Huskers rally, beat #1 Texas

Lincoln – Andy Gerch broke a 3-all tie, scoring from third on a wild pitch in the bottom of 16th , as fourth-ranked Nebraska edged top-ranked Texas, 4-3, in front of 8,485 fans at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park.

With one out, Gerch doubled past third before Joe Simokaitis moved him to third with a grounder to first. Alex Gordon was intentionally walked by Buck Cody before Randy Boone came in to face Brandon Fusilier. With a 1-1 count, Boone uncorked a wild pitch past Longhorn catcher Taylor Teagarden, allowing Gerch to score with the winning run and cap the 16-inning affair, NU's longest game since the 1999 season.

"We saw two pretty evenly matched teams tonight," Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. "We had quality pitching, and so did they. It is pretty unbelievable that it ended on a wild pitch, especially since we didn't get a clutch hit and then it ended like that. I was really proud of our defense tonight, and I was really proud of our demeanor. Our kids just didn't let it end- we were going to try and win that thing and we did.

Dustin Timm (3-1) earned the victory, allowing one hit in three shutout innings of relief, as three Husker pitchers held Texas to just seven hits and held the Longhorns (27-6, 4-5 Big 12) scoreless after the sixth.

The Huskers trailed 3-2 in the eighth before taking advantage of a costly balk on Texas reliever Clayton Stewart. Simokaitis opened the eighth with a single and Gordon was facing a full count and had flown out to left, but home plate umpire Randy Wetzel called a balk, giving Gordon new life. He drew a walk, putting runners at first and second before Brandon Buckman tied the game two batters later with a single to left center off J. Brent Cox.

Buckman led the Huskers by going 3-for-7 with an RBI, while Jake Opitz and Curtis Ledbetter had two hits apiece, as Nebraska (27-4, 6-1 Big 12) remained in a tie with Missouri for the Big 12 lead. Cody (3-1) suffered the loss for Texas, allowing one run on just one hit in 2.2 innings of work, as Texas used five pitchers in the losing effort.

Texas took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, as Teagarden opened the inning with a double, and the Longhorns put runners on the corners with two outs. Clay Van Hook stole second and the throw from Jeff Christy to Opitz at second was bobbled, allowing Teagarden to score an unearned run.

The Huskers regained the lead in the bottom of the second, as the Huskers scored a pair of runs off Texas starter Kyle McCulloch. With runners on the corners, Jeff Christy squeezed one runner home before a run-scoring single by Opitz gave NU a 2-1 lead.

NU starter Joba Chamberlain was sharp early on, as he went the first nine innings, allowing one earned run and striking out 10, but didn't factor into the decision, as both starters were long gone before the game was decided.

In the sixth, a single by Seth Johnston and a Teagarden double put runners on second and third with no outs. The Longhorns squeezed the tying run home on Chase Wheeless' grounder, which was misplayed by NU first baseman Curtis Ledbetter, allowing Teagarden to also score and put the visitors up 3-2.

While NU got the tying run in the eighth, Husker pitchers retired 21 straight Longhorns at one point, as Texas did not have a runner reach scoring position after the sixth inning.

The series continues Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., as junior left-hander Zach Kroenke takes the hill for the Huskers.



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