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Hitter of the Week: The unconventional hero

Sometimes you don’t need all the home runs and RBIs

Sometimes the hitter of the week doesn’t get all the home runs and RBIs. He doesn’t have to score in every game. Sometimes he just exists in the background and does just enough to make sure his teammates are in perfect position to score. That was exactly what second baseman Brian Klein did over the weekend.

Klein was a huge part in the series sweep against Michigan. He opened the series with two hits, one run, and two RBI. Eight Red Raiders recorded hits on Thursday night, but only three players secured multi-hit games. Klein was one of the three. While Michigan starter Tommy Henry allowed just two base runners in the first four innings of the series, Texas Tech was able to pile up six runs in the fifth inning to secure the victory thank, in part, to Klein’s two RBI single to right field allowing both junior Josh Jung and freshman Cole Stilwell to score. He didn’t score in the inning, but he still managed to help the Red Raiders. His second hit, and only run, of the night was a single up the middle in the eighth. It advanced Stilwell to second and after a few plays he scored on a walk from Cameron Warren.

Friday night was another multi-hit game for the junior from Keller, Texas. Klein finished the evening with two hits and one run. His first hit of the evening was a single through the left side that scored sophomore Cody Masters, but he never made it to home plate. Another single in the seventh finally put him in perfect position to score after a walk from sophomore Dylan Neuse and a single from freshman Tanner O’Tremba. To finish the series against Michigan on Saturday, Klein went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. The RBI came from a double to right center scoring Masters and it marked his 20th RBI of the year. The next hit came from a single through the right side which put Stilwell in perfect scoring position for when Neuse took over. The inning was over before Klein could score.

While Sunday did not go as planned for the Red Raiders, Klein really tried to get the Red Raiders on the board. He grounded out to first base in the first inning, but the effort was enough to get Josh Jung on third base. A sacrifice fly from Klein in the third scored sophomore Gabe Holt to make the score 3-2. In the eighth, Klein drew a one-out walk. After couple of singles from Neuse and Warren and a fly out to centerfield by Masters later, Klein was finally able to score. He drew another one-out walk in the ninth to load the bases with Easton Murell in second and Dru Baker in third. Both Baker and junior Josh Jung were hit by a pitch prior to Klein taking the bat. Murrell, a sophomore, ran for Jung. Then, junior Doug Facendo came through with a two-run double down the left field line that tied it at 5-5. Stilwell flied out to centerfield leaving Klein on third base.

Monday afternoon completed five consecutive days of baseball and finished the series against Stetson. Klein had no hits and no runs, but he still played a huge part in the win. In the third, Neuse doubled to left field. Holt followed with a walk. While Jung was at bat, Holt stole second and Neuse stole third. Jung tripled to center field and scored them both, but who would help Jung score? Klein, of course. A sacrifice fly out to center field got Jung to home base and gave the Red Raiders the 4-0 lead over the Hatters.

Overall, Klein only had three runs this weekend, but his contributions this weekend really helped Texas Tech when they needed it most. He went 6-for-16 with six RBI in the five games played this weekend.