Omaha, Neb. – After dropping game one of Saturday’s doubleheader to the No.24 Oklahoma State Cowboys, 5-3, in 10 innings at TD Ameritrade Park, the Nebraska baseball team (19-23, 11-4 Big Ten) was unable to salvage a split in game two, as the OSU starter Tyler Nurdin threw a complete-game shutout in a 4-0 win.
Nurdin kept the Huskers off balance, as the lefty allowed just four hits and no walks, while striking out four. The sophomore from Fort Worth, Texas, faced more than four Huskers in an inning once on the afternoon and retired the Huskers in order seven times.
Tyler Niederklein put together his best start of the season, but it wasn’t enough, as he was tagged with the loss. The Omaha native struck out a season-high five in a season-high 5.0 innings of work, his longest outing since going 5.1 in a win over California on March 31 last season. The righty gave up one run on four hits and three walks.
Redshirt freshman catcher Taylor Fish produced his first career multi-hit game with a single in both the sixth and eighth innings.
Neither team was able to score through the first five innings, with the Cowboys having the best opportunity at the beginning of the game. Following a leadoff single from Saulyer Saxon, a sacrifice bunt from Donnie Walton and a single from Tanner Krietemeier, the Cowboys had runners on the corners with one down in the top of the first. Randy McCurry stepped in and tried to drive in the game’s first run with a sacrifice fly to center, but Rich Sanguinetti threw a rope to Fish to cut own Saxon at the plate for an inning-ending double play.
The Cowboys produced just two hits over the next four innings off Niederklein, while the Omaha native struck out a five. The senior righty started the sixth, but walked Walton on four pitches and was relieved by Jeff Chesnut.
Chesnut, a freshman from Omaha, gave up a one-out RBI double and RBI single before getting a pair of groundouts to end the OSU sixth, but not before the Cowboys took a 2-0 lead.
Entering the bottom of the sixth, Nurdin had retired 11 straight, but couldn’t get a 12th-straight Huskers, as Fish started the inning with a single. Following a pair of fly outs to right field, Sanguinetti blasted a single up the middle and moved to second on the throw to third base. With two runners in scoring position and two outs, Chad Christensen went with an outside pitch, but Walton was able to make a play on the ball in the hole and threw out NU’s right fielder at first to end the two-out rally.
OSU added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh, including a solo home run from Rick Stover. The homer was just the fourth home run in 16 games at TD Ameritrade Park this season.
The Huskers wrap up the TD Ameritrade Classic tomorrow with their fourth game in three days, when they take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at 11:05. Greg Sharpe and Jeff Culhane will have the call across the Husker Sports Network.