Lincoln – A trio of Huskers combined for the eighth no-hitter in school history on Tuesday afternoon, as Kyle Kubat, Tyler Niederklein and Dylan Vogt held the No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks hitless in a 3-0 Nebraska win in the first game of a doubleheader.
It was the fourth combined no-hitter in school history and the first no-hitter since four Huskers no-hit Peru State on March 6, 1993. Tuesday was the first no hitter against a Division I program since April 5, 1981, when Anthony Kelley no-hit the Oklahoma Sooners in seven innings. The last nine-inning no hitter against a Division I team was on April 20, 1954, when Richard Geier threw a perfect game against the Kansas Jayhawks.
After being sidelined with shoulder soreness for the first 33 games of the year, Kubat made his season debut on against nationally ranked Razorbacks. A freshman All-American last year and third-team All-Big Ten pick, Kubat dealt 5.0 innings of no hit ball. Kubat retired the first six Arkansas batters he faced, before issuing a leadoff walk in the third. He then sat down seven straight, before hitting Isaac Hellbusch with two out in the fifth.
Niederklein took over in the top of the sixth and picked up right where Kubat left off, as he retired the first seven Razorbacks he faced. After issuing a one-out walk to Hellbusch, who reached for the third time in the game, Head Coach Darin Erstad went to Vogt.
Vogt came on and quickly ended the eighth by getting pinch-hitter Eric Fischer to ground into a fielder’s choice before striking out Brett McAfee.
Facing the top of Arkansas’ order in the ninth, Vogt issued a walk to leadoff hitter Matt Vinson to start the inning, but quickly cleared the bases when Joe Serrano grounded in to a 6-3 double play.
With one out to go for the first no hitter in over 20 years, Vogt got ahead 0-2 on Tyler Spoon and on the 114th pitch of the game for the Huskers, Spoon flied out to center fielder Rich Sanguinetti to complete the no hitter.
The Husker bats got the only run they would end up needing in the first on a two-out double from Chad Christensen in the first inning. After Pat Kelly reached on a fielder’s choice when he beat out a potential double-play ball, Christensen ripped a 3-2 pitch from Trey Killian into the right-centerfield gap. With the full count, Kelly was able to take off on the pitch and scored all the way from first to give Nebraska a 1-0 lead.
Nebraska added a pair of runs in the third, pushing its lead to 3-0. Sanguinetti led off with a walk, Kelly was HBP and Pritchard followed with a base-hit bunt to load the bases with no out. Christensen came calling again with a RBI single and Austin Darby followed win an RBI groundout.
Game two of today’s doubleheader is set to start at 6:35 p.m. and will be shown live on the Big Ten Network.