Husker Arms Silence Bluejay Bats
Omaha, Neb. - Behind a pair of hits from four different Huskers and a three-hit game from the Nebraska pitching staff, the Nebraska baseball team (27-15, 8-7 Big Ten) earned its second win of the season over the Creighton Bluejays on Tuesday night at TD Ameritrade Park with a 4-1 win. Freshmen Austin Darby and Blake Headley, along with junior Kash Kalkowski and senior Kale Kiser each had two hits on the night, while Michael Pritchard extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a two-out single in the second inning. Since 1998, three other Huskers have posted 19-game hitting streaks, including Justin Cowan, Luke Gorsett and current Associate Head Coach Will Bolt.
Ryan Hander threw 2.0 innings and earned the win in the first start of career, striking out three and giving up just one hit. The Huskers then mixed it up on the mound with a new pitch on the mound in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. From the second to the sixth inning, the Huskers retired 13 straight Jays before Brad McKewon posted a two-out single in the sixth.
Creighton starter Nick Musec retired the first two Huskers he faced to start the game before Kalkowski laced a two-out single. Richard Stock then continued to swing a hot stick with a triple off the right-center-field wall for his eighth hit in his last nine at bats to give the Huskers a 1-0 lead. Hander took the mound and sent the Jays down in order, including a strikeout to both start and end the inning.
NU extended its lead to 2-0 in the second, starting with a leadoff single from Darby, who then stole second for his sixth steal in six attempts this season. With one down and Darby still at second, Headley dropped a single into left-center field for his sixth RBI of the season.
With the Husker arms holding the Jays to just one hit through the first 5.2 innings, McKewon reached on a two-out single and scored on a double by Anthony Bemboom to cut the Husker lead in half, 2-1. Aaron Bummer entered the game for NU and walked the first batter he faced, but bounced back with a ground out to end the Jays' scoring threat.
Still holding a 2-1 lead into the eighth, the Huskers created some breathing room with a pair of runs on two hits and one Bluejay error. Pat Kelly started the inning with an infield single to first base, as the freshman out-hustled pitcher Reese McGraw to the bag. Kelly then stole second and moved to third on a ground out by Kiser. Following a HBP to Pritchard that gave NU runners at the corners, Rich Sanguinetti laced a single through the right side of the infield to score Kelly and Pritchard came in to score when shortstop Alex Staehely mishandled the relay from right field.
Dylan Vogt came out and shutout the Jays in the eighth, before Travis Huber picked up his seventh save of the season with no-hit ninth, including two strikeouts.
The Huskers play three more non-conference games this weekend when the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners visit Hawks Field for a three-game series. The series opener is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. on Friday, while Saturday's 2:05 game will be shown live on NET and the series is set to conclude on Sunday at 12:05 p.m.