LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska took advantage of two Texas Tech fielding errors in the bottom of the seventh and broke open a 2-1 ballgame with a seven run outburst and handed the Red Raiders a 9-3 loss in this three-game series opener at Haymarket Park.
The loss gives Texas Tech a two-game losing streak as the Red Raiders drop to 27-25 overall and to 13-12 in Big 12 Conference play. Nebraska, which was eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament race last weekend at Missouri, improves to 25-27 and 8-17 in league play.
The Red Raiders jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as freshman second baseman Jamodrick McGruder reached on a leadoff error and then scored on an RBI double by senior shortstop Joey Kenworthy.
Trailing 1-0, the Huskers took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the third and made it stick. First baseman Josh Scheffert lifted the Huskers to a 2-1 lead when he blasted a two-run home run over the left field wall. The home run was his fourth of the season and came off Tech starter Ben Flora.
Tech kept the game close until the seventh inning when the Huskers managed to load the bases with just one out. Back-to-back fielding errors by Kenworthy and McGruder helped jumpstart a seven-run inning for Nebraska with five of the Husker runs being scored as unearned. Tyler Farst drove the dagger deep in the hearts of the Red Raiders when he rounded off the inning with a three-run home run, his fifth of the year.
Ben Flora, who set a new career-high with 4 2/3 innings pitched, took the loss and fell to 3-2. Michael Mariot earned the win for Nebraska and now stands at 6-6.
Texas Tech will look to even up this three-game series on Saturday afternoon when the two teams meet for 2:05 p.m. game at Haymarket Park. The game will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports.
R H E
Texas Tech 100 000 020 3 7 2
Nebraska 002 000 70x 9 0 2
WP = Michael Mariot (6-6)
LP = Ben Flora (3-2)
SV = None