MANHATTAN, Kan. - Texas Tech snapped a five-year, 23-series road losing streak this afternoon with an impressive 12-6 win over No. 10 Kansas State in front of 2,577 fans at Tointon Family Stadium. The win gives Tech its first road series win since a 2-1 series win at Oklahoma State at the end of the 2004 season.
The win moves Tech to 23-27 on the year and to 11-12 in Big 12 Conference play. A win by Oklahoma over Oklahoma State would give the Red Raiders their first berth in the Big 12 Conference Championship since 2006. With the loss, Kansas State fell to 37-13-1 and to 12-9-1 in the league.
Both starters held court in the first two innings as the first hit of the game came from Willie Rueda with two outs in the top of the third. Rueda's hit was a big one as it drove in the first run of the game and was the first of four runs that Tech would score in the inning. Freshman right fielder Garrett Totten reached on a one-out walk and moved to second on a wild pitch to set up the scoring chance for Rueda. Joey Kenworthy followed with a single to put runners on the corners and senior first baseman Chris Richburg delivered a bases-clearing, two-RBI triple to the wall in right field. Taylor Ashby rounded out the scoring with an RBI single that gave the Red Raiders a 4-0 lead.
Kansas State answered with one run in the bottom of the third thanks to an RBI single by Justin Bloxom. Bloxom's RBI single ended 11 scoreless innings by the Wildcats in this series.
Tech held on to its three-run lead until the sixth inning when the Red Raiders plated three more runs to go ahead 7-1. Rueda drew a bases-loaded walk to plate the first run of the sixth and then Kenworthy added a clutch two-RBI single to pad the lead.
The Red Raiders put the game out of reach with a five-run outburst in the top of the eighth to take a 10-run lead (12-2). Tech got the bases loaded with nobody out and then five different players drove in runs to help seal the win.
Kansas State plated four runs in the eighth but senior reliever Brian Cloud struckout four of the five batters (three in the ninth) he faced to end the game.
AJ Ramos picked up the win and improved to 2-0 in his career against Kansas State. The senior right-hander went 6 1/3 innings allowing two runs on six hits and five walks while striking out seven. Lance Hoge took the loss for the Wildcats as he surrendered five runs on six hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings.
Texas Tech will go for its first road series sweep in five years Sunday afternoon as the two teams meet for the third and final game of this series at 1 p.m. Tech's last road series sweep was at Kansas in 2004. Louis Head (RHP) is expected to get the start for the Red Raiders while Todd Vogel (RHP) will start for Kansas State.