May 6, 2011
LINCOLN, Neb. – Taylor Jungmann improved to 11-0 on the season and Corey Knebel set a new UT freshman record with his 15th save as the No. 6 Texas Longhorns battled for a 5-3 road win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Hawks Field.
Jungmann worked 8.0 innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on five hits and five walks while striking out nine. Only one of Nebraska’s five hits left the infield and all nine of his strikeouts came after the first three innings. Knebel retired all three batters he faced in the ninth, including two strikeouts to earn the save.
The Cornhuskers pounced on the Longhorns early for a run in the bottom of the first. Michael Pritchard started the frame with a single to shortstop and with one out Cody Asche reached when a line drive hand-cuffed Jordan Etier at second base, putting runners on the corners. Kurt Farmer followed with a ground out to plate Pritchard, staking the Cornhuskers to a 1-0 lead.
Texas (35-11, 16-6 Big 12) responded with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning to take a 2-1 lead. With one out, Etier doubled down the leftfield line and stole second base. Jonathan Walsh gave the Longhorns their first lead of the game when he deposited a 1-0 pitch over the leftfield fence for his second home run of the season.
The Longhorns were unable to hold on to the advantage, serving up a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. With one out, Chad Christensen and Patric Tolentino were issued bases on balls. Tanner Krietemeier appeared to ground into a tailor-made 4-6-3 double play, but Etier’s toss to second base sailed into leftfield, allowing Christensen to score and Tolentino to advance third base. Tolentino would come home for the go-ahead run on a wild pitch, giving Nebraska a 3-2 edge.
Texas once again responded in the next half inning. With one out in the top of the third, Tant Shepherd singled to the gap in left centerfield and stole second base. Erich Weiss was issued a walk and both runners moved into scoring position when Nebraska starter Logan Ehlers uncorked a wild pitch. Cohl Walla produced the equalizer by forcing the Cornhuskers’ second baseman to make a diving catch with his back to the plate down the rightfield line, allowing Shepherd to score on the sacrifice fly.
The Longhorns reclaimed the lead in the top of the seventh inning. Shepherd singled to leftfield to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch moved him to third base with two outs and Paul Montalbano pushed him across for the go-ahead run by blooping a 1-2 offering into shallow centerfield for the 4-3 lead.
Shepherd added an insurance run when he launched a pitch from reliever Casey Hauptman over the leftfield fence to lead off the ninth inning. It was the first home run allowed by Hauptman this season.
Shepherd paced the Texas offense going 4-for-5 with three runs, one home run, one stolen base and three runs scored. Loy and Walla added two hits apiece.
Asche was the lone Nebraska player to record multiple hits with a pair of infield singles.
Matt Freeman (5-5) was saddled with the loss for Nebraska (27-19, 6-12 Big 12). He allowed one run on three hits and one walk while striking out two over 3.0 innings. Ehlers allowed three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two over 3.1 innings.
The Longhorns and Cornhuskers return for the second game of the series on Saturday with first pitch at Hawks Field slated for 2:05 p.m.