No. 14 Tech edged 3-2 at K-State

No. 14 Texas Tech dropped a tight 3-2 decision to Kansas State Friday night at Tointon Family...
No. 14 Texas Tech dropped a tight 3-2 decision to Kansas State Friday night at Tointon Family Stadium.(Texas Tech Athletics)
Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 10:57 PM CDT
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Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – No. 14 Texas Tech dropped a tight 3-2 decision to Kansas State Friday night at Tointon Family Stadium. The Red Raiders struck first with a pair of runs in the fifth before the Wildcats scored the final three, the last two coming on a two-run home run in the seventh.

Texas Tech’s Mason Molina tossed a gem in a no-decision start. The sophomore exited after six complete innings with a 2-1 lead. He allowed one earned run, struck out six and did not issue a walk. In Molina’s last two starts, he’s allowed just one earned run, issued one walk and struck out 18 in the last 13.0 innings pitched.

Two batters into the Red Raiders bullpen in the bottom of the seventh, Kansas State took its first lead. In his team-high 18th appearance of the season, Ryan Free allowed a leadoff single, and the next batter belted a ball that rode the wind over the right field wall to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead.

After the first four innings, it was a pitcher’s duel as both teams were held scoreless while KSU outhit Tech three to two. Tech’s defense helped keep it that way in the second as Gavin Kash fielded a grounder and fired home to Dylan Maxcey to erase a runner attempting to score following a leadoff double and a sacrifice bunt. Offensively, it was Kevin Bazzell who provided both of Tech’s hits through the first four innings with a 2-for-2 start.

A pair of two-out RBI singles in the top of the fifth allowed the Red Raiders to strike first, opening a 2-0 lead. Nolen Hester started the rally with one out, a single up the middle that extended his reached base streak to 30 games. Ty Coleman drew a walk next in line. Bazzell and Kash followed with a pair of RBI singles to drive home Hester and Coleman, respectively. Bazzell’s hit marked his third of the day and third three-hit game over the last four played.

Kansas State got one run back in the next half-inning to bring the deficit to one, 2-1, after five full innings. KSU recorded its second leadoff hit of the game and was able to manufacture a run this time. The run was plated as the leadoff single was worked around the bases using a stolen base, an error that pushed the runner over to third and then a sacrifice fly to score the run.

With its final six outs after the Wildcats took the lead in the bottom of the seventh, Tech’s greatest threat to tie the game was in the top of the eighth by getting a runner into scoring position as Maxcey and Dillon Carter worked a pair of two-out walks. Hester earned a leadoff walk in the ninth but he was quickly erased on a double play on the next at-bat. Ethan Coombes finished the game for Texas Tech on the mound, tossing a three-up, three-down eighth inning.

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