Get Out the Brooms, Huskers Sweep #16 Texas
Lincoln – The Nebraska baseball team (21-7, 3-0 Big Ten) completed a three-game sweep of the No. 16 Texas Longhorns (17-11, 5-1 Big 12) on Sunday afternoon at Hawks Field with a 6-2 win. The Huskers have posted sweeps in each of their last three weekend series and are now 14-1 at Hawks Field in 2015.
Nebraska’s pitching staff shined over the series, limiting the Longhorns to three runs on 12 hits in 33 innings of work, including one run over the first 32 innings of the series. Nebraska’s arms notched 33 strikeouts, while issuing just five walks. The 33 punch outs are the most by a Husker staff in a three-game series since 2008, when NU totaled 43 strikeouts against Texas A&M, including 19 in the 16-inning series opener. Including four-game series, the 33 strikeouts this weekend are the most during Darin Erstad’s coaching era.
Derek Burkamper continued NU’s starting pitching success on Sunday, as the sophomore struck out a career-high six batters in a career-long 8.1 innings. The Muscatine, Iowa, native retired the Longhorns in order five times on the day and sat down 10 straight from the third through sixth innings. Burkamper shutout the Longhorns over the first eight innings of the game, and exited in the ninth after giving up a one-out single to Tres Barrera.
After not scoring until the bottom of the 15th on Saturday, the Husker offense was hungry for runs on Sunday and feasted on UT starter Chad Hollingsworth. The junior from Waco, Texas, lasted a season-low 2.2 inning after giving up six runs on 10 hits, both career highs for the 6-2 right hander.
The Huskers totaled a season-high 16 hits on the afternoon, as all nine batters notched a hit, including a pair of hits by seven different players.
Jake Schleppenbach got the Huskers started in the first with a one-out single and then scored the game’s first run on a double to deep centerfield by Blake Headley. Hollingsworth was quickly in a bases-loaded jam when he walked Ben Miller and gave up a single to Tanner Lubach. Saturday’s 15th-inning hero, Austin Darby, stepped to the plate and pushed NU’s lead to 2-0 with a single on the first pitch we saw from Hollingsworth. With the bases still juiced, UT got out of the jam with an inning-ending double play.
After Burkamper retired nine of the first 11 UT batters he faced, all nine of NU’s batters came to the plate in the bottom of the third and NU hung four runs on the board on six hits, all with two outs. Hollingsworth retired the first two batters he faced, but then game up six straight two-out hits. Lubach and Darby got the rally started with a pair of singles before Elijah Dilday came through with his first career double to put NU on top 3-0. Scott Schreiber and Wes Edrington each followed with RBI singles and the Longhorns turned the ball over to Travis Duke. Ryan Boldt kept the hit train rolling with a RBI single before Duke stopped the bleeding with a fly ball off the bat of Schleppenbach.
The Huskers loaded the bases again in the fourth, but UT reliever Josh Sawyer escaped the threat without damage. Nebraska added three hits in the fifth and another in the sixth before their streak of notching a hit in every inning came to an end in the seventh.
The Longhorns had just their third runner in scoring position all game in the ninth when Ben Johnson opened the frame with a double. Burkamper then retired C.J. Hinojosa, 5-3, before giving up a deep fly ball to Collin Shaw that used a strong out-blowing wind to just sneak over the right-field wall for a two-run homer. Barrera followed with single, which ended Burkamper’s shot at his first career complete game. Senior Josh Roeder came in and polished off the win with a 6-4-3 double play.
The Huskers are set to finish their 16-game homestand on Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. when they welcome the Creighton Bluejays to Hawks Field. The game will be carried statewide on NET World, check with your cable provider for channel number. During the first 15 games of the homestand, attendance is at 58,845.