Nebraska coach Mike Anderson decided one of his outfielders might be able to stop the Missouri offense Sunday.
With centerfielder Colin Shockey earning the win, the No. 15 Cornhuskers beat Missouri 11-10 at Taylor Stadium to avoid the sweep in the three-game Big 12 Conference series.
Anderson moved Shockey from center field to pitcher with two outs in the eighth inning to try to stop the Tigers, who had battled back from an 8-1 deficit to take a 9-8 lead.
Shockey retired Lee Laskowski to end the eighth inning and finished the game on the mound after Nebraska scored three in the ninth to pull ahead again. It was Shockey’s second appearance this season.
“Actually I had no idea (Shockey) pitched,” Missouri second baseman Zane Taylor said. “I didn’t get to face him, but they said he was very hitable. I just wish we could’ve gotten to him earlier.”
Missouri (24-13-1, 4-8) got to the other Nebraska pitchers, coming back after the Cornhuskers scored eight runs in the fifth.
Missouri scored two in the sixth and three in the seventh and eighth to take the lead.
The Tigers entered the eighth trailing 8-6. Ryan Rallo, who was 3 for 4 with an RBI and three runs, led off and reached first when third baseman Alex Gordon’s throw on a routine grounder was out of the reach of first baseman Curtis Ledbetter.
The Tigers had another big offensive day after scoring 16 runs in their win Saturday. Missouri outhit Nebraska 14-12 on Sunday and made solid contact with many balls ending up in an outfielder’s glove.
“I was pleased with the approach at the plate, pleased with the way we really attacked all weekend,” Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said.
The Tigers entered the fifth with a 1-0 lead, but starter Garrett Broshuis allowed six hits and seven runs in the inning before Dustin Braud replaced him. Broshuis had held Nebraska (26-9, 7-5) to one hit through the fourth with six strikeouts.
“I can’t really explain it,” Broshuis said. “I haven’t really given up a big inning like that all year, but it’s baseball, it happens to you once in a while.”
Missouri also could not stop Nebraska in the ninth.
Gordon started the run with a single and scored when Ledbetter followed with a double. Jake Mullinax then hit another double, scoring Ledbetter. The Cornhuskers final run of the inning came when a Jesse Boyer single scored Mullinax from second, making the lead 11-9.
“The ninth inning is what really stings,” Jamieson said. “We just hold them to one run there and we win the game.”
In Missouri’s half of the ninth, Rallo walked then scored on a Tyler Williams’ single after Johnson’s walk advanced him to second. Shockey, though, stranded Johnson and Williams.
In the fifth, the Tigers suffered a key loss when Nebraska starter Dustin Timm hit catcher Brad Flanders in the left hand. Flanders took his base, but did not return after the inning. Jamieson said he will know the extent of Flanders’ injury after he has X-rays.
“It took a little bit out of us, because everybody knows Brad’s the guy back there,” Jamieson said.