Eight-Run Sixth Inning Dooms Huskers
Fullerton, Calif. – The Nebraska baseball team (6-13, 0-0 Big Ten) took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning on Wednesday night at Goodwin Field, where the No. 8 Cal State Fullerton Titans (18-3, 0-0 Big West) exploded for eight runs and then coasted to a 10-4 win to sweep the two-game series with the Huskers.
Over the first five innings of the game, the Husker pitching staff limited the Titan offense to a pair of runs on three hits.
Chad Christensen hit his second home run of the season on the night, while Austin Darby added a triple and NU got doubles from both Kash Kalkowski and Wed Edrington.
Nebraska was able to take a 1-0 lead to start the game without producing a hit. Titan starter Bryan Conant walked Rich Sanguinetti to lead off the game and then hit Pat Kelly. After Michael Pritchard laid down a sacrifice bunt, Christensen bounced a groundball to the right side of the infield that scored Sanguinetti.
The Huskers added to their lead in the second when Edrington came around to score after leading off the inning with a double, his first extra-base hit as a Husker. After Edrington laced the first pitch he saw into the left-field gap, Sanguinetti moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt. The move sacrifice paid off, as Kelly produced a groundout to the right side of the infield that scored Edrington.
After Nebraska starter Jeff Chesnut sent the Titans down in order in the second, Fullerton came back to tie the game, 2-2, in the third on a hit and two walks. The Titans had the go-ahead run in scoring position with two outs, but Chesnut was able to get a pop out off the bat of Jake Jefferies to keep the game tied heading into the fourth.
The 2-2 tie didn’t last long, as Nebraska retook the lead in the forth with a run on two hits. After missing out on a home run by a few feet in the second, Darby blasted a one-out triple into the right-field gap.Kalkowski followed with a single up the middle to put the Huskers back ahead, 3-2. NU was in position to add more in the inning with the bases loaded and two outs following a pair of walks, but reliever David Birosak got Kelly to fly out to right field to end the Husker fourth.
Christensen gave the Husker pitching staff an extra run in the fifth when he blasted Birosak’s 2-0 pitch over the 385-foot sign in left-center field. The no-doubter off the bat pushed Nebraska’ lead to 4-2.
Kalkowski led off the sixth with a double down the left-field line, but the Huskers were unable to take advantage and add to their 4-2 lead.
Fullerton took over the game with eight runs on six hits and three hit batters in the sixth to take a 10-4 lead. The Titans plated five runs on three straight one-out singles, before Jefferies came through with a two-out RBI double, Chad Wallach followed with a RBI triple and then scored on a wild pitch.
With a six-run lead, the Titan bullpen shutout the Huskers over the final three innings to preserve the win.
Nebraska will catch a flight tomorrow morning to Illinois, where it will open Big Ten play on Friday against the Illinois Fighting Illini at 4:05 p.m. The teams are also scheduled to meet on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. and Sunday at 12:05 p.m. All three games of the weekend series will be called by Greg Sharpe and Lane Grindle across the Husker Sports Network, including for free on Huskers.com.