No. 8 Huskers Fall to No. 13 Oklahoma, 6-2

Andrew Brown bashed his ninth home run of the season, but No. 13 Oklahoma used a three-run third inning as a springboard to a 6-2 victory over the No. 8 Nebraska baseball team in front of a crowd of 8,613 at Hawks Field on Sunday.

With the loss, Nebraska slipped to 39-14 on the season and closed regular-season Big 12 play with a 17-10 record. The Huskers finished in a tie with Oklahoma for third place in the final conference standings. OU (39-17) earned the No. 3 seed in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship next week by taking two-of-three weekend games from the Huskers, who head to Oklahoma City as the No. 4 seed.

NU will take on Baylor, the No. 5 seed, on Wednesday at 10 a.m. The Huskers will square off with Texas Tech on Thursday at 8 p.m. and will face Texas Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally by FSN

Daniel McCutchen, the Sooners' regular Friday night starter, pitched eight strong innings after picking up the save in the final two innings of OU's 3-2 win on Friday night. McCutchen improved to 7-7 on the year by striking out 11 and walking just two while allowing nine hits. Will Savage came on in the ninth for OU, striking out two more Huskers and allowing one hit.

Nebraska sophomore Johnny Dorn (9-4) suffered the loss despite surrendering one earned run through seven innings.  Dorn, who was 7-0 in Big 12 series-clinching wins before Sunday, walked four and notched two strikeouts, while scattering nine hits.

Oklahoma struck first in the second inning, as Brandon Moss led off with a single and advanced to third on another single by Jackson Williams. Moss then scored on a double-play ground ball to clear the bases and give OU a 1-0 lead.

The Sooners' lead was short-lived, as Brown smashed his ninth homer of the year over the left-field fence on McCutchen's first pitch of the bottom of the second inning. It was Brown's fifth homer in the last nine contests.

OU took control of the game with three unearned runs in the top of third. Chuckie Caufield led off with an infield single after Luke Gorsett dropped a foul ball hit by Caufield two pitches earlier. Aaron Reza followed with a perfectly executed hit-and-run through the hole at shortstop to put runners at first and second with nobody out for OU. Kody Kaiser used a sacrifice bunt on an 0-2 pitch to move both runners into scoring position, before Dorn intentionally walked Kevin Smith.

With the bases loaded and one out, Dorn fell behind Brandon Moss 3-0 before battling back to a full count. However, he lost Moss on the next pitch to walk in a run to give OU a 2-1 lead. Dorn struck out Williams for the second out, but Freddy Rodriguez came through for OU with a two-run single that gave McCutchen and the Sooners a 4-1 lead.

"I thought Johnny (Dorn) pitched very very good and held us up until the eighth," NU Head Coach Mike Anderson said. "We struggled in that third inning but I don't think it was really Johnny that struggled. They got that seeing-eye ground ball that pushed across two runs, but we started off that inning with an error. That hasn't been typical of what we've been doing and it wasn't a very aggressive error in that situation."

Nebraska got a run back in the fifth inning on Nick Jaros' RBI double scored Jake Opitz and moved Jeff Christy to third base, but the Huskers stranded Christy and Jaros, as McCutchen successfully pitched out of trouble.

Opitz led NU with three hits, while senior Jeff Christy and Brandon Buckman had two hits apiece in the losing effort.
After that, Nebraska was not able to mount a serious threat to OU's lead. The Sooners added two insurance runs with three hits off Brett Jensen in the ninth inning to produce the final tally.

The Huskers begin action at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark on Wednesday at 10 a.m.



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