Huskers Win Series

Nebraska used a combination of timely hitting and strong pitching from Luke Wertz and Matt Foust to top Kansas, 4-2, Sunday evening at Hoglund Ballpark.

With the win, the Huskers (29-23, 14-13 Big 12) won their fifth Big 12 series in the last six weekends and went above .500 for the first time in conference play this season after a 3-6 start. The series win also catapulted NU past Texas A&M for fourth place in the Big 12 race, as the Aggies lost at Texas earlier Sunday to finish 13-13 in league play.

Nebraska just three hits on the evening, but had two of them in the decisive seventh inning, highlighted by a two-run double from shortstop Jake Mort to break a 1-1 deadlock and gave the Huskers the lead for good.

That was more than enough for Wertz, who was exceptional for the third time in as many starts. The junior from Parker, Colo., allowed two runs on eight hits over eight innings – his longest start of the year – in upping his record to 4-0. Wertz struck out eight without issuing a walk and kept the Jayhawks from scoring early on, as Kansas (28-30, 9-17) stranded runners in scoring position in three of the first four innings.

Matt Foust pitched a perfect ninth for his team-best sixth save of the season, as Nebraska's 18 saves this season ranks second on NU's single-season chart.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth, when Dylan Parzyk's solo homer gave the Jayhawks a 1-0 lead. Parzyk launched a 3-2 pitch from Wertz into the trees in left for his first homer of the year.

The Huskers, who were held hitless for the first 5.1 innings by KU starter Wally Marcial, got on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth, as DJ Belfonte broke up the no-hitter with a triple into the right field corner before Craig Corriston's grounder off Marcial tied the score.

Nebraska broke through in the seventh, taking advantage of a key balk call and a two-run double from Jake Mort to take a 3-1 lead. With one out, an infield single from Andy Gerch and a walk to Jake Opitz put runners on first and second. Mort then popped up Marciel's first pitch behind the plate, but a balk was called, keeping the rally alive and moving both runners into scoring position. The Husker shortstop capitalized on new life ripping a 2-1 offering from the KU southpaw past third to clear the bases and give NU a two-run lead.

Marciel (5-3) went 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on three hits as the freshman right-hander struck out five in the longest outing of his career.

The Huskers took advantage of a Kansas miscue in the top of the eighth to manufacture its fourth run. Mitch Abeita reached on a throwing error, moved to third on a pair of ground outs before scoring on Andres Esquibel's wild pitch to make it a 4-1 game

Kansas fought back in the eighth, getting a two-out RBI single from John Allman to pull within 4-2. Kyle Murphy doubled before Allman singled past a diving Andrew Brown to right. That would be as close as Kansas would get as Wertz struck out Erik Morrison to end the eighth.

The Huskers will open Big 12 Tournament action on Wednesday afternoon against Texas A&M. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. (central) from the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. Fans can listen to Wednesday's game across the state on the Husker Sports Network and on

Big Red Report Top Stories