Husker Offense Struggles in Finale with Longhorns
Austin, Texas - The Nebraska baseball team (0-7, 0-0 Big Ten) was unable to get its offense going on Sunday afternoon at Disch-Falk Field, as the No. 25 Texas Longhorns (6-1, 0-0 Big 12) completed a three-game sweep with a 2-0 win. Nebraska was limited to two hits on the day and a total of four baserunners.
Texas starter Nathan Thornhill kept the Husker offense off-balanced, as the righty pitched 7.0-scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the season. Thornhill gave up just two hits and one walk, before UT closer Corey Knebel took over in the eighth inning and retired all six Huskers he faced to secure the win.
Nebraska's Ryan Hander gave the Huskers a chance, as he limited Texas' offensive production to two runs on eight hits and no walks, but in the end it was not enough. The senior from Sioux Falls, S.D., was tagged with the loss after going 6.0 innings and tying his career high with seven strikeouts. After NU's pitching staff issued a combined 15 walks in the first two games of the series, the Huskers didn't give up a free pass on Sunday.
After retiring six straight Longhorns, Hander hit Taylor Stell to lead off the bottom of the fourth. After stealing second and a close play, Stell scored the game's first run on a one-out double from Mark Payton. C.J. Hinojosa followed with a single to put runners on the corners with one down, but Hander responded with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
The Longhorns threated in the fifth inning, but again Hander pitched his way out of a jam. Brooks Marlow led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Weston Hall. Leadoff hitter Matt Moynihan followed with a single and stole second to give UT runners at second and third with one down. Hander dug deep, striking out Stell looking and Erich Weiss swinging to keep Texas' lead to one run, 1-0.
Texas got its leadoff hitter on for the third straight inning in the sixth following a single by Payton. Hinojosa moved Payton to second on a sacrifice bunt and he then scored on a single by Jacob Felts to put UT ahead, 2-0. Hander retired the next two Longhorns he faced, including a strikeout of Marlow to end the sixth. Marlow's strikeout was Hander's seventh of the game, tying his career high that he set against Penn State at the 2012 Big Ten Tournament.
Nebraska is scheduled to hold its 2013 home opener on Friday, March 1, against New Mexico at 2:05 p.m. Check back with Huskers.com later this week for any updates to next weekend's schedule.