Huskers survive, beat Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Okla. – Jeff Christy's RBI bunt single in the sixth inning broke a 3-all tie, as Nebraska (47-13) staved off elimination Thursday afternoon, defeating Oklahoma 6-3 in front of a 5,451 at the SBC Bricktown Ballpark.

Christy's hit off OU reliever Will Savage plated Andy Gerch, who had reached with the first of Nebraska's three consecutive singles to open the frame. One batter later, Daniel Bruce hit a deep fly ball to left center to score Ryan Wehrle, giving the Huskers a 5-3 lead.

Alex Gordon, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored, added to the lead in the seventh inning with a leadoff homerun, his 17th of the season, to provide the Huskers their final run. 6-3 advantage.

Joba Chamberlain and Zach Kroenke combined on the nine-hitter, as Nebraska improved to 47-13 on the year. Chamberlain (8-2) went seven-plus innings, allowing three runs on eight hits while fanning three, while Kroenke tossed two innings of one-hit relief for his first career save.

After Chamberlain allowed the first two batters in the eighth to reach base, Kroenke retired the next three hitters to end OU's threat. The left-hander pitched himself into a jam in the ninth by allowing a walk and a hit before closing the door on the Sooners' final threat

Garrett Patterson (6-3) took the loss for the Sooners, surrendering five runs, four earned, on seven hits by the Huskers over five plus innings. The loss ended the stay for Oklahoma (33-24) at the Big 12 Tournament.

Nebraska struck right away in the top of the first inning when Joe Simokatis, who had reached on a one-out walk, scored on Gordon's misplayed grounder to the second baseman to give the Huskers the early 1-0 lead.

The Sooners evened the score in the bottom of the third, as consecutive two-out singles by Kody Kaiser and Freddy Rodriguez plated Kaiser to tie the game at 1-1.

The Huskers would not threaten again until the fifth, when OU starter Patterson issued back-to-back four pitch walks to Christy and Jesse Boyer. With two outs and the heart of the order up, Gordon and Curtis Ledbetter delivered consecutive RBI singles to give the Huskers a 3-1 lead.

The advantage was short lived for the Huskers, as OU fought back to even the score at 3-3. With one out, Jackson Williams singled advanced to third on a two-base error by Simokaitis before scoring on Chuckie Caufield's RBI single. Two batters later, Rodriguez delivered his second RBI single of the ball game to tie the game

Christy, Gerch, Gordon and Wehrle all enjoyed two-hit afternoons in the victory for the Huskers.

The Huskers will return to action Friday at 7 p.m. when they will meet the loser of Thursday night's Missouri-Texas Tech match-up in an elimination game.



Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson


"This was a good win for our kids today, especially because it was in an elimination game. It was the first time that we faced something like that all year so it was good that they came out. We struggled a little bit in the beginning at swinging the bats, but later on we did some things that made us able to push some runs across. Alex [Gordon] ended up having a big hit that extended our lead and a lot of credit goes to Joba [Chamberlain] for getting us deep in the game and Zach (Kroenke) for shutting it down. When you get pitching like that good things will happen."


On the suicide squeeze play

"That is the first time in my entire career that I have called that play. I am not a big fan of it and I don't believe in it. I think that you can get yourself into a lot of trouble. We were fortunate that they had called a timeout to talk to their pitcher. We talked about it a little bit. Nobody was out and we treated our back to runners more like they were a sacrifice squeeze to avoid the triple play. Jeff (Christy) did a great job in getting it down and Andy (Gerch) got a good break."


On facing elimination

"The team learned that we need to move forward at all times. We got a little bit of a lead there and you could see our shoulders sort of snap back into place. We still need to play that way when we are down. It got tight there when it was a 3-3 game, but our kids still need to play in a confident way."


Oklahoma Head Coach Sunny Golloway

On the game

"Today was a tail of Chamberlain. He hit his spots very well. We tip our cap to him [Chamberlain]."


On the season

"This has been a emotional season for our team, as interim head coach it seemed as if we were fatigued, and I'm not really sure why."


On the chances of a regional appearance

"I trust that the committee will do what they think is best. I think we deserve to get in since we have worked hard, but I know that there are other schools that have done the same."


On Garrett Patterson

"From a coaching perspective with Garrett (Patterson) you have to take the good with the bad, I but see much more good than bad, I think Garrett (Patterson) is going to be a tremendous MLB pitcher."


Oklahoma Pitcher Garrett Patterson

On being inconsistent

"That has really been my problem throughout this year. I go 4 or 5 and then I lose it. I lost my control today and it killed me."


Nebraska Third Baseman Alex Gordon

On game

"It is definitely a good thing to get them going. We are going to need them (pitching staff) in the tournament. We struggled last night, especially at the beginning of the game. We found a way to push a couple runners across and get some runs for our pitchers."


On his homerun

"It felt good. I have been struggling hitting the ball lately. I got a good pitch to hit and I was able to drive it."


Nebraska Pitcher Joba Chamberlain

On his mentality

"I just wanted to get as deep into the game as possible. I just had confidence that my offense was going to get me runs. They answered back with two runs after we scored two. I just had to have confidence in them to get runs and that is a big help on the mound. I knew if I got into a little bit of trouble my offense would be there to help me out."


On his outing

"I felt pretty good command-wise. Everything was working pretty good. I had a lot more confidence than I have had in the last couple of weeks. I felt like I could throw inside our outside to anybody."

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