Corriston’s Blast Lifts No. 22 Huskers to 4-2 Win
Lincoln – Craig Corriston’s two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth broke a 2-2 tie and gave No. 22 Nebraska a dramatic 4-2 victory over Oklahoma Friday afternoon at Hawks Field.
The Huskers (16-3, 4-0 Big 12) got the two-out rally started when Nick Sullivan lined a single off OU first baseman Aaron Baker for an infield hit. Corriston got ahead 2-0 before sending Ryan Duke’s next pitch into the berm in left for his first homer of the year, setting off a joyous celebration at home plate.
The homer was Corriston’s first of the season and first since last April 15, also against Oklahoma, while it was the first walk-off homer by a Husker since May of 2005.
"I think we all did a little something good out there," Corriston said. "I didn’t know it (his home run) was out the way the wind was blowing. I was trying to go up the middle and the pitch just did something. It was kind of surreal until now."
Surreal would describe the afternoon, as the Huskers, who improved to 4-0 in the Big 12 for the first time since 2001, made the most of its late-game opportunities, getting a two-run single by Sullivan in the seventh before Corriston’s heroics two innings later.
"We had some clutch hits," Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. "We only ended up with six hits so it wasn’t like we all of a sudden started getting after it. Nick Sullivan was big and then Craig Corriston, who had the opportunity because of Nick Sullivan."
Anderson was impressed by the Huskers’ resiliency, as NU had only gotten one runner to second base over the first six innings against Sooner starter Jeremy Erben who pitched well in a no-decision.
"We had a couple of things where we got lucky late in the seventh and the ninth," Anderson said. "We were trying to win the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. The guys understood that and they had the ability to put the first six innings behind them because we didn’t play that well. I give the kids a lot of credit for winning that seventh, eighth and ninth and good things happened."
The Huskers received solid efforts from Johnny Dorn and Zach Herr, who combined to hold the Sooners to a pair of runs. Dorn scattered nine hits over 7.1 innings while Herr (2-0) fired 1.2 innings of shutout ball for his second win of the year. The pair helped limited OU to just 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
Duke (3-2) took the loss, as he allowed three hits over 2.2 innings, while Corriston’s homer was the first he allowed in 27.1 innings this season.
Oklahoma, which put the leadoff man on seven times on Friday, struck in the third, as Alljay Davis doubled and eventually came home on J.T. Wise’s sacrifice fly. Davis went 3-for-3 with an RBI in a losing effort.
The Sooners extended their lead to 2-0 in the fifth, as Davis’ RBI single scored Tyson Seng, who opened the inning with a double to center.
Nebraska, which had mustered three hits over the first six innings, finally got to Erban in the seventh. Jake Mort, who had three of NU’s seven hits, opened the inning with a double while a Sooner error put runners on second and third with no outs. Mitch Abeita coaxed a walk to load the bases and chase Erben. Sullivan, who went 2-for-3 on the day, then lined a 1-2 pitch to through the right side, scoring Mort and Opitz to tie the game.
The two teams will continue the series Saturday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. and the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and on Huskers.com.
-- Huskers --