LINCOLN, Neb. -- Using a 6.1-inning, nine-strikeout performance from starter Adrian Alaniz (Sinton, Texas) and a season-best, 17-hit attack, No. 1 Texas (28-6, 5-5 Big 12) earned an 11-4 victory over No. 4 Nebraska (27-5, 6-2 Big 12) in front of a crowd of 8,163 on Saturday, April 9. Notably, with the win, the series between the Horns and Huskers is now tied at one game apiece.
The Longhorns managed to load the bases on a single from Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas), a double off the bat of Taylor Teagarden (Carrollton, Texas) and a hit batter with one out in the top of the first, but NU starter Zach Kroenke got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning without allowing a run. Nebraska then came up with two singles in the bottom of the inning, but a caught stealing and a pair of strikeouts by Alaniz kept the game scoreless. In the second, right fielder Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas) singled with one out before stealing second with two down and scoring when the throw went into outfield and was bobbled by the left fielder to stake Texas to a 1-0 lead. A leadoff home run from Johnston one inning later in the third then made it 2-0 in favor of the Longhorns.
Nebraska cut the lead in half at 2-1 in the bottom of the third when shortstop Joe Simokaitis connected on a RBI-double to drive in Bryce Nimmo from first base. With the Huskers still threatening in the frame, Alaniz, after an intentional walk, then induced a popup to end the inning. Answering immediately in top of the fourth, David Maroul (Benbrook, Texas) drew a
one-out walk before back-to-back singles from Peoples and Robby Hudson (Redlands, Calif.) pushed UT in front by a score of 3-1. After a scoreless top of the fifth, the Huskers loaded the bases with two outs on a fielder's choice and two walks in front of a RBI-base hit from Andy Gerch to make it a 3-2 game. Still facing a bases-loaded situation, Alaniz got his next batter to hit a chopper to second base that kept UT in front by one.
Countering again in the top of the sixth, the Horns received a one-out home run from Maroul followed by five consecutive singles, including run-scoring base hits from Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas), Johnston and Teagarden, and a sacrifice fly from Calvin Beamon (Aurora, Colo.) to plate five runs and grab an 8-2 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, a one-out error followed base hits from Simokaitis and third baseman Alex Gordon and a sacrifice fly off the bat of pinch-hitter Ryan Wehrle plated a pair of unearned scores for Nebraska to make it an 8-4 ballgame. Continuing to battle, pinch-hitter Will Crouch (Austin, Texas) then came up with two on and two outs in the top of the eighth and sent the fourth pitch he saw over the left-field fence to claim an 11-4 advantage for the Horns. From there, senior reliever Buck Cody (Oklahoma City, Okla.), who worked out of the bases-loaded jam in the seventh, faced the minimum over the final two innings to seal the win and earn his first save of the season. While Alaniz, who allowed two earned runs on seven hits while striking out a career-best and team season-high nine batters over a career-long six and one third innings, picked up his second win of the year, Kroenke incurred the loss.
Leading the way offensively for the Longhorns, who connected on a season-high three home runs in the game, were Johnston, who turned in the third four-hit game of his career with a 4-for-4 outing that included three runs scored and a pair of RBI, and the trio of Teagarden, Peoples and Hudson, who each tallied three hits while combining for two RBI and four runs scored. Nebraska, meanwhile, had its offense paced by Simokaitis, who went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI, Nimmo, who crossed the plate three times, and Gordon, who tallied two hits while driving in one run and drawing a pair of walks.
This series now wraps up with a 1:30 p.m. Central game at Hawks Field on Sunday, April 10. Of note, the series finale between UT and Nebraska will be broadcast on radio by 1300 AM "The Zone" in Austin and televised nationally by ESPN.