Lubbock, Texas Senior right-handed pitcher Thomas Taylor allowed two runs off six hits over seven innings, Jordan Piché picked up his eighth save, and Tucker Tharpe drove in the go-ahead run with a seventh-inning sacrifice fly as Kansas University opened its Big 12 baseball series with Texas Tech with a 4-3 victory over the Red Raiders on Friday at Rip Griffin Park.
The Jayhawks won their third one-run game in the last eight days to improve to 23-14 and 8-5 in the Big 12, while Tech dropped its eighth straight to fall to 17-21 overall and 4-9.
After allowing an unearned run to score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth, junior Jordan Piché picked up his eighth save of the season. The junior-college transfer, who came into the night leading the nation in ERA, recorded three ground outs and a strikeout to finish the game. Piché’s eight saves are the most by a Jayhawk since Paul Smyth recorded nine during the 2009 season.
Kevin Kuntz and Ka’iana Eldredge each had two of KU’s seven hits.
The opening-game win was the first by the Jayhawks in a series in Lubbock since 2003.
Game Two in the series will be at 6:30 tonight.
Kansas 000 001 300 — 4 7 1
Texas Tech 001 001 010 — 3 7 1
W —Thomas Taylor, 4-0. L — Jonny Drozd, 3-4. Sv — Jordan Piché, 8.
2B —Dakota Smith, Connor McKay; KU; Devon Conley, Eric Gutierrez 2, TT.
KU highlights — Taylor 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 5 Ks; Piché 11⁄3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K; Ka’iana Eldredge 2-for-4, 2 R; Kevin Kuntz 2-for-4, RBI..