Updated 6:27 pm, Monday, June 5, 2017
LUBBOCK — Hunter Hearn scored twice and drove in two more runs to lead Sam Houston State to a 4-3 victory over host Texas Tech, and the Bearkats are going to an NCAA super regional for the first time.
After Hearn reached on a fielder’s choice in the sixth inning to drive in a run and tie the game at 3-all, he scored from first on second baseman Brian Klein’s throwing error that ricocheted down the right field line.
Sam Houston State (44-21), the Southland Conference tournament champ, dropped into the loser’s bracket after a 6-0 loss to Texas Tech on Saturday night. But the Bearkats then beat Arizona for the second time in the regional and won twice against the Red Raiders (45-17), the No. 5 national seed and a College World Series team last season.
Nick Mikolajchak worked the ninth for his 13th save, striking out clean-up hitter Hunter Hargrove with two runners on base to end the game. Hargrove had three hits.
Riley Cooper (4-3), the third of five Bearkats pitchers, allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings. Parker Mushinski (3-2) took the loss.
Trailing 1-0, Texas Tech scored all of its runs in the top of the fifth.
In that inning, Midland Christian grad Grant Little hit a one-out double and eventually scored on a two-out single from Tanner Gardner.
Following a single by Hargrove and a wild pitch, shortstop Orlando Garcia delivered a two-RBI single to push Texas Tech to a 3-1 lead.
However, the Bearkats responded in the bottom half of the inning, as Taylor Beene cracked an RBI double to chase Red Raiders starter Davis Martin through 4 1/3 innings.
Martin, a San Angelo Central alum, allowed two runs, six hits and no walks, while striking out six.
After San Houston State took the lead in the sixth, Texas Tech squandered scoring opportunities in the next three innings. Josh Jung ran into an out at third base trying to stretch a double in the seventh and the Red Raiders stranded two runners in both the eighth and ninth.
Jung led Texas Tech with two doubles.
Little had two hits to finish his freshman season with a .335 batting average and .405 on-base percentage.