Lubbock, Texas - Nebraska had four hits in the first three innings but could not take advantage of early opportunities before the Red Raiders pushed across single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to claim the series by downing the Huskers 3-0 on Sunday afternoon at Dan Law Field.
Cody Asche (2-for-3) and Kash Kalkowski (2-for-4) each had multi-hit games to combine for four of Nebraska's five hits on the day, as the Huskers out-hit the Red Raiders 5-4. It marked the first time in 16 games this season that the Huskers have outhit the opponent but lost the game.
The Huskers had an unfortunate moment in the bottom of the fifth inning when Asche was carted off the field with a concussion due to a hard collision on an attempted tag out. Trailing 2-0 Jamodrick McGruder on first, Barrett Barnes hit a ball deep in the hole at short. Chad Christensen made a nice backhanded stop but his throw to first was not in time as the speedy McGruder rounded second base. Kurt Farmer threw back across the diamond to Asche to tag out McGruder, but a hard collision jarred the ball loose and left Asche on the ground for a 16-minute injury delay. Asche was carted off on a stretcher and taken to Covenant Hospital near the Texas Tech campus and released shortly following the game.
Asche was on a tear all weekend, as he went 7-for-12 with two homers, three doubles and seven RBIs while extending his hit streak to 12 games. Kalkowski was quietly as effective in Lubbock, going 8-for-13 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
Trailing 3-0 after McGruder came around to score in the fifth, Kalkowski attempted to get the Huskers back in the game by hitting a leadoff double to left. Kurt Farmer then reached on an error by McGruder at second base and the Huskers had runners on the corners with none out. Christensen stepped to the plate and hit a fly into short right field that was snagged by a sliding McGruder. Kalkowski tagged up to score from third but the Red Raiders appealed to third base and home plate umpire Mike Morris ruled Kalkowski left the bag early.
"We had some chances," head coach Mike Anderson said. "We had some runners on with two outs but we didn't get those leadoff guys on the way we have to get an inning started. The one time we did Kash got called out. We had a couple plays where we just didn't punch them in. It's a tighter ballgame if its 3-1. A lot of things happened today. They literally say the ball bounces a certain way and there weren't many our way today. That's part of the game. You also have to look at it and make the breaks happen too."
Kalkowski's double was Nebraska's only hit from the fourth to ninth innings, as Texas Tech starter Robbie Kilcrease went 7 1/3 and gave up no runs on five hits. David Paiz earned the save by throwing the final 1 2/3.
Nebraska starter Jon Keller allowed three runs on four hits in five innings, as he threw 105 pitches, marking the third time in six starts he has went over the century pitch count.
The Huskers had chances to give Keller run support early in the game, but stranded five runners on base through the first three innings. The Red Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the third when Bo Altobelli led off the inning with a double and came around to score on a sac bunt and sac fly.
The Huskers return to Lincoln for a five-game homestand beginning this Wednesday against Doane at 1 p.m. That game is a rescheduled contest from March 8. Nebraska then hosts Oklahoma State in its Big 12 home opener next weekend, April 1-3, at Hawks Field.