Shirek, Huskers Even Series with 13-1 Win

Charlie Shirek fanned a career-high seven Red Raiders over seven innings, while Mitch Abeita had two doubles and drove in a career-high three runs, leading No. 16 Nebraska to a 13-1 victory over Texas Tech Friday night at Dan Law Field.

The Huskers (10-6, 1-1 Big 12) needed a strong pitching performance from Shirek after going through six pitchers in an 11-inning loss on Thursday, and they received that and more from the sophomore right-hander. Shirek (2-2) scattered five hits and allowed one run in his longest outing of the year, while his seven strikeouts nearly doubled his previous high of four.

Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson said that Shirek's effort was just what the doctor ordered.

"This team needed to have a pitching performance like that tonight," Anderson said. "Charlie did a great job for us tonight against a good hitting team. He was able go get us late into the game, and we hope that sets us up for tomorrow."

"I just wanted to give our team a chance to win after the long game last night," Shirek said. "I was throwing strikes and keeping the ball on the ground, and my defense kept making plays behind me. I knew our offense would come around and they did tonight."

The Huskers backed Shirek up with their best offensive performance of the year, setting season highs with 13 runs and 14 hits, while pushing across at least one across in six different frames.  The bottom third of the NU lineup provided the offensive punch, as the Nos. 7-9 hitters combined to go 5-for-9 and drive in eight of the Huskers' 14 runs.

Abeita, who has driven in all five of his RBIs during the weekend series, led the charge by going 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs. Steve Edlefsen went 2-for-2 and drove in a career-best three runs, while Jake Mort plated two runs and scored three times.

"They did a good job for us tonight," Anderson said. "They weren't overpowering, but produced base hits that really helped and drove runs in. They understood their roles and didn't try to do too much."

The Huskers would get all the runs they would need on Craig Corriston's two-run single in the top of the second. Abeita was hit by a pitch to open the inning before an Edlefsen single two batters later put runners on first and second. After Tech pitcher Aaron Odem misplayed a grounder to load the bases, Corriston, who had three hits, then lined a 2-2 offering to left to spot NU a 2-0 lead.

The Husker extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth on DJ Belfonte's RBI single before Shirek got the Huskers out of a crucial jam in the bottom half of the inning. Tech (16-8, 1-1 Big 12) used a wild pitch on a strikeout and two errors to load the bases with no outs, but Shirek pitched his way out of trouble, retiring the next three hitters to keep the Red Raiders at bay.

"That inning could have gone either way," Shirek said. "It was a big building point for me. The defense helped me out, and Mitch made some good blocks that allowed me to throw the pitches I wanted."

That was the turning point of the game, as the Huskers chased Odem in the fifth with three runs, including Abeita's RBI double, before breaking the game open one inning later with four runs, including a two-run double by Abeita and a two-run single by Edlefsen.

Odom (3-2) took the loss, allowing six runs on seven hits over 4.1 innings.

The Huskers will look to take the series Saturday afternoon, as Johnny Dorn looks for his fourth consecutive win. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. and the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and for free on the Internet at Huskers.com.

 

                             2007 Nebraska Baseball
                           #16 Nebraska at Texas Tech
                  Mar 16, 2007 at Lubbuck, TX (Dan Law Field)

Nebraska 13 (10-6,1-1 Big 12)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB Avg. ------------------------------------------------------------ Belfonte, DJ cf.......... 6 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 .277 Corriston, Craig ss...... 6 0 3 2 0 0 2 3 0 .370 Brown, Andrew 1b......... 5 2 1 0 1 1 11 1 1 .283 Gerch, Andy lf........... 5 2 2 0 1 1 0 0 2 .274 Opitz, Jake 2b........... 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 .286 Tezak, Jeff ph/2b....... 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 5 1 .444 Weber, Thad dh/p......... 6 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 3 .286 Abeita, Mitch c.......... 5 2 2 3 0 0 7 0 2 .316 Lanning, Jeff c......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .258 Mort, Jake 3b............ 2 3 1 2 1 0 0 4 0 .267 Edlefsen, Steve rf....... 2 1 2 3 1 0 1 0 0 .273 Shirek, Charlie p........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 - Wertz, Luke p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - Totals................... 40 13 14 12 6 5 27 14 12

Texas Tech 1 (16-8,1-1 Big 12)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB Avg. ------------------------------------------------------------ Hall, Chris 3b........... 5 0 0 0 0 3 2 4 0 .373 Kenworthy, Joey 2b....... 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 .179 Kieschnick, Roger rf..... 4 0 0 0 0 1 5 0 2 .343 Smith, Matt c............ 2 1 0 0 2 0 5 0 0 .253 Richburg, Chris pr...... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 Gwinn, Carter c......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .200 Byrns, Geoff lf.......... 4 0 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 .352 Ahern, Tim lf........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 Martin, Kyle ss.......... 4 0 2 1 0 2 1 0 0 .294 Leverton, James 1b/cf.... 4 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 7 .247 Ashby, Taylor dh......... 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .294 Evans, Drew cf........... 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 .250 Lemen, Blake ph......... 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 .125 Seefeld, Jason 1b....... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Odom, Aaron p............ 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 - Janca, Sam p............ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - Scofield, Josh p........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - Totals................... 34 1 6 1 3 9 27 5 9

Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Nebraska............ 020 134 021 - 13 14 2 Texas Tech.......... 000 001 000 - 1 6 3 -------------------------------------------

E - Corriston, C(4); Opitz, J.(6); Hall(2); Martin(7); Odom(1). DP - Huskers 2. LOB - Huskers 12; Red Raiders 9. 2B - Abeita, M. 2(3); Mort, J.(1). HBP - Tezak, J.; Abeita, M.; Mort, J.. SH - Edlefsen, S.(3). SF - Mort, J.(2); Edlefsen, S.(1). SB - Gerch, A.(3).

Nebraska IP H R ER BB SO AB BF NP ERA -------------------------------------------------------- Shirek, Charlie..... 7.0 5 1 1 2 7 28 30 110 4.50 Weber, Thad......... 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 3 4 17 0.00 Wertz, Luke......... 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 3 3 11 9.00

Texas Tech IP H R ER BB SO AB BF NP ERA -------------------------------------------------------- Odom, Aaron......... 4.1 7 6 6 3 1 20 25 99 3.82 Janca, Sam.......... 1.0 0 3 3 3 0 2 7 25 9.45 Scofield, Josh...... 3.2 7 4 3 0 4 18 20 65 9.20

Win - Shirek, C. (2-2). Loss - Odom (3-2). Save - None. WP - Shirek, C.(3); Janca(1). HBP - by Odom (Abeita, M.); by Janca (Tezak, J.); by Scofield (Mort, J.). BK - Scofield(1). Inherited runners/scored: Janca 2/2; Scofield 3/3. Pitches/strikes: Shirek, C. 110/68; Weber, T. 17/10; Wertz, L. 11/7; Odom 99/62; Janca 25/11; Scofield 65/45. Umpires - HP: Tom Svela 1B: Tim Norman 3B: Randy Bruns Start: 6:30p.m. Time: 2:55 Attendance: 1994 Game: NU16


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