Lincoln – Nick Sullivan homered and drove in three runs, while Thad Weber struck out a career-high 11 hitters over 7.2 innings, as No. 9 Nebraska earned its sixth straight series win with a 5-2 victory over Texas Tech Saturday afternoon.
Sullivan keyed the Husker offense, going 2-for-3 with his second homer of the year and scored twice, as the junior left fielder accounted for four of Nebraska’s five runs on the day. Sullivan gave the Huskers (23-4-1, 9-1-1 Big 12) all the offense they needed with his three-run homer to left center off of Texas Tech starter AJ Ramos.
Anderson said that going the other way was something that has been an emphasis for Sullivan, who is hitting .395 with 17 RBIs in his last 19 contests.
“We’ve worked a lot on him going the other way,” Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. “When he ended up getting one that way, his eyes were kind of raised, like ‘Man, I actually did go that way.’ I think it surprised him.”
Weber (6-1) turned in another strong effort, holding Texas Tech to just five hits over 7.2 innings to earn his sixth straight win. The right-hander fanned 11 hitters, topping his previous best of nine at Kansas State on March 15, and retired 12 in a row after the Red Raiders (16-15, 4-7 Big 12) stung together three straight hits in the top of the second.
Anderson said he was impressed by Weber’s composure against both the Red Raiders and a 30 mile-per-hour wind that swirled around the ballpark on Saturday.
“It looked like it was going to be one of those games that shaped up to be a 12-10 type game early on,” Anderson said. “He settled in, did a good job. They got to him on those three pitches. The rest of the day I thought he just mixed speeds and did a good job with that.”
Dan Jennings preserved the win for Weber by slammed the door for his second save. Jennings, who has not allowed a run in his last 19.1 innings, got out of a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth by getting Roger Kieschnick to ground out to first with the tying run on base before setting Texas Tech down in order in the ninth.
Nebraska got the board in the bottom off the first, taking advantage of Ramos’ control problems to take a 3-0 lead. With one out, Jake Mort was hit by a pitch before Jake Opitz drew a two-out walk. Sullivan then sent a 1-1 pitch over the fence in left center for his second homer of the year, giving the Huskers a 3-0 lead.
Texas Tech struck right back, opening the second with three consecutive hits in a three-pitch sequence against Weber. Kieschnick singled before Jason Seefeld’s RBI double put the Red Raiders on the board. Jason Hall singled to put runners on the corners, but Weber worked out with only minimal damage, getting Taylor Ashby to ground into a double play that made it a 3-2 game.
The Huskers tacked on a run in the fourth, as Bryce Nimmo walked to open the inning before Ben Kline’s hit-and-run put runners on the corners with one out. DJ Belfonte then lofted a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Nimmo to extend the lead to 4-2.
Ramos (1-3) took the loss, allowing four runs on four hits over 6.1 innings.
NU made it a 5-2 game in the eighth, as Sullivan singled and scored from first on Craig Corriston’s RBI single to center.
The Huskers will go for their second Big 12 series sweep of the year on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Aaron Pribanic (2-1, 2.41 ERA) will be opposed by Tech right-hander Chad Bettis (3-1, 4.75 ERA).
-- Huskers --