Lincoln – Nebraska’s offense continued to heat up despite cool and blustery conditions at Hawks Field en route to a season-high 17 hits in a 10-2 victory over Northern Colorado on Wednesday afternoon. The Huskers, now 9-5 on the year, have reached double-digit hits in six straight games.
The Big Red hit parade consisted of six Huskers who amassed multiple hits in the contest, including Pat Kelly who crushed his first home run of the year in a four-hit, four-RBI outing. Michael Pritchard pounded out three hits, including a pair of doubles, while scoring three times, and blooped a single in the fifth that extend his on-base streak to 56 games. Tanner Lubach also earned three base hits, including a triple and a double, with a pair of RBI.
Starting pitcher Aaron Bummer, now 2-2 on the season, worked his way out of a jam in the top of the first inning after the first two Bears reached base. The junior proceeded to strike out the next three batters he faced and went on to punch out five on the day. Bummer finished the day going 5.2 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits.
Senior Zach Hirsch, who earned his first career save, pitched 3.0 scoreless innings down the stretch, allowing just two hits while striking out a season-high five Bears.
The Huskers opened the scoring in the bottom of the third when Kelly laced a two-out RBI single just over the shortstop's reach. Darby came around to score to give NU a 1-0 edge after three innings. Northern Colorado bounced back in the fourth and tied it up after a leadoff walk came around to score on a hit by Nick Miller.
The Huskers got the run back in the bottom of the fourth on a pair of two-out hits. After Ben Miller reach on a single, Lubach went to the opposite field gap in right center for an RBI triple that put the Huskers back in front, 2-1.
The Huskers went on to score in every inning the rest of the game, including two runs in the fifth, three runs in the sixth, one run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth.
After Northern Colorado left the bases loaded and only scored one run in the top of the sixth, the Huskers responded with three runs on five hits and took a 7-2 lead. With one down and runners on first and third, Jake Placzek executed a squeeze that scored Lubach, while Pritchard kept things going with an RBI double up the middle and Kelly pounded a single to right field that brought home Pritchard.
The Huskers notched double-digit runs for the fourth time this season and the third time in the last four games when Kelly launched his first home run of the season into the right-field bullpen with Pritchard on base, who had just roped his second double of the game.
Nebraska will look to run its winning streak six straight tomorrow when the Huskers and Bears meet at 1:35 p.m. at Hawks Field in the two-game series finale.