MANHATTAN, Kan. - Junior right-hander Nate Karns tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings to help lead Texas Tech to a 6-0 shutout of No. 10 Kansas State on Friday evening in front of 3,651 fans at Tointon Family Stadium. The win marked Tech's first Friday night road win in the Big 12 since the 2006 season.
Texas Tech improves to 22-27 on the year and to 10-12 in league action while Kansas State falls to 37-12-1 and to 12-8-1 in the Big 12. The Red Raiders have moved into seventh place in the league standings as the Baylor Bears have the weekend off.
The Red Raiders came out swinging in the first inning with a solo run thanks to an RBI single by senior first baseman Chris Richburg. Richburg's RBI single followed back-to-back one-out singles by Michael Reed and Joey Kenworthy.
Tech tacked on single runs in the third and fifth to push its lead to 3-0 thanks in part to three hits by Reed. Reed led off both the third and the fifth with doubles and ended up scoring on both.
Freshman third baseman Justin Berry launched his fourth home run of the year in the sixth, a solo blast that gave Tech a 4-0 lead. Freshman right fielder Kengray Fleming followed up Berry's blast with a single and then stole second to give Tech another runner in scoring position. Senior second baseman Willie Rueda then brought home Fleming with a double to the gap in right-center that gave Tech a five-run cushion.
Nate Karns who tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings was pulled in the sixth after allowing two runners on base with a hit-by-pitch and a walk. Sophomore left-hander Robbie Kilcrease got Tech out of the jam by retiring the next two KSU hitters.
Kansas State made things interesting in both the seventh and eighth innings off Tech closer Chad Bettis. The Wildcats loaded the bases with just one out in the seventh but a strikeout and a lineout by Bettis ended the threat. The Wildcats got their first two runners on board in the eighth but a double play and a strikeout got Tech out of the inning unscathed.
Karns improve to 4-5 on the season after allowing just one hit on the night and three walks. AJ Morris suffered his first loss of the season and dropped to 11-1 after surrendering five runs on 10 hits over eight innings of work.
Texas Tech will try for a series win over the Wildcats tomorrow afternoon when the two clubs meet for game two of this three-game series. First pitch at Tointon Family Stadium is set for 2 p.m.
R H E
Texas Tech 101 012 001 6 12 1
Kansas State 000 000 000 0 4 0
WP = Nate Karns (4-5)
LP = AJ Morris (11-1)
SV = None