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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Junior right-hander Caleb Kilian (8-3) struck out nine over seven innings, but a key triple sparked a two-run fourth and No. 7 Texas Tech baseball fell to No. 17 West Virginia, 5-1, on Thursday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The Red Raiders (37-16) got on the board first in the third inning, but Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Alek Manoah (9-3) stymied the Red Raiders from there in eight innings of work. The Mountaineers (36-18) move on to face the winner of Texas Tech and Kansas on Saturday.
Sophomore Gabe Holt scored the only run of the game for Tech in the third when he reached on one of four hit-by-pitches for the Red Raiders on the day. A double from sophomore Dylan Neuse moved him to third, before a sacrifice fly from junior Brian Klein brought him home to make it a 1-0 game.
The Mountaineers immediately answered with two runs in the fourth. Kilian was cruising, having retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, before a hit-by-pitch and an RBI triple to left tied the game. WVU took the lead one batter later on a sacrifice fly to center.
Kilian recovered deliver seven strong innings and keep it a one-run game. He gave up only two hits on the day and matched his career high with nine strikeouts. It was the second time this season he has racked up nine strikeouts after doing so in a complete-game, two hit, shutout of the Mountaineers in Morgantown. The loss was Kilian’s first since Mar. 9 against Wichita State and ended a streak of nine straight starts without a loss.
WVU tacked on two runs in the eighth to extend its lead to 4-1, and then added a run in the ninth before junior left-hander Erikson Lanning came out of the pen to record the final two outs.
Tech had its chances to break through offensively, getting its leadoff man aboard five times. The Red Raiders, however, went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and had runners thrown out on the base paths at second and third.
Sophomores Cody Masters and Kurt Wilson added hits for the Red Raiders, who finished with just four on the day. It was just the fourth time this season Tech had been held to four hits or less.
The top-seeded Red Raiders will now take on Kansas in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Friday. Sophomore Bryce Bonnin (5-1) will get the start for Tech against right-hander Ryan Cyr (4-6) for Kansas.