Texas Tech infielder Jace Jung, the Big 12 player of the year from San Antonio, shook off a first-inning injury, went on to get two hits and scored two runs Sunday night as the Red Raiders beat the UCLA Bruins 8-2 to win the NCAA Lubbock Regional.
The incident unfolded after the Bruins came to bat in the bottom of the first.
Leading off, UCLA’s Kevin Kendall doubled down the left field line. Pat Caulfield, the next batter, followed with a bunt. As a result, Texas Tech pitcher Mason Montgomery fielded it and fired to first. Jung, who plays second base, was covering on the play.
The low throw led him into the base path where he gloved the ball just as Caulfield was approaching the bag. Caulfield’s knee appeared to hit Jung in the side of the head.
Jung remained on the base path holding his head for a few moments before Tech officials came out of the dugout to see if he was OK.
Initially, it appeared that he might be coming out of the game, but after he left the field briefly with a trainer, he came back out to the applause of the home fans at Dan Law Field.
As for the outcome of the play, Kendall moved up to third base. But umpires reviewed the play and ruled Caulfield out. Kendall later scored on a sacrifice fly as the Bruins took a 1-0 lead.
In his next plate appearance, in the third inning, Jung laced a single to right field and later scored during a three-run uprising. He added a bunt single and another run scored in the fifth. Texas Tech went on to win easily for its third straight victory of the weekend.
Jung, a redshirt freshman from San Antonio’s MacArthur High School, finished the night 2 for 5 at the plate. He entered the NCAA playoffs as one of the nation’s leaders in home runs and RBIs.
Lubbock Regional — Texas Tech wins the regional. The Red Raiders, top seeded in Lubbock and No. 8 in the nation, beat the Bruins behind five innings of two-run, two-hit pitching from Montgomery. Texas Tech will host either Stanford or UC Irvine in the Super Regional next week.
Fort Worth Regional — Oregon State eliminated TCU 3-2 in an afternoon game and then beat Dallas Baptist 5-4 in the nightcap. The win in the second game came on a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth by Garret Forrester. Oregon State and Dallas Baptist will play for the regional title Monday. TCU was the No. 1 seed in the region and No. 6 in the nation.
Austin Regional — Fairfield stayed alive in the tournament by defeating Arizona State 9-7 in a Sunday afternoon game. Texas downed Fairfield 12-2 in the nightcap to complete a 3-0 sweep and the title. The Longhorns, top seeded in the region and No. 2 in the nation, scored in double digits in each of its three games in the playoffs. UT host the Super Regional next week against either South Alabama or South Florida.