Lincoln – Johnny Dorn allowed one hit over 7.1 innings while Cody Neer and Jake Opitz drove in two runs apiece, leading No. 9 Nebraska to a 6-2 victory over Texas Tech Friday evening at Hawks Field.
Dorn (4-0) was the story, as the senior right-hander struck out 10 and allowing one hit, a solo homer to Doug Thennis in the fifth, to pick up his fourth win in five career starts against the Red Raiders. It marked the fifth time that Dorn had struck out at least 10 hitters and the second time in 2008 that Dorn had reached double figures
Dorn faced one batter over the minimum over the first four innings and struck out the side in both the sixth and seventh before leaving to a standing ovation from the season-high crowd of 6,593 in the eighth.
“Once again he has done a great job for us, throwing went four or five innings of hitless baseball,” Anderson said. “He controlled them, and did a good job.”
Dorn, who picked up his 35th career victory on Friday, said it took him a while to adjust to the Texas Tech hitters.
“I was a little timid in the beginning, and I wasn’t being aggressive with my pitches,” Dorn said. “I think after that homerun and some calls, I got kind of ticked off and made me be a little more aggressive.”
The Huskers (22-4-1, 8-1-1 Big 12) staked Dorn an early 4-0 cushion, scoring a pair of runs in the second and third innings off Red Raider starter Nathan Karns
Neer and Opitz drove in a pair of runs, while Craig Corriston belted his second round tripper of the year for the Huskers, who have won 16 of 18 games at Hawks Field this year.
Neer gave the Big Red an early 2-0 lead with a two-run single to center. After a walk to Corriston, Bryce Nimmo’s infield single put runners on first and second before an error a Karns pickoff attempt moved both runners into scoring position. Neer then cleared the bases, lining a 1-1 pitch into center to put Nebraska on the board.
One inning later, the Huskers used extra-base hits from Opitz and Mitch Abeita to double the margin to four runs. DJ Belfonte opened the frame with a walk and stole second before scoring on an Opitz triple to right center, as the ball eluded the diving attempt by Roger Kieschnick. Abeita then made it a 4-0 lead with an RBI double to left.
Texas Tech got on the board in the top of the fifth on Thennis’ solo homer to left, but that would be the only Red Raider hit they would muster against Dorn, who has allowed two runs or less in six of his seven starts. He retired nine of the next 10 Red Raiders, including six of his 10 strikeouts.
The Huskers would get that run back in the sixth, as Corriston chased Karns with his second homer of the year to make it a 5-1 game. Karns (1-5) took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits over 5.0 innings.
Nebraska extended the lead to 6-1 in the seventh, as Opitz’s RBI single scored Belfonte, who opened the inning with a single and moved to second on a Mort sacrifice.
The Red Raiders (16-13, 4-6 Big 12) would plate their final run in the ninth, as Thennis, who went 2-for-4 and scored both of Texas Tech’s runs, singled and eventually scored on Mort’s error before Erik Bird retired Chris Hall for the final out.
The two teams will continue the series Saturday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m.