LUBBOCK, Texas – Stephen Hagen hit a solo homer in the ninth inning to tie the game and Barrett Barnes' first-career walk-off base hit in the bottom of the 10th inning gave Texas Tech a 3-2 victory over Kansas in the series opener Friday evening at Dan Law Field.
With the win Texas Tech improves to 26-19 overall and to 7-12 in Big 12 Conference play while Kansas falls to 20-22 overall and to 9-10 in league action.
John Neely (9-0) stayed perfect on the season pitching the final inning in order to pick up his ninth win of the season – all coming in relief.
Kansas starting pitcher T.J. Walz settled for a no-decision after pitching eight innings while giving up one run on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. KU reliever Frank Duncan (0-3) took the loss allowing the winning run on two hits in 0.2 innings pitched.
With Texas Tech down to its final three outs and trailing 2-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, Hagen hit his sixth homer of the season over the left-field wall on a 3-1 pitch to lead off the inning against Jayhawks closer Colton Murray – who blew his second save of the season.
Neely, who made his team-leading 22nd appearance of the season, sat KU down in order retiring its two, three and four-hole batters on just nine pitches in the top of the 10th.
Freshman Andre Wheeler led off the bottom of the 10th with a single through the right side. Third baseman Reid Redman laid down his team-leading eighth sacrifice bunt of the season to move Wheeler into scoring position with one out.
Jamodrick McGruder received his team-leading third intentional walk of the season to give Tech runners at first and second base with one out. Catcher Bo Altobelli struck out swinging for the second out of the inning just before Barnes stepped to the plate.
Barnes hit a 2-0 pitch past a diving third baseman to score Wheeler who scored the game-winning run. Tech has now won consecutive Big 12 games at Dan Law Field with an extra-inning walk-off base hit (Kelby Tomlinson – vs. Texas A&M – 12 inn.).
Stephen Hagen (2-for-4) and Nick Popescu (2-for-4) were the only Red Raiders who finished with a multi-hit game. In addition, the Texas Tech bullpen combined pitched six scoreless innings allowing three hits and one walk with two strikeouts.
Texas Tech and Kansas will continue their three-game series on Saturday, April 30, with a 5 p.m. first-pitch. The game will be televised locally on Texas Tech Sports Network and will also be televised regionally on Fox College Sports.