Huskers Drop Series Opener at Louisiana Tech
Ruston, La. - The Nebraska baseball team (4-8, 0-0 Big Ten) saw its four-game winning streak come to a end on Friday night at J.C. Love Field, as the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs opened the three-game series with a 5-0 win. Phil Maton delivered 7.0 shutout innings in the start, as the 2012 freshman All-American gave up four hits and struck out eight.
Nebraska starter Ryan Hander faced just three Bulldog hitters in an inning four times on the night, but fell to 0-2 on the season due to a four-run third inning. The senior righty struck out six and walked just two, but he was dinged for five runs on seven hits.
The Bulldogs only tallied three more hits on the evenings, 8-5, but made each one count. While the Huskers left eight runners on base, the Bulldogs left just three runners stranded.
Hander cruised through the first two innings, retiring the first six Bulldogs he faced. Hander hit Sam Alvis to start the third, but then retired him at second on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Ryan Jones. The Bulldogs then produced their first two hits of the game to load the bases with one down.
Hander got out to an 0-2 lead on Ryan Gebhardt, but the La Tech shortstop hung in and worked a walk to plate the game's first run. No. 3 hitter Taylor Terrasas opened the game up with a double down the leftfield line that cleared the bases, giving the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead. After a walk put runners on the corners, Hander struck out Kody Neel and Tanner Lubach threw out Tyler Ervine stealing to end the third inning.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 5-0 in the fourth with a run on a pair of hits, including a two-out single from No. 9 hitter Taylor Burch.
Nebraska was in position to get on the board in the fifth with the bases loaded, but Maton was able to get of the jam without any damage. After issuing a two-walk to Rich Sanguinetti and an infield single to Austin Darby, Chad Christensen stepped to the plate with two out and the bases juiced. The NU senior was unable to come through, as he flied out into foul territory down the right-field line.
The Huskers and Bulldogs wrap up their three-game series tomorrow with a doubleheader, starting at 1 p.m. Originally scheduled as a Friday-Saturday-Sunday series, Sunday's game was moved to Saturday due to impending weather.
Greg Sharpe and Lane Grindle will have the call of both games tomorrow on the Husker Sports Network, including for free on Huskers.com.