Lemke, Thompson Carry Huskers to Win
Lincoln - Tom Lemke tossed a five-hit shutout, while Cade Thompson's second-inning homer provided Nebraska with all the offense it needed, as the Huskers took the finale against Texas A&M, 1-0, Sunday afternoon at Hawks Field.
Lemke (5-5) tossed his second shutout of the season, scattering five hits and striking out a career-high nine Aggies for his fifth win. The freshman, who has allowed two runs or less in five of his 11 starts this season, is the first Husker pitcher to throw a pair of complete-game shutouts since Aaron Marsden and Jamie Rodrigue both accomplished the feat in 2002.
"Tom (Lemke) wasn't just great today, he was magical," Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. "In the eighth inning to see Tom up there and fist pump, I loved the enthusiasm and energy that he brought and that our crowd brought today. That is the best he has mixed it up all year long. He pitched well against Oklahoma in that shutout, but this is a 1-0 in a nine-inning shutout when you're team has lost two in the series. That is a pretty special performance."
While Lemke silenced the Aggie bats, Thompson had two of the Huskers' four hits, including a two-out solo homer in the bottom of the second off of Texas A&M starter Clayton Ehlert for the game's lone run. Thompson sent a 1-0 offering into the terrace in right for his third homer of the year.
It was the only mistake Ehlert (2-5) made on the day, as he fanned three in a four-hit complete game effort to take the loss, as the Aggies dropped to 25-17-1 and 9-11-1 in Big 12 action.
Both team had opportunities to push across runs, but strong pitching on sides and crisp defense by both teams kept the offense to a minimum.
Lemke, who faced one over the minimum over the first four innings, worked out of a big jam in the fifth after a leadoff double by Joe Patterson - the first he allowed all day. After a sacrifice moved him to third, Lemke buckled down and struck out John Stilson and Andrew Collazo to end the frame.
Nebraska (20-24, 7-14 Big 12) opened the bottom of the fifth with a Thompson single and a Burleson walk, but Ehlert made a nice play on Bryan Peters' sacrifice bunt before Kale Kiser grounded into a double play. One inning later, NU had runners on first and second with two outs before Chad Christensen's hard grounder was fielded by Stilson, who raced to third for the fielder's choice.
After Lemke struck out the side in the eighth, the Aggies had one last chance, as Patterson - who had three of Texas A&M's four hits - singled with two outs before Kevin Gonzalez walked to move the tying run in scoring position. Lemke then got Stilson to ground into a fielder's choice to pick up his second shutout of the year.
Huskers will be off until next Friday night, when they take on Southeast Missouri
State at 6:35 p.m. the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and on
Notes: Nebraska is second in the Big 12 with four shutouts, with three of the wins coming by freshmen (two by Lemke and one by Tyler Niederklein)...It was the second 1-0 shutout in Hawks Field history, and the first since a 1-0, 11-inning win over Oklahoma on May 22, 2004...Sunday's win marked the first game all season that Nebraska won with less than 10 hits...DJ Belfonte hit third in the Husker order for the first time in his career, while Bryan Peters hit leadoff for the first time this season...Lemke's two shutouts is the most by a freshman since Jamie Rodrigue tossed four shutouts in 2000...Ehlert's complete game is the second by a Husker opponent this season...It was Thompson's fifth multi-hit game of the season and second in Big 12 play.