Weber, Huskers Blank Longhorns
Austin, Texas – Behind a complete-game two-hitter from Thad Weber and clutch hits from Texas natives Mitch Abeita and Craig Corriston, No. 15 Nebraska shut out No. 13 Texas, 2-0, Saturday night in front of a capacity crowd of 6,847 and a national television audience at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Weber, the senior right-hander from Friend, Neb., sparkled on this Saturday night, holding Texas to just two singles and retiring 14 of the last 15 hitters he faced en route to his first career complete game.
Weber (5-1) struck out five has he picked up his fifth straight victory. In that stretch, Weber is 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA for the Huskers, who remained unbeaten in the Big 12 with a 7-0-1 mark, while winning for the 20th time in the last 22 contests. With his performance on Saturday, Weber has not allowed a run in his last two starts, spanning a total of 16 innings.
“He got of a couple of jams early, but he was solid,” Anderson said. “I thought he grew as the night went on. He was ahead in the count and that allowed him to get ahead in the count and mix in his off-speed stuff and his fastball.”
Weber allowed Texas (17-8, 4-4 Big 12) to get runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings, but worked out of jams to keep the Huskers (21-3-1) in the game. After that, he had nearly flawless command and did not allow a hit over his final seven innings in keeping a Texas offense that was hitting .320 on the year in check.
“To be able to do this for nine innings and give my team a chance to win is an unbelievable feeling,” Weber said. “I felt like I was getting stronger after the sixth inning. I wasn’t as executing as well early on as I was later in the game. I wasn’t sure about my pitch count, but I felt good and if I could keep the innings relatively short I’d be able to do (throw a complete game.”
While Weber kept the Huskers in the game, Nebraska broke through in the top of the sixth against Longhorn starter Austin Wood, getting two-out, run-scoring hits from Abeita and Corriston to plate both of NU’s runs on the night.
Wood (2-2) had allowed two hits through the first five innings before scratching across a pair of runs on the UT left-hander. The inning opened auspiciously enough, as Ben Kline doubled to right center to open the inning, but slipped as he rounded second on the Astroturf and was tagged out while on the turf in pain. With two outs, Jake Mort doubled to left before a Jake Opitz walk kept the rally alive. Abeita then came through with the big hit of the night, as the Dallas, native sent Wood’s 3-2 pitch back up the middle, scoring Mort with the go-ahead run. Corriston, who hails from Paris, Texas, made it 2-0 moments later, as his double one-hopped the wall in left to score Opitz.
Abeita was the only player on either team with more than one hit, going 2-for-4, as Nebraska totaled seven hits on the night.
Texas had its final scoring opportunity in the seventh, as Brandon Belt opened the inning with a walk, but Weber set down the next three hitters to avoid damage. The Husker starter, who had not pitched more than seven innings in any of his six career starts, retired the final six Longhorns he faced, whiffing Belt to complete the gem. ‘
The two teams will wrap up the series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m., as Husker right-hander Aaron Pribanic (2-0, 1.44 ERA) takes on UT southpaw Riley Boening (1-0, 3.32 ERA). The game will be carried across the state on the Husker Sports Radio Network and on Huskers.com.
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