No. 3 Huskers Roll to 9-4 Win over Texas Tech

Lubbock, Texas – Third-ranked Nebraska pounded out four homers and rode a strong relief outing from Brian Duensing to a 9-4 victory over Texas Tech in front of a crowd of 3,370 at Dan Law Field Friday evening.

With the win, Nebraska (40-11, 15-7 Big 12) reached the 40-win mark for the sixth time in seven seasons, and remained a game behind Baylor, which rallied for a 10-9 win over Texas A&M.

The Huskers used four homers, including back-to-back homers by Curtis Ledbetter and Jake Opitz off Tech starter and loser Billy Carnlinie (6-3) to highlight a three-run sixth after Texas Tech (30-19, 8-12) took a 3-2 lead one inning earlier.  Trailing 3-2, Ledbetter, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored, tied the game with a solo homer before Opitz came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit homer – the first by a Husker since the 2000 season – to give the Nebraska the lead for good.
    
 "That was a big thing," Opitz said after Nebraska's 15th come-from-behind win this season. "Whenever one team scores, we want to come back and score.  We say it all the time in the dugout that we want to answer when they score, and we did a real good job of that tonight."
       
The Huskers pounded out 15 hits, including three each from Ledbetter and Daniel Bruce, while Joe Simokaitis had two hits, including his second homer in as many games. 
       
"I was happy with our offense," Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. "We had some competitive at-bats, especially with two outs. We didn't exactly crush it at times, but we had some bloop hits and some line drives that scored some runs. It was good to see us score runs on something other than homers."
       
Duensing came in relief of starter Joba Chamberlain in the fifth and stemmed the tide, allowing one run on three hits over the final 4.1 innings to improve to 6-0 on the season. Duensing pitched out of bases-loaded jams in the seventh and ninth.
       
Nebraska took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Alex Gordon's 15th homer of the year, a two-out blast to left center off Red Raider starter Billy Carline.  The Huskers made it a two-run lead in the top of the third on
Simokaitis' second homer in as many games, a two-out blast to left center. 
       

After being held to one hit the first time through the order, the Red Raiders struck in the bottom of the fourth, as Cameron Blair hit a solo homer off Joba Chamberlain, sending a 1-2 pitch over the fence in left for his 15th round tripper, tying Gordon for second in the league. 
       
Texas Tech chased Chamberlain in the fifth, using an RBI double from Cody Fuller and a run-scoring single by Blair, who went 3-for-3 with two walks,  to take a 3-2 advantage. Madison Edwards reached on a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Fuller's double off the wall in left. Two batters later, Blair hit a seeing-eye single just past a diving Ryan Wehrle to score Fuller and give Tech a one-run lead.
       
Chamberlain went just 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and left with a 3-2 deficit, but was bailed out, as the Huskers regained the lead in the top of the sixth.  With one out, Ledbetter tied the score with his 13th homer of the year, a solo shot to left before pinch-hitter Jake Opitz gave the Huskers the lead, sending Carline's next pitch over the fence in right for his second homer of the year and first pinch-hit homer since the 2000 season. The Huskers continued the rally as Brandon Fusilier chased Carline, who allowed five runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings, with a single to left. Daniel Bruce then singled off reliever Brian Wyatt before Wehrle made it 5-3 with an RBI single to center. Nebraska then ran into some bad luck, as Jeff Christy singled, but the ball hit Wehrle as he slid into second for the second out. 
       
Trey Stewart cut the Husker lead to 5-4, as he opened the bottom of the sixth off the scoreboard in right, but Nebraska came back with three runs in the top of the seventh on Ledbetter's third hit of the game, an RBI single to right, a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jake Opitz and a two-out RBI single by Bruce that made it 8-4. 
       
Texas Tech came right back in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with one out.  Duensing then went 3-0 on Casey Avants before eventually striking him out on a 3-2 fastball for the second out. The Husker left-hander then got Stewart, who homered off Duensing in his previous at-bat, to pop out to end the threat.
       
The Huskers tacked on an insurance run in the ninth on an RBI single by Wehrle, his second of the game. Trey Adams walked and stole second before Werhle blooped a single into shallow right, scoring Adams from second to give NU a 9-4 cushion.
       
The Huskers will continue the series with the Red Raiders Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. NU right-hander Johnny Dorn (7-1, 1.85 ERA) will take the hill for NU, while Wyatt, who pitched 0.2 innings of relief on Friday, was scheduled to start for Texas Tech. The game will be carried on the Pinnacle Sports Network and also available on Huskers.com.

