So much for worrying about Sunday pitching.
According to the performance by senior left-hander Joseph Krebs (5-0), the Longhorns need not have any concerns about their Sunday starter. Krebs, who struggled at times this season establishing himself as Texas’ third starter, pitched six and a third solid innings for Texas, striking out three batters while giving up only four hits and no earned runs.
The Longhorns moved to 33-12 overall and 14-4 Big 12 play. Nebraska fell to 23-17 and 8-10 in the league.
Texas got it started in hurry as Kyle Russell, the NCAA’s leader in homeruns, stepped to the plate and crushed a two-run bomb over the left center. It was his 23rd homerun of the season, extending his Texas single-season record.
But Nebraska responded quickly in the bottom half of the inning, capitalizing on a couple of fielding errors. The Longhorns’ are still struggling to find consistent defensive play at shortstop. Texas head coach Augie Garrido gave yet another player, Michael Demperio, the start at short. The Cornhuskers scored on two fielding errors by Demperio to tie it up.
Then came the decisive second inning. The Longhorns dropped four more runs on Nebraska starter Matt Foust (1-2) to take a 6-2 lead. Foust had the top ERA on the team heading into the series, but left after only one and two-thirds, getting shelled by RBIs from Jordan Danks, Chance Wheeless and Russell, the top of the Texas order.
The rain continued, but the runs did not, as there was not a single run plated by either squad for the rest of the game as they played through the sprinkle.
Randy Boone replaced Krebs in seventh and pitched two and two-thirds of shutout baseball to close out the Texas win. Boone struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to end the series, picking up his 11th save on the year.
Buried in the Cornhusker loss was a masterful performance from Nebraska pitcher Luke Wertz. Coming on in relief of Foust, Wertz pitched seven and a third innings of shutout baseball, giving up four hits and striking out seven Texas batters. However, he got no support as the Nebraska bats went cold.
Texas is next hosts UT-Pan American on Tuesday at 6:05 p.m. before traveling to Stillwater for a weekend series against Oklahoma State.