It took extra innings, but the Nebraska Baseball team clinched a series win against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 win in 15 innings . The Huskers will go for their first sweep of the Longhorns since 1999 on Sunday afternoon. Tanner Lubach and Austin Darby combined to score the only run of the game, as the Huskers look to sweep their third straight weekend series.
The contest started out as a pitching duel between Kyle Kubat and Kacy Clemens. Kubat would strike out nine in 8 scoreless innings, while Clemens would pitch into the eighth inning for the first time in his career.
There would be chances for Nebraska to score. Nebraska would threaten in the second when Ben Miller singled to left to start the inning. After a fielders choice, and an Elijay Dilday single, the Huskers would have runners on the corners with two outs. Jake Placzek would hit a ball hard to the shortstop for the final out of the inning, ending the threat.
While the Nebraska offense could not get on the board, the defense and Kubat would make sure that Texas would not get on the board. Kubat would strike out nine and get an assist from Darby. Darby would make a Sportscenter quality grab on a ball hit down the right field line to prevent Texas from getting their first extra base hit of the day.
The Huskers would have a prime opportunity to pull ahead in the eighth. After Clemens was lifted from the game with a finger injury, Placzek would double down the left field line to lead off the eighth. After a Ryan Boldt sacrifice bunt, Luis Alvarado would have an opportunity to put the Huskers ahead. Alvarado would strike out on three curveballs, including the last one which was a called strike a good four inches off the plate. Blake Headley would fly out to end the threat and move the Huskers to the ninth.
Kubat would be replaced by Jake Hohensee to start the ninth. Hohensee would give up a long at bat with two outs, allowing a walk. The base runner was Texas’s first man on base since the fourth inning breaking a streak of fifteen straight set down. Hohensee would get out of the situation with a pop up to end the inning.
The Huskers looked to start a rally in the bottom of the ninth after Darby reached on a single. Scott Schreiber then hit a hard ground ball to Texas third baseman Bret Boswell who would throw Schreiber out in a close play to end the rally. Replay appeared to show that Schreiber beat the throw.
Nebraska would get another scoreless inning out of Hohensee and then would call on Colton Howell to pitch the eleventh. Howell would throw another 1-2-3 inning for the Huskers.
Nebraska would again threaten in the eleventh. Ben Miller would hit a ground ball throw the hole between the shortstop and third baseman. After Darby reached on a fielder’s choice, Scott Schreiber would walk to put runners on first and second. Wes Edrington drew a second consecutive walk from Texas pitcher Connor Mayes to load the bases.
Placzek would then come up with his chance to finish. Placzek would jump ahead in the count 2-0 but Mayes would work himself back in the count and fill the count. Placzek would then see three more pitches, fouling off two before taking a fastball at the knees for strike three to end the Husker rally.
After another quick inning from Howell the Huskers would then get another opportunity to win the game. Boldt would reach base on a walk after he fell behind the count. After a sacrifice from Christian Cox and a wild pitch, Headley would then have a chance to win the game. Headley would then hit a bouncing ball back to the pitcher on which Boldt took off for him. The throw beat Boldt, but Boldt slid underneath the tag. Unfortunately Dave Condon did not have a good position on the play, and seemed to assume Boldt was out. Darin Erstad came out to argue but to no avail.
Howell again came back out for the 13th where he ran into trouble with two outs. After a pair of back to back walks, Jeff Chestnut came in to strike out pinch hitter Ben Kennedy to send the game to the bottom of the 13th.
Nebraska would have another chance to break through in the 13th when Jake Meyers would lead off the inning with a single. Darby would reach on a fielder’s choice to set up Schreiber. Schreiber would hit a ground ball through the left side to advance Darby to second. After Edrington’s second consecutive walk, Placzek got a chance to avenge his earlier strikeout. Again, Placzek jumped out ahead 2-0 and then the count was full. Placzek then would ground into a double play to end the inning.
After a quick 14th from both teams, the Huskers would win it in the fifteenth. Lubach was drilled in the shoulder with a pitch, and then was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Darby then ripped a base hit into left field where the bobble by Texas would allow Lubach to score. Nebraska has clinched the series and looks to go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon.