TTU’s Super Sophs Keep Getting BetterAt The Ballpark
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Josh Jung and Grant Little are very accomplished offensive players, a pair of 2017 freshman All-Americans who have gotten off to even better starts with the bat as sophomores. They were forces of nature in Texas Tech’s 8-4 win at Louisville on Tuesday, combining for eight hits, five runs and four RBIs — but as is often the case, the box score fails to tell the whole story.
There was another, far more subtle moment that caught TTU coach Tim Tadlock’s attention Tuesday. It happened in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Louisville had runners at first and second with one out, and elected to put the runners in motion. The batter, Devin Mann, swung and hit a hard ground ball right at third baseman Jung — who had held his ground instead of covering third base. Jung threw to first for the out.
“They started the runners, and we were throwing to third, with two strikes — and he stayed home because the guy got such a good jump, and threw the guy out at first,” Tadlock said. “Most college third basemen, when that guy (on second base) starts, he’s going to the bag. When it happened, I was like, ‘That’s really good.’ Because we’ve all had that situation when you’re on offense, you’re like, ‘Golly, I should have started the runners. They’d have had to vacate right there and it would’ve been through the third baseman.’ That was a big play in that game. A big, big play, the second out of the inning. And I’m telling you, most guys are going to the bag.
“(Jung)’s a really intelligent baseball player, and that’s probably the biggest compliment you can give him.”
Over the weekend at Kentucky, Little also shined on defense, showing off range, instincts, athleticism and arm strength in left field, where he made one particularly spectacular diving catch on the warning track Friday, and also threw out a runner at the plate on Saturday. Jung, meanwhile, has shown the ability to make all the plays at the hot corner, where his rifle arm is a huge asset, and his body control, feet and hands all really play. That’s nothing new to Texas Tech fans; these two players have been been studs since the start of their freshman seasons, and this week in the Bluegrass State was more of the same.