Huskers Fall in 11 Innings

Lubbock, Texas – Joey Kenworthy scored from third on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 11th inning, as Texas Tech defeated No. 16 Nebraska, 7-6, Thursday night in the Big 12 opener for both teams at Dan Law Field.

Taylor Ashby singled to open the 11th inning off NU reliever Mike Harmelink before Kenworthy, who went 3-for-6, doubled into the left field corner. Ashby was thrown out trying to score, but Kenworthy alertly advanced to third on the play. The heads-up base running proved fateful moments later when Harmelink uncorked a pitch that got past catcher Mark Hightower, allowing the runner to score the winning run for the Red Raiders (16-7, 1-0 Big 12).

While the game was lost in extra innings, Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson said the key was when the Huskers could not capitalize earlier when they had opportunities to score. The Huskers stranded 12 runners, including a pair of situations with the bases loaded after taking a 4-3 lead.

"We did not drive in runs when we had the opportunity, and that cost us the game tonight," Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. "We had three or four opportunities early that we didn't take advantage with the guys we wanted at the plate, but we couldn't get it done. Every time we got something going, they were able to shut us down."

Travis Young (3-0) earned the victory for the Red Raiders, tossing three innings of no-hit relief, as Texas Tech's bullpen allowed just two hits over the final five innings. Harmelink, the sixth pitcher used by the Huskers on the night, took the loss, as he allowed both hits in the 11th.

Craig Corriston, Andy Gerch and Steve Edlefsen had two hits apiece in the loss, while Jeff Tezak and Mitch Abeita both drove in a pair of runs in the losing effort. Edlefsen also struck established career highs in strikeouts (five) and innings (2.2) in relief, helping the Huskers get to extra innings.

Roger Kieschnick went 3-for-4 with two walks while Matt Smith and Geoff Byrns drove in two runs apiece for the Red Raiders.

The Huskers trailed 6-5 heading into the ninth before rallying off the Tech bullpen, as Jake Opitz tied the game by scoring on wild pitch from Young.  Collin Auten walked Opitz and Brown to open the frame before a Gerch sacrifice moved both runners into scoring position. Tech intentionally walked Corriston to load the bases, but Young uncorked a ball that went back to the screen, allowing Opitz to score on the play

The Red Raiders, who stranded 16 runners of their own, had ample chances of their own against Edlefsen, who came on the mound in the eighth. Tech had runners on first and second with no outs in the ninth before Edlefsen struck out the side to get out of the jam. One inning later, Tech had runners on the corners with two outs, but the right-hander wiggled out of trouble by getting James Leverton to fly out to left.

Texas Tech took advantage of a Husker error to jump to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Byrns' two-out RBI single. Chris Hall opened the inning by reaching on a Ryan Wehrle error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Doug Thennis before Byrnes put the Red Raiders on the board with a single to left.

The lead would be short-lived, as Nebraska quickly regrouped and put four runs in the top of the second off of Tech starter AJ Ramos.  Consecutive singles by Brown and Gerch and a sacrifice put both runners in scoring position before Abeita drove in the first runs of his Husker career with a two-run single that caromed off the second base bag. The Huskers kept the rally alive and had two on with two outs when Tezak ripped a two-run double to the wall in right, giving the Huskers a 4-1 cushion.

Tech would rally against Husker starter Tony Watson in the bottom of the third, stringing together four hits, including a two-run double from Smith and an RBI single by Kyle Martin.  NU fought back in the fourth, as Gerch opened the frame with a single and eventually scored, as Edlefsen doubled to left three batters later, putting the Huskers up 5-4.

Watson didn't allow another run until he ran into trouble in the bottom of the six. The left-hander issued a pair of one-out walks before Kenworthy's single loaded the bases to end Watson's evening. Matt Foust struck out Hall, but could not escape unscathed, as he threw a wild pitch to allow the tying run to score.

Texas Tech struck again in the bottom of the eighth, as one-out singles by Hall and Thennis off of reliever Erik Bird put the go-ahead run in scoring position.  After a passed ball put both runners in scoring position, Zach Herr intentionally walked Kieschnick to load the bases. Edlefsen retired Smith for the second out, but walked Byrns on four pitches to score Hall and give the Red Raiders a 6-5 lead.

