Razorbacks Snap Husker Win Streak with 9-4 Win
Lincoln – Nick Sullivan and Bryce Nimmo had two hits apiece, but Arkansas’ sixth-run eighth broke open a tie game, as the Razorbacks snapped Nebraska’s 14-game win streak with a 9-4 win Wednesday afternoon.
Arkansas (13-6) plated six runs off relievers Mike Nesseth and Zach Herr, as Ryan Cisterna’s two-run homer to left gave the Razorbacks the lead for good. Run-scoring doubles by Chase Leavitt and Logan Forsythe sandwiched around Brett Eibner’s RBI triple provided the knockout blow, as the Razorbacks also took advantage of a pair of Husker miscues in the frame.
Nebraska, which suffered its first loss since Feb. 24, fell to 15-3 on the season, as Nesseth (2-1) took the loss, allowing four runs in 1.1 innings – the first runs the redshirt freshman had allowed in eight appearances this season.
Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson said that Arkansas’ offensive effort was the difference on Wednesday, as seven of the Razorbacks’ 10 hits went for extra bases.
"We have not seen an inning like that for a long time and it is just one of those things that happens," Anderson said. "More than making mistakes on our part, I thought they did a good job and give credit to them. They hit the ball hard and they are a good team."
Anderson said there is a lot the Huskers (15-3) can take from Wednesday’s loss, as they fell one win short of matching the longest win streak in a quarter of a century.
"Even in wins there are things we can work on, but in losses they are emphasized a little bit more," Anderson said. "There are a lot of fundamentals that we need to work on. When you win a game and make some mistakes, it seems to get covered over, but when you lose a game they seem to get emphasized a little more. We are going to go back to work and try to get started again."
Cisterna’s blast was one of three homers on the day for Arkansas, as Leavitt and Tim Smalling also homered for Arkansas, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
Sullivan, who is hitting .500 in his last 10 contests, and Nimmo combined for half of the Huskers’ hit total on the afternoon, as Sullivan went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored while Nimmo went 2-for-3 and scored a run.
Nebraska also got a solid performance from starter Erik Bird, who established career high in both innings and strikeouts in a no-decision. The junior held the Razorbacks to just four hits over the first five frames and struck out four in leaving with a 3-2 lead.
The Huskers got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third, scoring twice off of Razorback starter Travis Hill. A walk to Nimmo and a single by Tyler Rank put runners on first and second before Andy Cotton’s sacrifice moved both runners into scoring position. DJ Belfonte’s squeeze plated Nimmo before Mort made it a 2-0 game with an RBI single.
Arkansas got the scoreboard in the top of the fourth on Smalling’s one-out homer to left, before came back with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning, as Cotton was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Sullivan, who reached on a one-out single.
The Razorbacks fought back, scoring single runs in the fifth on Leavitt’s leadoff homer and tying the game off Nesseth in the seventh. With two outs, Forsythe walked and stole second before Andy Wilkins muscled a pitch into the corner in left to tie the score at three.
The Huskers return to conference action Friday afternoon, as they begin a three-game series with Oklahoma. First pitch on Friday is set for 2:05 p.m.