Husker Bid for Sweep Falls Short
Austin, Texas – Craig Corriston had two hits and Cody Neer drove in a pair of runs, but No. 13 Texas received a strong pitching performance from Riley Boening to salvage a 12-3 victory over No. 15 Nebraska Sunday afternoon.
The Huskers (21-4-1) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first before Texas answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning and tacked on three more off of NU starter Aaron Pribanic in the third before relying on the performance of Boening, as the UT left-hander kept the Huskers off balance for most of the afternoon.
Boening (2-0) earned his second win of the season by allowing three runs on just three hits over 6.1 innings, as he struck out a pair and retired 16 of 17 Huskers at one point, including 13 in a row after Corriston’s first-inning RBI single.
Preston Clark and David Hernandez and Kevin Keyes drove in two runs apiece for Texas (18-8, 5-4 Big 12), which avoided being swept at home in a three-game series for the first time in 11 years.
Corriston led Nebraska’s offensive output, going 2-for-4 with an RBI while Neer drove in a pair of runs with his first homer of the year, a two-run shot in the seventh to pull the Huskers within 6-3 at the time.
Pribanic (2-1) suffered his first loss, allowing six runs over six innings, as the setback snapped a streak of 13 straight decisions by Nebraska starters dating back to Feb. 22. The Huskers matched a season-high with four errors, including costly miscues that played a pair in both early three-run innings for the Longhorns.
The Huskers got on the scoreboard in the top of the first, taking advantage of a leadoff walk and two-out RBI single from Corriston. DJ Belfonte walked to open the game before Jake Mort sacrifice moved Belfonte into scoring position. Three batters later, Corriston sent Boening’s first offering to left center to plate the game’s first run.
Texas came right back in the bottom of the first against NU starter Aaron Pribanic, pushing across three runs in the bottom of the frame without the benefit of an RBI. After a single and a hit batter, Jordan Danks laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Pribanic was unable to get the lead runner as his throw sailed wide of the bag into left field, allowing both runners to score on the error. Brandon Belt’s single put runners on the corners before Danks scored on Russell Moldenhauer’s double play, giving the Longhorns a 3-1 advantage.
The Longhorns extended the margin to 6-1 in the bottom of the third, getting a two-run double from Hernandez and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Michael Torres. With two on and one out, Tant Shepherd’s grounder was misplayed, loading the bases. Hernandez then sent a Pribanic’s 1-1 pitch down the line in right to plate a pair of runs before Torres’ lofted a sacrifice fly to make it a 6-1 lead.
Boening settled down, retiring 13 Huskers in a row before Corriston opened the seventh with a double to left. Neer then sliced the Texas lead to 6-3 with a tape-measure blast beyond the Husker bullpen in left. It was the first homer that Boening had allowed in 26 innings this season.
Texas got both of the runs back in the bottom of the frame on a two-run homer by Preston Clark to extend the lead to 8-3 and tacked on four more runs in the eighth, highlighted by Kevin Keyes’ two-run homer over the 20-foot high wall in center for the final margin.
The Huskers return to action Tuesday might, as they travel to Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium for the first of three meetings with the Creighton Bluejays. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and at Huskers.com. Tickets for the matchup can be purchased at Ticketmaster outlets across Nebraska and at Ticketmaster.com