Tech Succumbs to Nebraska Pitching

LINCOLN, NebraskaNebraska’s Johnny Dorn allowed just one run on one hit over 7 1/3 innings to lead the ninth-ranked Cornhuskers to a 6-2 series-opening win over Texas Tech on Friday evening in front of 6,593 fans at Haymarket Park in Lincoln.

The loss snapped a four-game win streak by the Red Raiders as Tech fell to 16-13 overall and to 4-6 in Big 12 play.  Nebraska improved to 22-4-1 and 8-1-1 in league play.

Tech starting pitcher Nate Karns (1-5) was unable to repeat his strong performance against Missouri last week where he gave up only one run on six hits and one walk. Tonight he gave up four earned runs on seven hits and two walks in five-plus innings of work.

The Cornhuskers first got to Karns in the bottom of the second when Nebraska’s designated hitter Cody Neer connected with a 1-1 pitch for a two-RBI single.

Nebraska added to its lead in the third when Jake Opitz hit a line drive to right field which got past a diving Roger Kieschnick resulting in an RBI triple. On the very next pitch he was driven in by a double from Mitch Abeita to increase the lead to 4-0.

The Tech offense also struggled, recording only one hit against Nebraska starter Johnny Dorn. Dorn, a Brooks Wallace Award Candidate, held the Red Raiders hitless for the first four innings.  That was broken up when Doug Thennis, Tech’s leadoff batter in the fifth, took Dorn’s 3-1 offering over the left field wall to cut Nebraska’s led to 4-1. Dorn finished the game with one run on one hit, three walks and 10 strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings.

Karns was chased away in the sixth after giving up a leadoff home run to Nebraska’s Craig Corriston which increased the Husker’s lead to 5-1.  The Red Raider Bullpen allowed one more run on two hits to finish the game.

Tech made one last threat to cut away at Nebraska’s lead after James Leverton came up with a pinch hit double in the top of the eighth, moving Chris Hall to third. Two batters later Willie Rueda hit a deep shot to right but it was hauled in at the wall leaving both runners stranded.

Thennis got another hit in the top of the ninth when he singled up the middle. After stealing second he was driven into home when Jason Seefeld ripped a grounder between Nebraska’s third baseman Jake Mort’s legs that resulted in an error.

Texas Tech will look to even up this three-game series on Saturday afternoon as the two squads meet for game two.  First pitch at Haymarket Park is set for 2:05 p.m.

                                                                                                      R     H     E

Texas Tech              000       010       001                               2      3      1

Nebraska                  022       001       100                               6      9      1


WP = Johnny Dorn (4-0)

LP = Nate Karns (1-5)

SV = None

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