red Raiders 2-0 in the first game of the afternoon. Texas Tech stands at 15-20 on the season while UTSA falls to 17-15. The Red Raiders return to Big 12 play on Friday night in Norman, Okla., as Texas Tech will meet the No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners in a three-game series. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be televised and shown locally on Fox News Now (Suddenlink channel 6, digital over-the-air on channel 34.2 or on NTS channel 32).
After suffering its first shutout of the year earlier this afternoon, the Red Raiders plated their first run of the day in the bottom half of the first. UTSA starter Ryan Proudfoot walked the first two batters of the inning but followed that up with a pair of outs to bring up junior center fielder Taylor Ashby. Ashby took advantage and drove a 2-0 offering through the left side to give Tech the 1-0 lead.
UTSA took the lead in the top of the third inning on back-to-back home runs by Ryan Hutson and Tyler Carpenter.
After the Roadrunners took a 3-0 lead in the fifth with their third home run of the night, the Red Raider offense came to life and erupted for five runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 6-3 lead. In the fifth, five different Red Raiders drove in runs in Scott LeJeune, Justin Berry, Jeremy Mayo, Garrett Totten and Michael Reed. LeJeune, Berry and Mayo drove in runs on RBI singles while Totten drew a bases-loaded walk and Reed plated a run with a sacrifice fly to center.
Junior shortstop Joey Kenworthy plated what turned out to be the winning run in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single through the right side. Kenworthy drove in Totten who reached on a fielder's choice.
Two Tech errors in the eighth led to three unearned UTSA runs as they closed the gap to one run (7-6). The Roadrunners had the tying run at second base but Tech reliever Louis Head struckout Carpenter to end the inning.
Nate Karns earned his first Division I win of the season as he fanned a career-high 11 batters on the night over six innings of work and did not issue a walk. Karns allowed three runs on six hits and threw 92 pitches. Louis Head worked the final 1 2/3 innings and struckout three to earn his first career save.
R H E
UTSA - 002 010 030 - 6 9 0
Texas Tech - 100 050 10x - 7 11 3
WP = Nate Karns (2-3)
LP = Kris Ruepke (0-3)
SV = Louis Head (1)