Runs, runs, runs - NU blisters Missouri 17-9

Oklahoma City, Okla. - The Huskers brought their sticks to the SBC Bricktown Ballpark Saturday night, as fourth-ranked Nebraska defeated No. 17 Missouri, 17-9, to advance Sunday's tournament title game. The win sets up a Big 12 title game between the Huskers (50-13) and Baylor (39-20) which will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net

Curtis Ledbetter set a career high with five hits for the Huskers, which matched a Big 12 Tournament record, and Andy Gerch and Joe Simokaitis each recorded four hits, pacing a 23-hit attack for Nebraska. The 23 hits set single-game Big 12 Tournament record and were the most by the Huskers since May 16, 1999.

Nebraska, which has won four straight since dropping the tourament opener to Texas Tech, has now reached the 50-win plateau for just the third time in school history. It also marks the second time that NU has fought through the loser's bracket, and the first since 2000, a season where the Huskers defeated Baylor in the tournament title game.

Alex Gordon and Ryan Bohanan each recorded three hits for the Huskers. Gerch recorded a career-high six RBIs for Nebraska, which also matched a Big 12 Tournament record, while Gordon pitched in four RBIs and Ledbetter added three.

NU starter Tony Watson (6-1) picked up the win for the Huskers, turning in the longest outing of his career for the Huskers, giving up six runs, five earned, on eight hits while fanning four Tigers over 5.1 innings pitched. Phil Shirek recorded the first save of his career, throwing the final 3.2 innings for the Huskers.

Nick Admire (2-3) took the loss for the Tigers, lasting only 1/3 of an inning and giving up four runs on five hits. Missouri, which dropped two games to the Huskers on Saturday, finished the tournament with an overall mark of 39-21.

Nebraska started the game red hot, as its first four hitters each delivered base hits, including a double by Daniel Bruce and a two-run triple by Alex Gordon. A single by Ryan Bohanan two batters later ended the day for MU starter Nick Admire, who lasted just 1/3 of an inning. With one out and runners on first and second, reliever Travis Wendte threw a wild pitch in the dirt that scored Andy Gerch to give the Huskers a 4-0 lead.

Zane Taylor narrowed the margin to 4-1 in the second, scoring on a balk by NU starter Tony Watson, before the Huskers made it 7-1 in the third on Gerch's two-run double and Bohanan's sacrifice fly.

Missouri chipped away at the Husker lead over the next two innings, as James Boone hit an RBI double in the third, and Jacob Priday hit a home run in the fourth to cut the deficit to 7-3.

Both teams scratched five runs across over the next three innings to make the score 12-8, highlighted by Gerch's two-run single in the sixth. The Huskers added insurance runs in the ninth on Gordon's two-run double, Ledbetter's RBI single and Gerch's two-run triple. The Tigers plated their final run in the bottom half of the inning for the final margin.


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