LUBBOCK — Josh Jung and Kurt Wilson connected on a pair of opposite-field home runs in the eighth inning Sunday evening, sending No. 8 Texas Tech back to the College World Series following an 8-6 victory over No. 9 Oklahoma State inside a raucous Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The Red Raiders (44-18) erased a two-run deficit thanks to the pair of home runs, returning Tech to the pinnacle of college baseball in Omaha for the fourth time in the past six seasons. Tech joins only Florida and Big 12 counterpart TCU as the only schools nationally to reach the College World Series four times during that stretch.
Jung's leadoff home run – his second of the game – kick-started a four-run bottom of the eighth as Cameron Warren and Cody Masters followed with walks, setting up Wilson's heroics two batters later. Wilson's home run, a towering shot off the video board in right center, marked only his fourth of the season and first of the postseason.
Oklahoma State (40-21) threatened in the top of the ninth with back-to-back walks to start the inning before Dane Haveman came back with a pair of strikeouts and an infield pop out to record his third save of the season.
The Cowboys had built a two-run lead only an inning earlier as Colin Simpson broke up a 4-4 tie with a solo home run, while Bryce Carter added a sacrifice fly later in the frame. The two Big 12 rivals combined for seven home runs on the night, including four in the final three innings alone.
It was a back-and-forth slugfest for most of the night with Oklahoma State striking first on a Trevor Boone solo home run in the second. Tech responded an inning later thanks to a pair of RBI doubles from Braxton Fulford and Dylan Neuse. Fulford scorched a liner down the left-field line, scoring Tanner O'Tremba, who did the same just moments earlier to ignite the rally.
Fulford wrapped the night 2 for 4 at the plate with a solo blast to lead off the fifth inning as he joined Jung (2 for 4) and Neuse (2 for 4) with multi-hit games. Jung's other hit came via a towering blast over the wall in center to lead off the fourth, setting up only his second multi-home run game of his illustrious career.
Ben Leeper (4-4), the game two winner for the Cowboys, took the loss for Oklahoma State after entering in the eighth following Jung's home run. He surrendered three runs off only one hit in his only inning of relief.
John McMillon (3-3) picked up the win, meanwhile, in a strong outing from the bullpen as he surrendered three runs (two earned) off only two hits and six strikeouts over his 3.2 innings. McMillon's six strikeouts matched the total from starter Bryce Bonnin as Tech fanned 14 Cowboys overall.
The Red Raiders' opening matchup in Omaha will be determined later this evening when top-seeded UCLA and Michigan play the final game of the Los Angeles Super Regional. Date and game times for the entire College World Series will be announced Monday evening.