Husker baseball fall 4-1 after failing to convert with bases loaded in 8th
No walk-off win for the Huskers on Saturday as they fell to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4-1 after having three walk-off wins in the last four games.
Nebraska had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded and one out. Leighton Banjoff and Max Anderson reached on a walk and a fielding error. Core Jackson advanced Banjoff and Anderson with a sacrifice bunt. The Islanders intentionally walked Griffin Everitt, who has hit four home runs in the previous four games.
Brice Matthews got out on a pop fly to second base. Then the Huskers scored their first run of the game when Garrett Anglim was hit by a pitch and Banjoff jogged home.
Colby Gomes, who went 0-for-4 on Saturday, struck out swinging for the third out and Nebraska's hopes of another walk-off win squandered.
The Huskers' offense had several chances to get runs on the board but fell short. In the fourth inning, Matthews and Anglim were both walked leaving NU with two on and no outs.
Gomes stepped up to the plate, reached on a ball and sent a grounder right to the third baseman, who snatched the ball, stomped on third and gunned down Gomes at first for a double play. Cam Chick launched one deep into center field but it was caught by center-fielder Brendan Ryan for the third out.
Anglim earned Nebraska's first and only hit in the bottom of the seventh, another situation where head coach Will Bolt said he felt there was an opportunity to turn the game around.
Gomes struck out swinging, Chick was walked to bring up pinch-hitter Gabe Swansen.
Swansen sent a hard-hit ball to left field, which was caught for the second out of the half-inning. Anglim, who was almost to third, didn't get back to second in time and again, Nebraska couldn't convert on an opportunity.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Huskers had two fielding errors. One was by Matthews in the seventh, when a ball went flying past him into right field and bounced off his glove. The next batter hit in Nate White on a single to left field and Huskers went down 2-0.
The Islander's first run came in the top of the first when leadoff batter Steven Rivera-Chijin hit a double and was moved around the bases to score.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's last two runs were scored in the top of the ninth. Anderson's error put Tyler Linneweber, who was walked, into scoring position as Rivera-Chijin got to first on the error.
Josh Caraway and Ryan hit back-to-back singles through the left and right sides respectively and two Islander's scored.
Husker closer Emmett Olson struck out Cole Modgling and Max Puls flied out to center for the third out.
Pitcher Zach Garcia, who pitched 1.1 innings, struck out two Huskers in the bottom of the ninth and pinch-hitter Luke Sartori lined out to shortstop.
Garcia took the mound in the eighth inning after RHP Hayden Thomas hit Anglim with his 111th pitch of the game. Thomas received applause from the home crowd at Haymarket Park for allowing one hit and one run.
While Thomas had a great outing, he only struck out one batter. The defense behind him went to work as they had several sliding catches and great snags.
As for the Huskers, starter right-handed pitcher Shay Schanaman pitched 6.2 innings and allowed two runs on three hits. Schanaman struck out five batters in his 91 pitches.
Schanaman put Nebraska in a good position to win and its offense has several opportunities to get points on the board but fell short.
Didn't capitalize on big opportunities
Bolt said after the game that it felt like Nebraska would have their end-of-game miracle as they loaded the bases in the eighth. But Matthews and Gomes left three runners stranded.
They had runners in scoring position in the fourth and seventh inning but couldn't get them home.
Nebraska was only down 2-1 entering the ninth inning but Olson gave up two hits and Anderson committed a critical error in crunch time.
The Huskers took advantage of mistakes and scored when the opportunities presented themselves in the other four games this week. They will have to get back to that on Sunday to win the series.
Good contact, great catches
Islander starting pitcher Hayden Thomas going 7.2 innings and only striking out one batter (which was Gomes).
This means the Islander's defense took care of all but one out in roughly seven innings. Nebraska was making a lot of contact on the ball, enough to get 22 outs worth with Thomas on the mound.
But unlike Friday where Nebraska had a walk-off 13-12 win after scoring four in the ninth, the balls weren't hitting grass or being sent over the fence. On days like that, taking advantage of a bases-loaded situation is even more crucial.
Nebraska and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will battle to win the series on Sunday in Haymarket Park at noon. The Husker took game one on Friday and the Islanders won game two to even the series.
The game can be watched on B1G+ and heard on the Huskers Radio Network.