The series continues Friday evening with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. The game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and for free on the Internet at Huskers.com

-- Huskers --


                           #16 Nebraska at Texas Tech
                  Mar 15, 2007 at Lubbock, TX (Dan Law Field)
Nebraska 6 (9-6,0-1 BIG 12)
Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
Belfonte, DJ cf..........  3  1  0  0   1  2  3  0   0
Tezak, Jeff dh...........  3  0  1  2   1  2  0  0   0
 Sullivan, Nick rf.......  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Harmelink, Mike p.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Wehrle, Ryan ss..........  6  0  0  0   0  2  0  1   8
Opitz, Jake 2b...........  5  1  0  0   1  2  0  3   1
Brown, Andrew 1b.........  5  1  1  0   1  2  6  1   0
Gerch, Andy lf...........  4  2  2  0   1  0  3  1   0
Corriston, Craig 3b......  3  0  2  0   1  0  2  1   0
Abeita, Mitch c..........  2  1  1  2   1  1 11  0   0
 Mort, Jake ph...........  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
 Lanning, Jeff c.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  3  0   0
 Hightower, Mark c.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Edlefsen, Steve rf/p.....  4  0  2  1   0  0  2  2   2
Watson, Tony p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Foust, Matt p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Bird, Erik p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Herr, Zach p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 37  6  9  5   7 12 31 10  12

Texas Tech 7 (16-7,1-0 BIG 12)
Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
Hall, Chris 3b...........  5  2  1  0   0  2  0  1   0
 Baker, Ben 3b...........  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  2   0
Thennis, Doug cf.........  4  1  1  0   1  3  0  0   4
 Seefeld, Jason 1b.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  3  0   0
Kieschnick, Roger rf.....  4  1  3  0   2  0  2  1   0
Smith, Matt c............  5  1  1  2   1  1 12  3   0
Byrns, Geoff lf..........  4  0  1  2   1  3  0  0   0
 Evans, Drew lf..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Lemen, Blake ph.........  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Ahern, Tim ph/lf........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Martin, Kyle ss..........  6  0  2  1   0  2  1  3   5
Leverton, James 1b/cf....  3  1  1  0   2  0 10  1   2
Ashby, Taylor dh.........  4  0  1  0   2  2  0  0   5
Kenworthy, Joey 2b.......  6  1  3  0   0  1  5  6   0
Ramos, AJ p..............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Gonzalez, Paul p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Auten, Collin p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Young, Travis p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
Totals................... 43  7 14  5   9 15 33 19  16

Score by Innings                       R  H  E
Nebraska............ 040 100 001 00 -  6  9  2
Texas Tech.......... 103 001 010 01 -  7 14  1
Note: 1 out, 0 runners LOB when the game ended.

E - Wehrle, R.(3); Corriston, C(3); Ramos(1). DP - Huskers 1. LOB - Huskers
12; Red Raiders 16. 2B - Tezak, J.(5); Edlefsen, S.(1); M., Smith(4);
Leverton(3); Kenworthy 2(3). HBP - Belfonte, D. 2; Tezak, J.; Edlefsen, S.;
Leverton. SH - Gerch, A.(2); Corriston, C(4); Abeita, M.(2); Thennis(4). SB
- Belfonte, D.(6).

Nebraska               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
Watson, Tony........  5.1  7  5  4  4  5 22 27 102
Foust, Matt.........  1.1  1  0  0  2  4  5  7  36
Bird, Erik..........  0.2  2  1  1  0  1  4  4  15
Herr, Zach..........  0.0  0  0  0  1  0  0  1   4
Edlefsen, Steve.....  2.2  2  0  0  2  5 10 13  44
Harmelink, Mike.....  0.1  2  1  1  0  0  2  2   7

Texas Tech             IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
Ramos, AJ...........  6.0  7  5  5  2  6 22 30 106
Gonzalez, Paul......  1.1  2  0  0  2  3  5  7  32
Auten, Collin.......  0.2  0  1  1  2  1  2  4  20
Young, Travis.......  3.0  0  0  0  1  2  8 10  41

Win - Young (2-0).  Loss - Harmelink, M (0-1).  Save - None.
WP - Harmelink, M(2); Foust, M.(4); Young(1). HBP - by Ramos (Belfonte, D.); by
Ramos (Edlefsen, S.); by Ramos (Belfonte, D.); by Ramos (Tezak, J.); by
Edlefsen, S. (Leverton). PB - Abeita, M.(4).
Umpires - HP: Randy Bruns  1B: Tom Svelva  3B: Tim Norman
Start: 6:36p.m.   Time: 4:04   Attendance: 1994
Herr, Z. faced 1 batter in the 8th.
Auten faced 2 batters in the 9th.


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