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NCAA.com | March 5, 2018

Historic start for Texas Tech garners Team of the Week honors

  Sophomore RHP Caleb Freeman and the Red Raiders are rolling so far.

Another no-hitter? College baseball season is off to a roaring start.

Let's take a closer look at NCAA.com's college baseball Team and Player of the Week.:

Team of the Week

After a four-game series sweep of No. 15 South Alabama, No. 3 Texas Tech enters the week with a program best 13-0 start. 

However, it has not all been an easy road to the historic mark for the Red Raiders. After losing All-American lefthander Steven Gingery to a season-ending UCL injury, Texas Tech has turned to the duo of sophomore John McMillon and junior Davis Martin on the mound. 

The pair proved lethal once again this weekend in the sweep of South Alabama. Martin and McMillon opened the series with five-inning performances each. Both pitchers are now 3-0 on the season, while righty Caleb Killian breezed through three innings out of the bullpen in the series-opening 8-1 win. But it has not only been the pitching to carry this dominant Texas Tech squad. 

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The offense once again broke out this weekend under the lead of infielders Grant Little and Gabe Holt. Only a freshman, Holt batted his way to a .470 average (8-17) with two hits and a run in all four games, adding two RBI along the way. 

In the last three games of the series, Little burst onto the scene, racking up seven hits in 10 at-bats with a pair of RBIs and six runs scored. The sophomore now holds a team-high three home-runs and .458 average after his latest offensive barrage. 

While the Red Raiders controlled the first two games of the series without doubt outscoring South Alabama 11-2, the final two games proved to be the closest games Texas Tech has played all year with 5-2 and 9-7 finishes in games three and four, respectively. However, the Red Raiders trailed only a combined three innings all weekend. 

Texas Tech boasts three shutout performances already on the young season, while out-scoring opponents 118-33 this year. The Red Raiders were the only Top 25 team to wrap up last week with a 6-0 record. 

The competition continues to heighten for the Red Raiders, facing No. 6 Kentucky and No. 13 Louisville within the next week. 

Player of the Week

In the season of no-hitters and perfect games across collegiate baseball, Nebraska-Omaha’s Payton Kinney joined the elite company Sunday with a no-hitter vs. the Ohio Bobcats in a 4-0 victory at Perfect Game Park. 

The senior racked up nine strikeouts on his way to the second no-no in Omaha’s Division I era and its first since February 21, 2015 vs. Chicago State. 

Offensive support was no issue for the righty as the Mavericks offense drove home a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to provide Kinney all of the offense he would need to silence the Ohio bats. 

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Kinney walked four on the day and the Omaha defense committed one error, but the righty dealt his way out of trouble in the seventh inning after a pair of free passes in what proved to be the toughest inning of the game. Kinney needed 140 pitches to finish off the masterpiece. 

UNO (4-7) returns to action Tuesday at Minnesota before traveling to Provo, Utah to face Brigham Young for a three-game weekend series.