Belfonte Single Beats Bears in 10th

By NU Athletic Communications
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Waco, Texas DJ Belfonte's two-run single in the top of the 10th inning snapped a 4-4 tie to power No. 8 Nebraska to a 6-4 win over Baylor in the first game of a doubleheader at the Baylor Ballpark on Saturday. 


Belfonte, who went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, delivered a two-out, two-run single to center off of Willie Kempf, as the Huskers rebounded after Baylor scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to get the game to extra innings. Down 0-2, Belfonte fouled off a pitch before slapping a single to center, scoring Jake Opitz and Nick Sullivan with the go-ahead runs.


It was Belfonte’s first game-winning RBI of the season and snapped an eight-game losing streak for Nebraska (31-7-1, 14-4-1 Big 12) at the Baylor Ballpark. The hit made a winner of Mike Nesseth, who got the Huskers out of a two-on, two-out jam in the ninth to improve to 3-1 on the year, while Zach Herr kept the Bears off the scoreboard in the 10th for his fourth save.


The Huskers and Bears (24-19, 8-11 Big 12) will play the nightcap at 7:05 p.m. and the game will be televised by Fox College Sports (Ch. 302 on Time Warner Cable; Ch. 669 on DirecTV).


Opitz opened the 10th with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Mitch Abeita before a walk to Sullivan put two on with one out. After a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, Kempf got Craig Corriston to line out to third for the second out. Belfonte, who stayed alive with a pair of foul balls, including one that BU third baseman Shaver Hansen nearly made a spectacular play on as he fell into the camera well, came through with the clutch hit and drove three runs for the second straight game.


Corriston and Jake Mort had two hits apiece for Nebraska, which has won seven of their last eight games to stay in second place in the Big 12, while Abeita went 1-for-1 with three walks and score twice in the winning effort.



Nebraska took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Corriston’s third homer of the year. The senior first baseman ripped a 3-1 offering from Kendal Volz over the fence in left center to open the frame


Nebraska starter Johnny Dorn was in control early, allowing one hit through the first four innings before the Bears struck for a pair of runs in the fifth. Beamer Weems reached on a one-out single, moved to second on a wild pitch as scored on Ben Booker’s flair that hugged the right field line for a RBI double. Two batters later, Gregg Glime’s single to shallow right scored Booker to put the Bears ahead, 2-1. 


Nebraska fought back in the sixth, taking advantage of a Baylor error to tie the game up at two apiece.  Abeita opened the inning with a walk and moved to second on Sullivan’s sacrifice. Corriston then singled to left and the ball was misplayed by Baylor’s Adam Hornung, allowing Abeita to cross the plate with the tying run.


Volz allowed two runs on five hits over six innings, but did not factor into the decision, as he left after six innings.


The Huskers regained the lead in the top of the eighth, getting a two-out RBI single from Belfonte which scored a pair of runners on the play. One-out singles by Abeita and Sullivan put runners on first and second before Belfonte lined a 2-0 offering from Randall Linebaugh to center, scoring Abeita to put NU ahead. Belfonte tried to take second and the throw from Dustin Dickerson sailed into center, allowing Sullivan to score on the play to make it a 4-2 lead.


Dorn turned in another solid performance, allowing two run on four hits over seven innings, while fanning seven as he left with two-run lead, but could not earn his sixth victory. Dorn allowed two runs or less in eight of his 10 starts, but the Bears’ comeback thwarted Dorn’s opportunity for the win. 


Baylor struck for a pair of runs on in the bottom of the ninth, getting a one-out pinch-hit homer from Brooks Kimmey to tie the score. Dan Jennings, who tossed a scoreless eighth, hit Aaron Miller to open the inning, and struck out Beamer Weems for the first out, but Kenny lined a 2-0 pitch over the fence in left center, just beyond the outstretched arm of Sullivan to tie the score. The Bears had a chance to win the game in the ninth, putting runners on first and second with two outs, but Mike Nesseth got Raynor Campbell to ground out to end the threat.



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