The Husker baseball team beat Baylor 9-4 Sunday, taking all three games from the Bears to sweep the final Big 12 conference series of the season. The sweep ends the season on a positive note for the Huskers as they won’t make the Big 12 tourney for the first time since 1998 and finish under .500 for the first time since 1997.
Senior Jake Mort hit two two-run homers in the game. Mort picked a great way to finish his career at Nebraska, as he had hit only one home run in his first three seasons, and had never hit more than one home run in a game. Mort finished 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI, a career best.
Fellow senior Erik Bird got the start, and used his final college opportunity to have his best career outing, throwing a complete game and striking out a career-high seven batters while giving up eight hits with only one walk and four hits. It was Bird’s first career Big 12 start, and he made the most of it.
Bird’s performance stood in strong contrast to what happened the day before, as an outgoing senior teamed up with an up-and-coming freshman to throw back-to-back complete games for the Husker pitching staff.
On Saturday, freshman pitcher Sean Yost threw a complete game shutout to get the series win in his first-ever Big 12 win. Previous to the game Saturday, Yost had never pitched beyond the sixth inning. On Friday, starter Mike Nesseth pitched for seven innings, striking out eight and giving up seven hits and four runs.
Both Yost and Nesseth will be key parts of the pitching staff next year.
The series win against Baylor is the first conference series win since Nebraska beat Oklahoma State in mid March.
The sweep most likely knocks Baylor from the NCAA tourney. The Bears have lost 10 of their last 12 Big 12 games after being consistently ranked earlier in the season. They could make the NCAA tourney provided they win the Big 12 tourney, but given the way they’ve been playing lately, that’s not blood likely.