Huskers Drop Big 12 Opener against Baylor
Oklahoma City, Okla. – Tyler Farst tied a career high with three RBIs, but No. 7 Nebraska fell to Baylor, 10-4, Wednesday afternoon in the opening round of the Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City.
Farst, who is hitting .379 with nine of his 12 RBIs over the last 10 games, went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, matching his career best set against Northern Colorado on March 10, in a losing effort for the Huskers, who dropped to 39-13-1 with their fourth straight loss.
Shaver Hansen did most of the damage for Baylor, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored on the afternoon, while Ben Booker and Adam Hornung drove in two runs apiece in the victory.
The Bears (32-24) also got a solid performance from starter Shawn Tolleson, who allowed four runs on five hits over 6.1 innings to improve to 6-4 on the season.
With the loss, the Huskers will need to win its two remaining games in its pool to have hopes reaching Sunday’s championship game. The Huskers will face Kansas State Friday afternoon and sixth-ranked Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Baylor got on the scoreboard in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Dustin Dickerson. Hansen opened the inning with a single before a walk and a fielder’s choice moved him to third. Dickerson then lofted a fly ball to right, scoring Hansen with the game’s first run.
The Bears extended their lead to 3-0 one inning later, taking advantage of a Husker fielding miscue. Paul Miles opened the inning by reaching on an error, stole second and eventually scored on Raynor Campbell’s run-scoring single. Three batters later, Hansen’s second hit of the game scored Campbell and gave the Bears a 3-0 lead.
Nebraska, which had one hit in the first tree innings, struck in the bottom of the fourth, scoring twice to pull within 3-2 after RBI singles from Farst and DJ Belfonte. Jake Opitz opened the frame with a single before Mitch Abeita’s walk put runners on first with no outs. Farst put the Huskers on the board with an RBI single to right center before Belfonte plated Abeita with a run-scoring single to center.
Baylor upped its margin to 4-2 in the sixth, as Hansen opened the inning with a walk and stole second, as the Husker misplayed the pickoff attempt. BU took advantage of the opportunity, as Hornung laced an RBI double to right center off starter Dan Jennings, who pitched well in a losing effort.
The Husker left-hander allowed three earned runs on four hits over six innings of work, falling to 5-2 as he fell to 6-3 on the season.
Hansen continued his hot hitting in the seventh, as his three-run triple helped the Bears break open the game against the Husker bullpen with four runs. Zach Herr ran into trouble, as he walked the first two hitters before a single loaded the bases with no outs. Mike Nesseth came in to get and get NU out of trouble, but Hansen sliced a triple down the line in right, just past the outstretched dive of Farst at first, clearing the bases and sporting the Bears a 7-2 lead. Two batters later, Hornung’s second hit of the day, an RBI single to right, made it a six-run lead.
The Huskers made one last run at the Bears, scoring a pair of runs off Tolleson in the seventh to get within 8-4. A Ben Kline single, a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases before Farst’s second hit of the day, a two-run single to left, made it a four-run deficit.
The Bears tacked on their final runs in the eighth, taking advantage of a Husker miscue and turning it into a two-run double by Booker for the final margin.
*-Today is Nebraska’s ninth meeting with Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament, the most matchups between two team in tournament history Texas A&M and Texas have meet eight times prior to Friday’s game.
*-The Huskers fall to 28-11 all-time in the Big 12 Championship and 24-8 all-time at the Bricktown Ballpark
*-Nebraska falls to 7-3 in Big 12 Tournament opener, but came back to win the tournament in the two previous years (2000 and 2005).
*-Farst has four multi-RBI efforts in his last 10 games and has hit safely in nine of his last 10 contests dating back to April 30.
*-Mitch Abeita has now reached safely in 50 of 51 contests this season.
*-With the two three batters on Wednesday, Nebraska hitters have been hit 82 times this season, a total that ranks fifth on Nebraska’s single-season list. It is NU’s highest HBP total since 2004.
*-Jake Opitz (nine games) and Farst (five games) both extended hit streaks on Wednesday
*-Jake Mort has been hit 27 times in his career, a total that moved into sole possession of fourth place on Nebraska’s hit-by-pitch chart
*-Dan Jennings has turned in five quality starts in his eight starts this season, and today’s loss is the first time he has lost when turning in a quality start. Nebraska is now 23-4-1 when its starting pitchers turn in a quality start this season.
*Mike Nesseth has now made 24 appearances, one shy of the freshman school record
No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 3 Nebraska
Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson
On the game:
"Our style of baseball is to do the little things right. We just needed a few more runs. Our day was summed up by mental errors we made. Gave up too many walks and too many small errors that cost us. We have a team that can overcome the mental errors, but today we didn't overcome them."
On Baylor pitcher Shawn Tolleson:
"He stayed in the zone and limited his walks. He did a good job. The key for them was getting on top early."
On Nebraska's effort:
"Our energy and motivation was there, we just didn't get the win today. Lets go out and win one on Friday and then win one on Saturday and then set what happens from there."
Sophomore Tyler Farst
On Baylor pitcher Shawn Tolleson:
"He did a great job today. He was Inside on righties and outside on lefities. He did a great job of filling up the zone with all of his pitches. He just pitched a great game."