Husker Comeback Falls Short at Texas Tech
Nebraska (17-8, 1-1) overcame a seven-run deficit to tie the game in the seventh inning before falling 10-8 at Texas Tech (16-8, 3-2) on Saturday evening. The Huskers, who won the series opener Friday night, will battle the Red Raiders in the rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m.
Texas Tech scored seven of its 10 runs in the first three innings, including a five-run third that gave the Red Raiders leads of 7-0 and 8-2 before NU combined to score a combined six runs in the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game 8-8.
“We did tie it up and I was proud of the kids,” head coach Mike Anderson said. “We did a lot of things down seven runs. We started stealing bases and taking some chances. We probably lived and died with the sword a little bit there and it got us this time. Hopefully we can get it done tomorrow.”
Nebraska used four pitchers on the night, including starter Tom Lemke, who allowed six runs on six hits through 2 1/3, his shorting outing of the season. Casey Hauptman was the pitcher of record as he gave up a run each in the seventh and eighth that proved to be enough for Texas Tech to hold off the Huskers and prevent NU's eighth straight win.
Cody Asche finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs as he hit his fifth home run of the season in Nebraska's four-run sixth, while also drilling an RBI double and scoring in the two-run fourth. All five of Asche's homers have come in the last 11 games, while he continues to lead the Big 12 in doubles with 17 this season, just five short of reaching NU's single-season top 10.
Asche, along with Chad Christensen and Josh Scheffert, all reached 11-game hit streaks in the setback. The trio was vital in the comeback attempt, accounting for three runs and three hits in the sixth and seventh innings.
In the sixth, Asche took a full count pitch over the right field wall for a two-run shot before three straight hits from Kash Kalkowski, Kurt Farmer and Christensen continued the rally, along with a sac fly from Cory Burleson to plate the fourth and final run of the inning.
The Huskers continued to pressure in the seventh after a leadoff walk to Asche was followed by back-to-back singles from Kalkowski and Farmer, who finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs. With two outs and runners on the corners, Scheffert sent a 1-0 pitch up the middle to bring home Kalkowski for the tying run. Nebraska then attempted a double steal but Farmer was thrown out at third base.
Texas Tech immediately regained the lead in the bottom half by scoring a run on three hits, including an RBI single from Kelby Tomlinson, his second of the game.
Nebraska looked to have chances in both the last two innings, as Michael Pritchard singled to start the eighth but was left stranded at second base, while the 3-4-5 hitters all went down on strikeouts in the ninth.
The Red Raiders knocked out Lemke in the third inning after producing six hits and six runs off the NU starter. Tyler Niederklein came in to relieve Lemke with runners on first and second and allowed Marshall Williams to score, in addition to Jamodrick McGruder, who finished 3-for-4 with an RBI. Niederklein went on to throw 2 2/3, giving up two runs on four hits.
The Huskers and Red Raiders will play the rubber match of the series Sunday at 1 p.m.