Texas Tech wins regional; Jace Jung OK after mishap

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.

NCAA results

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.

Battles, No. 1 Arkansas set to host NJIT in tournament opener

Local athletes to watch in the upcoming NCAA Division I baseball tournament:

Jordan Battles, Arkansas

Junior shortstop from Madison. Made some eye-popping defensive plays in combination with second baseman Robert Moore to lead the No. 1-ranked Razorbacks to the SEC regular season and tournament titles.

Schedule: Arkansas, the top overall seed in the 64-team tournament, will open at home Friday at 2 p.m. in the Fayetteville Regional against the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Others in the regional: Nebraska and Northeastern. If Arkansas survives opening weekend, it would host a Super Regional against the winner of the Louisiana Tech-hosted Ruston Regional.

Luke Boyers, TCU

Freshman outfielder from Boerne Champion. Helped lead the Horned Frogs to a share of the Big 12 regular-season, co-championship and also the tournament title at Oklahoma City. Hit .303 for the Frogs in 43 games in his first year out of high school at Champion, where he also excelled as a quarterback.

Porter Brown, TCU

Third-year freshman outfielder from Reagan. Bounced back from injuries to spark TCU to the Big 12 tournament title. Named as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after producing nine hits in 20 at bats (in five games) for a .450 average. In his last seven games, Brown is 14 for 28 at the plate (.500) as the Frogs’ leadoff man. He’s got 12 RBIs and has scored a dozen runs in that span.

Schedule: TCU, the No. 6 overall seed, will open at home Friday at 6 p.m. in the Fort Worth Regional against McNeese State. Others in the regional: Oregon State and Dallas Baptist. If TCU survives, it would host a Super Regional against the winner of the Old Dominion-hosted Norfolk Regional.

Douglas Hodo III, Texas

Second-year freshman from Boerne High School. Hodo stepped in to become a key contributor for the Longhorns after upper-classman Austin Todd was lost for the season with an injury. He played right field for the Big 12 regular-season co-champions. Played 54 games and started 52 for a team ranked in the Top 10 for most of the season. Hit .289 with eight doubles, five homers and 38 RBIs.

Schedule: Texas, the No. 2 overall seed, will open at home Friday at 1 p.m. against Southern University of Baton Rouge, La. Others in the regional: Arizona State and Fairfield. If Texas survives, it would host a Super Regional against the winner of the Florida-hosted Gainesville Regional.

Jace Jung, Texas Tech

Second-year freshman from MacArthur was the Big 12 player of the year. One of the most dangerous left-handed hitters in the nation. Hit .345 with 20 home runs and 65 RBIs. He’s tied for fifth in the nation in homers and tied for third in RBIs. Plays second base for the Red Raiders.

Connor Queen, Texas Tech

Senior pitcher from Boerne High School. The 6-foot-1, 220 pounder has pitched for Texas Tech in both the 2018 and 2019 NCAA tournaments, including the College World Series both years. This year, he’s fashioned a 3.86 ERA in 16 appearances.

Schedule: Texas Tech, the No. 8 overall seed, will open at home Friday at 11 a.m. against Army. Others in the regional: UCLA and North Carolina. If Texas Tech survives, it would host the winner of the Stanford-hosted Palo Alto Regional.

Jace Jung, Tanner Allen lead all-Big 12, SEC baseball teams

Jace Jung, a Texas Tech freshman from MacArthur High School, has been named Player of the Year in Big 12 baseball. Tanner Allen of Mississippi State won the same honor in the SEC.

Here’s the breakdown for the all-Big 12 and all-SEC teams announced recently.

Big 12

Player of the Year
Jace Jung, Texas Tech

Jordan Wicks, Kansas State; Ty Madden, Texas; Tristan Stevens, Texas; Luke Boyd, Baylor; Haylen Green, TCU.

Andy Thomas, Baylor

Tyler Hardman, Oklahoma; Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Oklahoma State; Mitchell Daly, Texas; Cal Conley, Texas Tech; Jace Jung, Texas Tech; Jared McKenzie, Baylor; Phillip Sikes, TCU; Dru Baker, Texas Tech; Justin Campbell, Oklahoma State

Designated hitter
Ivan Melendez, Texas


Player of the Year
Tanner Allen, Mississippi State

Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt; Doug Nikhazy, Ole Miss; Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt; Kevin Kopps, Arkansas

Sam Praytor, Alabama

Will Frizzell, Texas A&M; Robert Moore, Arkansas; Jake Rucker, Tennessee; Liam Spence, Tennessee

Tanner Allen, Mississippi State; Enrique Bradfield Jr., Vanderbilt; Jud Fabian, Florida

Matt Goodheart, Arkansas