NR/No. 24 Baseball wins fifth straight in 2-0 shutout of Nebraska
Feb. 24, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - Junior outfielder Mark Payton went a perfect 3-for-3 with one run and one RBI while starting pitcher Nathan Thornhill and closer Corey Knebel provided a combined shutout for a 2-0 victory in the series finale against Nebraska on Sunday afternoon at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Thornhill (1-1) earned the win with seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Knebel recorded his third save of the season with two perfect innings, striking out one.
Texas (6-1) is off to its best start since the 2009 season when the Longhorns opened with an 11-game winning streak. The Longhorns posted their first shutout since a 3-0 win against Kansas on April 21, 2012.
The Longhorns were the first to jump on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore leftfielder Taylor Stell reached home on an RBI double by Payton. Stell recorded his fifth stolen base of the season after being hit by a pitch and is now 11-12 in career stolen bases.
Texas posted their second run in the bottom of the sixth after catcher Jacob Felts drove in Payton with an RBI single.
Ryan Hander (0-2) took the loss for the Cornhuskers (0-7), allowing two runs on eight hits and seven strikeouts in six innings.
Texas resumes play this Tuesday (Feb. 26) with a 5 p.m. game against Sam Houston State at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The game will be broadcast live on the Longhorn Network with radio on AM 1300 The Zone. Gametracker live stats will be be available on TexasSports.com with live Twitter updates @Texas_Baseball.
Notes: Texas is now 31-28 against Nebraska all-time in baseball...the Longhorns have won 11 of the last 13 games in the series against the Cornhuskers...head coach Augie Garrido needs 40 wins (1,853) to tie Gordon Gillespie for most wins (1,893) by any college baseball coach at any level...Texas is 18-for-22 in stolen bases...the Longhorns are batting .304 as a team this season with a 2.43 staff ERA...Mark Payton is batting a team-high .500 this season with 12 hits and 10 RBI (also team-highs) on 24 at-bats this season.
NU 000-000-000---0-2-0 TEXAS 000-101-00x---2-9-0
Texas head coach Augie Garrido
On winning a tight ball game: A lot of people will have their own conclusions, but mine is you have to find a way to win. Over the first series of games, the luck factor has not been with us. We had to earn every run that we have had. You have to learn how to win games when in fact there is no help from the other team. You have to win it by hitting, the hardest skill in sports according to Sports Illustrated, not Augie.
On Nebraska: They played good solid baseball this weekend. They are very competitive, a championship type team in their conference. They pitched very well, they had a hard time against teams in California, two of those teams are coached by former coaches of mine (Rick Vanderhook at Cal State Fullerton and Bill Kernan at Cal State Bakersfield).
Junior pitcher Nathan Thornhill
On the Texas 6-1 start: We feels pretty good, it is always good to sweep. Nebraska is not a bad baseball team, they can hit the ball, and are big guys. It feels good to get a sweep especially when not everything was working for us, we responded and worked hard.
Junior outfielder Mark Payton
On the team: The sky is the limit for this team. We put in a lot of work and one of these days, it is all going to click together.
On the difference of the team his year: The chemistry. The team is having a lot of fun playing together, that is the biggest part about baseball, you have to like who you are playing with, because they are your family for the next six months and hopefully all the way through Omaha.