Norman, Okla. – Jeff Tezak went 3-for-4 with two homers and a season-high four RBIs, but Nebraska lost an 12-9 slugfest to No. 11 Oklahoma in the first game of Sunday’s twinbill at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
Tezak became the first Husker record a two-homer game this season after not hitting any since February of 2008, as Nebraska (15-9-1, 3-4 Big 12) belted out five homers, its highest single-game total since the 2006 campaign and most in a conference game since 2000.
DJ Belfonte also had three hits, including a homer, for the Huskers, who finished with 12 hits, including homers from Nick Sullivan and Boomer Collins.
Unfortunately for the Big Red, the Sooners (22-5, 3-1 Big 12) also rapped out 12 hits, including homers from J.T. Wise, Cameron Seitzer and Casey Johnson as they jumped out to a 6-1 lead after two innings and never trailed. Wise went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs, while Bryant Hernandez had two hits and three RBIs in the victory.
Andrew Doyle (3-2) got the win scattering nine hits over 6.1 innings, while Ryan Duke got the Sooners out of an eighth-inning game and went the final 1.2 innings for his fifth save.
Oklahoma struck early, scoring four times in the bottom of the first off of NU starter and loser Casey Hauptman, getting an RBI double from Hernandez and a three-run homer from Wise. With one out, Matt Harughty singled before Hernandez lined a double into the gap in left center to plate the Sooners’ first run. A walk put two on before Wise sent a Hauptman offering over the fence in left for a three-run shot to make it a 4-0 lead.
Nebraska got one of the runs back in the second, as Nick Sullivan belted an opposite field homer to pull NU within 4-1. It was Sullivan’s second round tripper of the season.
The Sooners roared back with two runs in the bottom of the frame, pushing the margin to 6-1. Seitzer opened the frame with a homer to left before a two-out RBI single from Hernandez scored Harughty, who singled with two outs and stole second before coming hope on Hernandez’s bloop single to right.
The Huskers sliced the deficit to 6-3 in the top of the fourth on Tezak’s first homer of the year. Tyler Farst opened the frame with a double to left before coming home a two-run shot by Tezak, his first homer since February of 2008.
After a rocky start, Hauptman settled down and held the Sooners off the scoreboard until the sixth, when OU scored three times to extend its lead to 9-3. Johnson opened the frame with a solo homer to right before a single and a fielder’s choice and subsequent throwing error put runners on first and second. Kash Kalkowski came in and got the first hitter to sacrifice both runners into scoring position. NU then intentionally walked Jamie Johnson to load the bases, but the Husker right-hander hit Harughty to push across one run before Hernandez’s sacrifice fly put the Huskers in a six-run hole.
Nebraska began to chip away against Doyle in the seventh, scoring twice to make it a 9-5 game. With one out, Belfonte belted his first homer of the year, a solo shot to left center, before Kyle Bubak tripled to center and scored moments later on a wild pitch. Mort kept the rally alive with a double to chase Doyle. NU continued to threaten against J.R. Robinson, as Jake Mort coaxed a two-out walk to put runners on first and second. NU was not able to come through as Robinson induced Sullivan into a ground out to end the inning.
In the eighth, Nebraska continued to pull closer, as Collins’ pinch-hit homer made it a 9-7 game. Tezak walked to open the inning before Collins greeted Chase Anderson with a tape-measure shot to left, giving the Huskers their first pinch-hit homer in over a year. NU got the tying runner to the plate after a Belfonte single, but OU closer Ryan Duke retired the next two Huskers to preserve the two-run lead.
That would be as close as the Huskers would get, as Oklahoma plated three runs in the eight, including a two-run double from Aaron Baker and a run-scoring single from Wise. Tezak capped the scoring in the top of the ninth with his second two-run homer of the afternoon for the final margin.