ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas Tech defeated West Virginia 6-2 on Wednesday night at Globe Life Field, advancing into the Big 12 Championship winner's bracket on Thursday. The Red Raiders, a 6-seed in this year's tournament, will take on the 7-seed Oklahoma at 7:30 p.m. in a matchup between two teams that defeated higher seeds on the opening day of the tournament between the 3-seed Mountaineers, and 2-seed Oklahoma State, the Sooners' victim.
Tech's "Friday night guy," Mason Molina, got the start after tossing game one of its regular season series finale last week on a Thursday and proved to be the dominant force it needed to get past the Mountaineers. West Virginia led off with David Hagaman, a relief pitcher that was effective in game three of its series versus the Red Raiders in Morgantown.
Molina limited West Virginia to four hits over six complete innings, one run scored on his watch, a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. He struck out six batters.
"We really felt like going in, to win the tournament, Mason [Molina] needed to throw game one," said head coach Tim Tadlock. "We try to win every day, regardless of what day of the week it is and where we are. Anytime you get Mason on full rest, which to me five or six nights is definitely full rest, and he had that, and he was ready to go, so we pitched him."
Texas Tech never had a trademark big inning at the plate, but instead chipped away scoring two in the second inning and then single runs over the next four innings. After plating runs over five-straight innings, the Red Raiders held a 6-1 lead by the time the ball was turned over to reliever Brandon Beckel. The bullpen ace allowed two hits while an unearned run scored as he closed out the final three innings.
The Red Raiders' 5-6-7 hitters Gavin Kash, Zac Vooletich and Hudson White each had multiple hits. Kash and Vooletich each had a pair while White led all Red Raiders going 3-for-3 in addition to two walks to reach base in all five plate appearances.
Kash and Austin Green each homered. Kash hit his 24th of the season in the third inning while Green hit his 11th of the season to lead off the fifth. Kash continues to climb the Red Raiders record book as he now sits in a tie for second-most home runs in program history alongside John Grimes (1984).
Texas Tech returns to action at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night versus Oklahoma.
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