Baseball: UT tops NU for tourney title

ARLINGTON -- Confused. Not a description that would seem to remotely apply to <B>Dustin Majewski</B>, but the junior outfielder admitted as much after Sunday's Big 12 Tournament championship game.

Majewski, you see, had a bit of trouble with the signs from his head coach before his eighth inning at-bat. After several aborted attempts, Augie Garrido broke protocol, abandoning the hand signals and resorting to the spoken word.

That would be one of the few times in six tournament games that Majewski had trouble with anything related to a plate appearance.

With two more hits, including the game-winner in the top of the 10th, plus an important sac bunt in the eighth after those fleeting moments of confusion, Majewski earned Tournament MVP honors as Texas beat Nebraska 9-6 for its first conference tourney title since 1994. The junior finished the tournament 14 of 25 with four homers and 11 RBI.

Majewski's single to right in the 10th drove in Ryan Hubele, who led off the inning with a double and, on Majewski's hit, motored to the plate and slid just wide of NU catcher John Grose's tag to break a 6-6 tie. Eric Sultemeier followed with a solo shot and Tim Moss added a run-scoring triple to push the Texas advantage to three runs.

"He's on fire, no doubt about it," NU coach Dave Van Horn said. "If it's in the zone, he sees it big and hits it. Today, we wanted to keep the ball in the ballpark and hold him to singles."

The Huskers did just that, but Majewski still managed to make the difference.

"In our lineup you've got to pick someone to pitch to, " Majewski said, deftly deflecting praise by crediting his success to the guys around him in the lineup.

Sunday, those guys were Hubele and Michael Hollimon. Hubele totaled three hits on the day, including a three-run homer in the third that gave UT an early 4-zip lead, while Hollimon collected two hits, including an RBI single in the eighth that briefly gave Texas a 6-4 advantage.

"The ingredient that makes it work is teamwork," Garrido said, pointing to the "unselfishness" of the entire team in general and the hot-hitting Majewski's sac bunt in particular.

Justin Simmons started for the Horns and pitched five scoreless innings before giving way to Jesen Merle to start the sixth.

"We took Justin as far as we could take him," the Texas head coach said postgame. Simmons, who did not factor into the decision, finished with 85 pitches, just 10 pitches more than a regular bullpen session he had scheduled for today.

Huston Street picked up his second win of the tournament by pitching an inning-and-a-third of scoreless relief.

"We were playing it the best way we could to win it," Garrido said of the coaching staff's pitching decisions.

The Horns threatened to break the game open in the top of the second, scoring one run and then loading the bases with no outs, but Nebraska pitcher Brian Duensing worked out of the jam without giving up another run by striking out Sultemeier and Kalani Napoleon and then forcing Moss into an inning-ending weak liner to short.

With a long ball, Texas took advantage of its third inning opportunity. Hubele blasted a two-on, one-out Duensing offering into the left field bleachers to extend the Longhorn lead to 4-0.

Nebraska's pitching staff took over through the middle innings, holding the Horns scoreless in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh, allowing the Huskers to claw back. Nebraska scored a single run in the sixth, three in the seventh and two more in the eighth to set up the decisive final frames.

The Horns (48-14) must now await the Monday morning announcement of NCAA seeding and hosting sites.

"I hope (the tourney championship) will be enough for the committee to award us a top eight seed and the chance to host a regional," Garrido said. "That would be the ultimate reward to our team."

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