-- Huskers --


 


                     2005 Nebraska Baseball
                           #3 Nebraska at Texas Tech
                 May 13, 2005 at Lubbock, Texas (Dan Law Field)

Nebraska 9 (40-11,15-7 Big 12)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Boyer, Jesse rf..........  3  0  1  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Gerch, Andy ph/rf.......  1  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   2
Simokaitis, Joe ss.......  4  2  2  1   1  0  1  4   0
Gordon, Alex 3b..........  2  2  1  1   1  0  0  2   0
Ledbetter, Curtis 1b.....  5  2  3  2   0  1  9  0   0
Buckman, Brandon dh......  2  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1
 Opitz, Jake ph/dh.......  2  1  1  2   0  1  0  0   3
Fusilier, Brandon lf.....  3  1  1  0   1  0  0  0   0
 Adams, Trey rf..........  0  1  0  0   1  0  2  0   0
Bruce, Daniel cf.........  5  0  3  1   0  2  3  0   0
Wehrle, Ryan 2b..........  5  0  2  2   0  0  2  1   3
Christy, Jeff c..........  4  0  1  0   1  0  7  0   0
Chamberlain, Joba p......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Duensing, Brian p.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  2   0
Totals................... 36  9 15  9   5  5 27  9   9

Texas Tech 4 (30-19,8-12 Big 12)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Blair, Cameron ss........  3  1  3  2   2  0  1  0   0
Avants, Carey 3b.........  5  0  0  0   0  1  0  2   1
Stewart, Trey 1b.........  4  1  2  1   0  1  9  0   3
 Richburg, Chris ph......  0  0  0  0   1  0  0  0   0
Capps, Brian lf..........  5  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   3
Williams, Chris dh.......  2  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1
 Wilson, Josh ph.........  2  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
Callender, Joseph 2b.....  4  0  1  0   0  1  5  3   0
Edwards, Madison rf......  1  1  0  0   1  0  3  0   0
 Thomas, Brent ph/rf.....  2  0  1  0   0  0  1  1   1
Fuller, Cody cf..........  3  1  1  1   0  1  1  0   0
Fouts, Cooper c..........  2  0  0  0   0  0  6  1   0
 Smith, Matt ph..........  0  0  0  0   1  0  0  0   0
Carnline, Billy p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Wyatt, Brian p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Hargrove, Carleton p....  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Butler, Zach p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
 McGowan, Michael p......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 33  4  8  4   5  7 27 10   9

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Nebraska............ 101 003 301 -  9 15  0
Texas Tech.......... 000 121 000 -  4  8  0
-------------------------------------------

DP - Huskers 1; TT 2. LOB - Huskers 9; TT 9. 2B - Stewart(6); Callender(14);
Thomas(2); Fuller(9). HR - Simokaitis(2); Gordon, A.(15); Ledbetter, C(13);
Opitz, J.(2); Blair(15); Stewart(1). HBP - Gordon, A. 2; Fuller. SH - Gerch,
A.(3); C, Fouts(6). SF - Opitz, J.(2). SB - Gordon, A.(20); Fusilier,
B.(13); Adams, T.(4); Blair(21); Edwards(4).

Nebraska               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Chamberlain, Joba...  4.2  5  3  3  1  4 18 19  79
Duensing, Brian.....  4.1  3  1  1  4  3 15 21  78

Texas Tech             IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Carnline, Billy.....  5.1  8  5  5  1  3 22 24  75
Wyatt, Brian........  0.1  3  0  0  0  0  3  3   9
Hargrove, Carleton..  0.2  1  3  3  1  0  2  5  22
Butler, Zach........  1.2  2  0  0  2  1  6  9  32
McGowan, Michael....  1.0  1  1  1  1  1  3  4  27

Win - Duensing, B. (6-0).  Loss - Carnline (6-3).  Save - None.
HBP - by Carnline (Gordon, A.); by Hargrove (Gordon, A.); by Duensing, B.
(Fuller). Inherited runners/scored: Duensing, B. 1/0; Wyatt 1/1; Hargrove 2/0;
Butler 1/1. Pitches/strikes: Chamberlain 79/48; Duensing, B. 78/43; Carnline
75/46; Wyatt 9/6; Hargrove 22/13; Butler 32/18; McGowan 27/16.
Umpires - HP: Bob Homolka  1B: Tim Norman  3B: Doug Williams
Start: 6:30p.m.   Time: 3:07   Attendance: 3370
Game: NU51

Notes: Nebraska's had a stretch of eight straight runs scoring off solo homers dating back to last Sunday's walk-off homer from Boyer until Wehrle's RBI single in the sixth…Gordon's homer was the 40th of his career, and he is one behind Darin Erstad (41, 1993-95) for fifth place on NU's career list…Nebraska has now scored in the first inning in 25 of 51 contests…With his four strikeouts, Chamberlain became only the fourth Husker pitcher to ever record 100 strikeouts in a season (Shane Komine-3, Troy Brohawn and Aaron Marsden) and moved into sixth on NU's single-season list…Opitz's pinch-hit homer was the first by a Husker since Dan Johnson hit one against Wichita State on May 29, 2000…The back-to-back homers by Ledbetter and Opitz marked the third time NU hit back-to-back homers this season and the first since April 23….the homer allowed by Duensing was the first run he's allowed in a relief role, ending a streak of 11.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen…Nebraska reached the 40-win mark for the 15th time in school history.


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