DeLeon Delivers in 3-0 Shutout
Lincoln, Neb. - Behind eight-shutout innings from junior Christian DeLeon and a two-run home run from senior Josh Scheffert, the Nebraska baseball team (2-5, 0-0 Big Ten) posted a two-game sweep of the New Mexico Lobos (2-6, 0-0 Mountain West) with a 3-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at Hawks Field. The shutout win marked Nebraska's first home shutout since March 19, 2011 when the Huskers won 6-0 over North Dakota in the first game of a double header.
DeLeon held the Lobo bats in check all afternoon, as New Mexico had a runner in scoring position just three times against the 6-3 righty, with only one runner reaching third base. Nebraska's defense rolled a pair of double plays behind DeLeon, while he struck out five Lobos on the day. Leftfielder Chad Christensen helped out his starter in the second when Mitch Garver led off with a single, but was thrown out by Christensen at second base when Garver tried to stretch the hit into a double.
DeLeon worked himself out of a jam in the eighth when New Mexico had the tying run at the plate with one down. DeLeon dug deep and struck out the Lobos' No. 2 and 3 hitters in order to kill the potential rally.
Nebraska was limited to just five hits on the day, but was able to deliver in clutch situations. Clinging to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth and two out, Christensen roped a 0-2 double down the right field line for his second hit of the day. Scheffert stepped in and quickly got behind 0-2 himself. The Lincoln native then fouled off four straight pitches before New Mexico starter Sam Wolff tried to make him chase a curve ball in the dirt. Still down in the count 1-2, Scheffert got a fastball low in the zone and drove it over the left field wall for his first home run of the season, giving the Husker pitching staff a 3-0 lead to work with.
Headed into the ninth, Head Coach Darin Erstad called on senior Dylan Vogt to secure the win. Vogt closed the door and earned his second save of the weekend.
After not scoring until the sixth inning of yesterday's home opener, where the Huskers exploded for seven runs, the NU bats gave DeLeon a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Huskers executed station-to-station and scored without getting a hit, as Rich Sanguinetti led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Austin Darby, stole third base and scored on a RBI groundout by Christensen.
Nebraska's homestand continues on Tuesday when the Huskers host the Northern Colorado Bears for a two-game series. The Huskers and Bears are scheduled to play at 1:35 p.m. on both Tuesday, March 5 and Wednesday, March 6. Fans can listen live on the Husker Sports Network, including for free on Huskers.com, and both games will be streamed live on HuskersNSide (subscription required).