Red Raiders Upset Top-Seeded Nebraska
May 26, 2005
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Senior third baseman Carey Avants laced a two-RBI single in the top of the ninth that plated the winning runs as Texas Tech stunned top-seeded and fifth-ranked Nebraska 5-3 on Wednesday night at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament at Bricktown Ballpark.
The Red Raiders (34-23) jumped out of the gates quickly as Tech took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Senior third baseman Carey Avants reached on a one-out bunt single and then Tech got back-to-back doubles from Brent Thomas and Brian Capps. The two-RBI double by Capps gives him his first multiple-RBI game since Dallas Baptist back on May 7.
Tech maintained its 2-0 lead over the next six innings thanks impart to a tremendous effort by starter Billy Carnline. Carnline threw a season-high 147 pitches on the night over 7 1/3 innings in what turned out to be a no-decision. He held the powerful Husker offense to just eight hits while striking out a career-high eight batters.
Nebraska (46-13) came back and tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth on a bases-clearing two-RBI triple by Ryan Wherle. Tech pitching coach Lance Brown brought in Adam Lawford to face the bottom two hitters in the Husker lineup and he did his job by recording two outs to get end the threat.
Cody Fuller began the Tech rally with two outs in the top of the ninth when he drew a walk and then moved to second on a base hit by catcher Cooper Fouts. Husker reliever Brett Jensen intentionally walked Cameron Blair in order to face Avants. The decision turned out to be a good one for the Red Raiders as Avants slapped a 1-1 pitch past Nebraska shortstop Joe Simokaitis that plated two runs. Blair was able to plate the third run on the play after a fielding error by the Nebraska second baseman and pushed the Tech lead to 5-2.
Junior right-hander Adam Lawford earned the win in relief and got Tech out of bases loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth. Lawford (4-6) allowed one run on two hits and faced eight batters. Brett Jensen was tagged with the loss after giving up two earned runs on two hits in one inning of work.
Texas Tech advances to the winners bracket of the 2005 Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament and will face the Missouri Tigers at 8 p.m. on Thursday night at Bricktown Ballpark.
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