Texas Tech freshman Steven Gingery tossed seven shutout innings Saturday in Tech’s 9-2 victory over Kansas that clinched the Red Raiders’ sixth Big 12 Conference series win of the season.
For that, he was named the Big 12’s co-newcomer of the week.
The Jayhawks struggled to create much offense against Gingery, who struck out four and only allowed three hits en route to picking up his third win in Big 12 play.
Kansas placed a runner in scoring position just once before Gingery departed with a 9-0 lead to start the eighth inning.
The Red Raiders knew what was on the line as they traveled to Lawrence, a place where Texas Tech had lost five straight.
Coming off a 2-1 series win over TCU in Fort Worth, the Red Raiders clutched a two-game lead over Oklahoma State for first place in the Big 12 standings.
Behind stellar outings by a pair of freshmen starters on Friday and Saturday, Texas Tech claimed its first series victory over Kansas since 2010.
Entering Saturday’s contest against Kansas, Eric Gutierrez and Tyler Neslony were first and second in the Big 12 with 44 and 43 RBIs on the season respectively.
With one swing of the bat in the third, Neslony took the conference lead with 46 RBIs off a three-run home run to left field.
An inning later, Gutierrez reclaimed the Big 12 lead as a monster swing sent a ball soaring over the center field wall for a three-run home run of his own.
For the first time since March 30, 2012, Texas Tech won in Lawrence.
Behind exceptional defensive play, effective pitching and clutch hitting with runners on base, the Red Raiders defeated Kansas 10-3 Friday night at Hoglund Ballpark.
Texas Tech continued its winning ways with freshman Davis Martin on the mound.
The Red Raiders are now 7-0 in Big 12 openers. Martin is 8-0 on the season, and Texas Tech is now 9-0 when he starts.
Martin, through five innings, gave up two runs off five hits with three strikeouts.
For most of the season, freshman Ty Harpenau has been the Sunday starter for Texas Tech through Big 12 play.
Each conference game Harpenau started, the Red Raiders won.
“He’s going to keep developing, and he’ll be a good pitcher for us,” Tech coach Tim Tadlock said.
However, Harpenau hasn’t started the past two weekends for Texas Tech. Instead, Hayden Howard got the starting nod for the run-rule loss to Texas, and Ty Damron got the start in the series-clinching win at TCU last weekend.
The day before, all Ty Damron could do was watch as Texas Tech’s four-run lead quickly turned into a seven-run loss against TCU at Lupton Field.
With Big 12 title implications on the line, the visiting Red Raiders needed to win on Sunday to clinch the series.
That’s this team’s goal — to win every series.
Throughout Big 12 play, with the exception of the series loss to Texas, the Red Raiders had taken every conference series they’ve faced thus far.
FORT WORTH — Tim Tadlock got a bit emotional after the game when he reflected to where he was 20 minutes before, standing in the dugout with one out left in the game and a pair of TCU runners in scoring position.
The Texas Tech coach had just gone to the bullpen and put Parker Mushinski on the mound to get the final out of the game.
“You’re sitting there in the ninth and you’re going,” he paused. “You love them either way.”
FORT WORTH — Freshman pitcher Steven Gingery stifled TCU from the start as he allowed just one run off four hits with six strikeouts.
Texas Tech, up by four, watched as that lead quickly disappeared after Gingery’s afternoon on the mound ended after four innings.
The Red Raider bullpen struggled against the best offensive team in the Big 12 as TCU evened the series with a 13-6 victory Saturday afternoon at Lupton Stadium.
The loss breaks Texas Tech’s five-game winning streak in Big 12 road games, the program’s longest since 2004.
FORT WORTH — The top of the sixth could have been over five batters in and Texas Tech might have failed to score in the frame, however, back-to-back TCU errors allowed the Red Raiders to take control en route to a 7-3 victory Friday night at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth.
Texas Tech is now 6-0 in Big 12 series openers this year.
It was the Horned Frogs’ first conference loss at home this season.
The win gives No. 10 Texas Tech a three-game lead over No. 6 TCU in the Big 12 standings as the Red Raiders move to 13-3 on the season and the Horned Frogs drop to 10-6.
NO. 10 TEXAS TECH AT NO. 7 TCU
FOX SPORTS 1 (FRIDAY)
FOX SPORTS SOUTHWEST (SATURDAY)
There are only three freshman pitchers in the country who have at least six wins and an undefeated record. Two of them take the mound Saturday in Fort Worth — Texas Tech’s Davis Martin on Friday and TCU’s Dalton Horton.