Texas Tech baseball is headed back to Omaha.
The Red Raiders punched their ticket for their third trip to the College World Series in five seasons after notching a 6-2 triumph over Duke in Game 3 of the Lubbock Super Regional on Monday.
Texas Tech blasted seven extra-base hits in the deciding game of the best-of-three series. Included in the onslaught were home runs by Gabe Holt, Michael Davis and Brian Klein.
It pushed the Red Raiders’ record to 20-0 this season when they hit at least two homers in a game.
That strong hitting supported the strong pitching of Texas Tech starter and winning pitcher Davis Martin and four relievers.
Holt’s homer with one out in the second inning gave Texas Tech (44-18) a 1-0 lead. Duke tied it in the fourth when Chris Crabtree scored on Jimmy Herron’s two-out infield single.
Davis’ two-run shot gave the Red Raiders a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth. It plated Zach Rheams, who started the inning with a double.
Duke trimmed the lead to 3-2 when Chase Creek doubled and scored on Herron’s two-out triple. The run scored when Holt overran Herron’s long drive to right field.
Klein added a key run with a one-out homer against Ryan Day, the fifth of six Duke pitchers.
Duke loaded the bases with two out in the eighth inning. Reliever John McMillon escaped with no runs allowed when he coaxed Chris Proctor to fly out to end the inning.
Texas Tech added two insurance runs in the eighth on RBI singles from Holt and Josh Jung. It was the fourth hit of the game for Jung.
The Blue Devils had struggles with men on base all day, stranding 12 runners. Duke hit .208 (5 for 24) with runners on base.
Texas Tech relief crew continues its late-inning success
The victory boosted the Red Raiders to 41-1 when leading after seven innings.
Duke’s magic finally ran out after the Blue Devils won five NCAA Tournament elimination games this season. It ended the Blue Devils’ hopes of making their first trip to the College World Series since 1961.
The Blue Devils had produced 20 come-from-behind wins this season, including four in the NCAA Tournament.
The game was played under blistering conditions with the temperature at first pitch at 97 degrees. Readings soared to 155 degrees on the artificial turf at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park, according to the ESPN game broadcast.