Photo By Steven Chapman

Texas Tech is Back-to-Back Big 12 Champs

Texas Tech baseball claimed a share of the Big 12 title by completing a three-game sweep of Kansas on Saturday. The Red Raiders also won the conference title last season.

Texas Tech baseball won a share of the Big 12 title by defeating Kansas 9-4 on Saturday to complete a three-game sweep. The Red Raiders finished the regular season 42-13 overall and tied with TCU at 16-8 in conference. 

This is the first time Tech has won back-to-back conference championships in program history.

Due to winning the head's up series 2 games to 1 in Lubbock earlier this season, which included the Red Raiders run-ruling the Horned Frogs 21-3 in the deciding third game, Tech will be the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 tournament next week in Oklahoma City. 

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The Red Raiders were very happy yet business like in celebrating on Dan Law Field which included a trophy celebration. Something which has become commonplace under Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock. He was asked about the subdued celebration after the game Saturday. 

"When you get a group of guys that likes to play, they want to play at a high level everyday, it's a lot of fun to coach them," Tadlock said. "I think there's a bigger picture in mind as far as what we want to achieve. At the same time I think there's a reason to celebrate. I really do. I think anytime you win a Big 12 title it's special. 

"I'm sure the guys will enjoy it this evening, but at the same time there's a trophy to go win in Oklahoma City. And really the trophy in this game is the challenge of playing this game each day. The game will humble you in a hurry. If you think you got it figured out it will humble you. Really, go enjoy it and then get ready to go on Wednesday."

Tadlock said he planned on celebrating by hanging out with his family and eating dinner, "you gotta eat at some point this evening."

It was also senior day at Rip Griffin Park on Saturday and the Red Raiders honored seniors Anthony Lyons, Kholeton Sanchez, Ryan Long and Hunter Hargrove. To say it was a banner day for Hargrove would be an understatement as the first baseman was not only celebrated as a senior, not only played a major role in winning the Big 12 title, but also proposed to his girlfriend on the field after the game in front of his teammates and family.

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As far as the game, Texas Tech jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first after leadoff hitter Grant Little doubled and was eventually driven in by Josh Jung. The Red Raiders would put up runs in each of its first four inning to build a 7-2 lead by the end of the fourth inning.

Seemingly every batter got in on the act, led by Little who had a monster day and series for the Red Raiders. The freshman left fielder finished the day 3-for-5 with three doubles, two RBI and two runs scored. Over the course of Tech's three-game sweep of Kansas (29-16, 11-13), who was not swept by another Big 12 team this season, Little finished 9-15, with six doubles. 

"He's a special player, a special hitter and he's going to be a special infielder at some point we hope," Tadlock said. "We knew all these guys when we committed them, we believed in them, we got a lot of trust in them and faith in them. It's really neat when guys work at it and it's neat when they get rewarded for it."

As a team Tech collected 12 hits, including 7 doubles. Little, Jung, Hargrove, Long, Orlando Garcia and Brian Klein all drove in at least one run. Little, Hargrove and Klein each scored two runs. 

Sophomore lefty Erikson Lanning started on the mound for the Red Raiders. He gave up two earned runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 3.2 innings pitched. John McMillon relieved him and closed out the fourth inning. 

Tech then turned to Jose Quezada (6-4) who picked up the win after giving up no earned runs, two hits and no walks with three strikeouts. Dylan Dusek then pitched two innings of solid work giving up just one earned run. 

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Parker Mushinski took the mound in the ninth for Tech and picked up the final three outs, all strikeouts, to claim the sweep, and Big 12 title. 

"It's exciting to with the Big 12 title, but like coach said we still have the (Big 12) tournament to look forward to and obviously our main goal, to win in Omaha," Said Mushinski after the game. "So yes, this is one of the stepping stones to where we want to get."  

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