In the second game of the Houston College Classic on Friday afternoon, the Nebraska Baseball team found their Friday starter once again. Unfortunately, the bats went silent and one pitch ruined the day.
J.B. Moss' go-ahead homer in the 8th inning off of Nebraska starter Chance Sinclair gave the Texas A&M Aggies a 2-1 victory in the first game for both teams in the three day, six team showcase at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
Scoring was kicked off by Texas A&M in the 2nd inning, when Sinclair started attained some control issues. Nick Banks and Logan Taylor led off the inning with back to back singles for A&M, then G.R. Hinsley struck out after 2 failed bunt attempts, but Sinclair walked Michael Barash after a Wild Pitch allowed Banks to advance to 3rd. J.B. Moss singled to right, scoring Banks. Sinclair, however, got the 4-6-3 Double Play to keep it 1-0 Aggies.
The top of the 4th saw the Huskers get on the board. Ryan Boldt was hit by the first pitch of the game, and then was caught stealing 2nd, but Hinsley's throw went over Boldt into Left Field. A 2 out single by Ben Miller brought home Boldt, but Hinsley attained himself with a nifty catch to keep the score 1-1.
The contest became a pitchers duel till the bottom of the 8th inning when, after Sinclair had retired 17 batters in a row, J.B Moss sent a 1-0 pitch just over the yellow line in the Left Field short porch. Sinclair retired the side, but the damage had been done.
After the game, Head Coach Darin Erstad stated that, even though it was 2 good teams playing in the game, there are no moral victories out there. "A very good baseball game.. both teams grinded through (the shadows) but we grinded through it".
Erstad defended trying to go small ball in the 8th because "we were in a tight game and we thought that's all that Chance would need". But in the end, Erstad stated that "..we're going to need to find more offense from someplace, our guys grind out at-bats, but on a Friday night, that's what you need to do. It's Friday night and it's big boy baseball. We're playing good baseball and we're going to keep doing that."
Sinclair took the loss, but his line had nothing to be ashamed about. He went the full 8 innings on only 89 pitches, 58 of which those were strikes. He gave up 5 hits and 2 runs (both earned) with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk issued. "I saw a sharper breaking ball and huge pitches on his changeup when they were waiting for his fastball".
Andrew Vinson got the win for the Aggies, who used 4 total pitchers. Mark Ecker snagged the save for Rob Childress' squad.
Nebraska gets back at it in a 12:05 game versus Hawaii, who defeated Baylor earlier in the day 2-1 to kick off the Classic.