Junior right-hander Zach Stewart held Baylor to three runs on four hits over a season-high eight innings and Roger Kieschnick blasted two home runs to lead the Texas Tech Red Raiders to a 7-4 win over the Bears on Friday night at Dan Law Field.
The win marked Tech's first of the season in a Big 12 series opener and the Red Raiders stay in the hunt for one of the final spots in the Big 12 Championship as they improve to 24-29 on the year and to 8-17 in league play. Baylor drops to 30-23 overall and to 10-15 in league play.
Junior right fielder Roger Kieschnick blasted one of his game-high two home runs in the bottom half of the first to give the Red Raiders an early 2-0 cushion. His two-run dinger went to left field (opposite) and plated second baseman Willie Rueda who led off the inning with a double to the gap in right-center.
Tech's two-run lead didn't last past the second as Baylor's right fielder Aaron Miller answered with a two-run blast to the Bear bullpen in right. The home run was his 12th of the season and tied the game at 2-2.
The Red Raiders regained the lead in the bottom of the third and one that they would not relinquish the rest of the way thanks to an outstanding effort by starter Zach Stewart. Junior designated hitter Chris Richburg delivered a clutch RBI single that plated shortstop Chris Hall. Hall reached on a leadoff single and his run gave Tech a 3-2 lead.
The Red Raiders added a single run in the fourth and two more in the fifth to build a 6-2 lead. In the fifth, Joey Kenworthy scored on squeeze bunt by first baseman Jason Seefeld after reaching on a walk to start the inning. Richburg made the score 6-2 when he reached on a fielding error by Baylor third baseman Shaver Hansen and then scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Monk Kreder.
Kieschnick placed his second home run the game over the wall in right field in the bottom of the seventh that gave the Red Raiders a 7-2 lead.
Sloppy defense led to an extended top of the ninth as the Bears rallied for a pair of runs thanks to a couple of Tech errors, the first of the game for the Red Raiders. Aaron Miller and Raynor Campbell drove in the runs with an infield single and a double to left-center. Junior right-hander Brian Cloud replaced reliever James Leverton with two outs in the inning to record his second-straight save.
Zach Stewart (3-2) was the hero for the Red Raiders as he turned in the best outing of the year by any Tech hurler. He logged a career-high eight innings of work and held the Bears to just three runs on four hits. Shawn Tolleson (5-4) was charged with the loss for Baylor as he gave up seven runs on nine hits and struckout five over seven innings.
Texas Tech will look to clinch the weekend series against Baylor on Saturday afternoon as the two teams meet up for a 2 p.m. first pitch at Dan Law Field.
R H E
Baylor - 020 000 002 - 4 6 2
Texas Tech - 201 120 10x - 7 10 2
WP = Zach Stewart (3-2)
LP = Shawn Tolleson (5-4)
SV = Brian Cloud (2)