Austin, Texas- Nebraska was one strike away from a win at No. 2 Texas, but the Longhorns rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 victory over the Huskers Friday night.
Trailing 5-3 with two outs, pinch hitter Jordan Weymouth got the rally going for Texas (14-4, 1-0 Big 12) with a double past third before Kevin Keyes drew a walk off of reliever Kurt Giller to get the go-ahead run to the plate. Cameron Rupp then sent Giller’s next pitch over the Longhorn bullpen in right, giving the Longhorns the victory.
Giller, who came into the game in the bottom of the seventh and retired eight of the first nine hitters he faced before Weymouth’s double, was tagged with the loss to drop to 0-1, as Nebraska (8-8, 0-1) never trailed until the end, but suffered its fourth walk-off loss of the season.
“We a good job all the way around until the end,” Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. “Casey Hauptman pitched very well and Giller did a good job until the last inning. Offensively, we did a good job against one of the best pitchers in the country. We put ourselves in a position to win. This team is trouble by the fact that we can’t finish. We need someone to step up that can do that and take charge. We have a lot of guys who are determined and putting us in position to finish games, but the bottom line is that we have to finish on the mound late if we want to win baseball games.”
The comeback spoiled a strong performance by the Huskers, as Casey Hauptman turned in a strong effort in a no-decision. The junior right-hander allowed three runs over six innings and fanned five, as he out-dueled UT starter Taylor Jungmann and was in line for the victory.
Nebraska pushed across five runs against the Longhorn starter, who had given up only four runs in his first 29 innings of work, as he entered Friday’s game with a 2-0 record and a 0.93 ERA.
Cody Asche tied his career high with three hits and drove in three runs, while Adam Bailey also added three hits, including a homer and two RBIs in the loss, which snapped NU’s five-game win streak.
Bailey got the Huskers on the board in the top of the first with his fifth homer of the season, a two-out opposite field shot to left off Jungmann, who had not allowed a homer all season until Bailey’s shot. Texas got the equalizer back in the second, as Rupp, who went 2-for-4, singled and eventually came home on Russell Moldenhauer’s two-out single to center.
The game would remain deadlocked until the sixth when NU pushed across three runs to take a 4-1 lead. With one out, DJ Belfonte was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball before Kale Kiser coaxed a walk to put runners on the corners. Bailey then made it a 2-1 game, as he ripped a double into right to score Belfonte. Two batters later, Asche cleared the bases, as he found a hole between third and short for a two-run single to make it 4-1.
The Longhorns would fight back, pushing across two runs in the bottom of the frame on an RBI double from Kevin Lusson and a two-out, run-scoring single from Cohl Walla to get within 4-3. Hauptman got out of the inning, but would be done after throwing 112 pitches through six innings.
NU seemingly added an insurance run in the eighth, as Bailey’s third hit of the day, an RBI double to right, scored pinch-hitter Boomer Collins to make it a 5-3 game. Jungmann allowed five runs on seven hits, but got off the hook for a loss in the ninth.
“We did a good job offensively and were disciplined,” Anderson said. “We took what he gave us and didn’t try to do too much. The balls we hit were mostly opposite field. I thought we were pretty determined in our at-bats tonight.”
Giller set the Longhorns down in order and retired a pair of pinch hitters before Waymouth’s first hit of the season started the game-ending rally.
The Huskers will look to bounce back tomorrow at 3 p.m. as the game has been pushed back an hour because of the chance for inclement weather. The game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and on Huskers.com