Lincoln – Four Husker pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout, while DJ Belfonte matched his career high with four RBIs, pacing Nebraska to a 14-0 victory over Wichita State Tuesday evening.
Tyler Niederklein, Luke Bublitz, Chris Williams and Sean Yost shackled the Shocker attack, combining for eight strikeouts, as Nebraska (17-16) picked up its second shutout of the year.
WSU (21-11) had just one hit through the first 8.1 innings, a wind-aided single by Nate Goro that dropped in front of pitcher’s mound in the second inning.
The Huskers take control early, as Nebraska rung up six runs in the second off of Shocker starter TJ McGreevy. With two outs and a runner on second, Bryan Peters’ RBI single started a string of five straight base hits, including a two-run triple to right center by Belfonte and a two-run homer by Adam Bailey into the teeth of a 30 mile per hour wind.
“It was a good night all-around and to say I’m enthused and encouraged by our freshmen would be an understatement,” Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. “Niederklein was great. I thought Bublitz was unbelievable and it was great to see Chris Williams out there.”
Belfonte went 2-for-4 with four RBIs while Bailey had two hits, including his Big 12 leading 14th homer of the season. Kyle Bubak also drove in three runs, as Nebraska’s 14 runs marked its highest total against the Shockers since 1985.
Peters drove in his second run in the fourth before Nebraska tacked on three runs in the fifth, including a two-run single by Belfonte. The Huskers added four more runs in the eighth, including a three-run triple by Kyle Bubak, who made his first appearance since March 27.
Niederklein (2-0) allowed one hit while establishing career bests in both innings (five) and strikeouts (four) in posting his second victory.
The right hander from Omaha retired seven of the final eight hitters he faced, helping the Huskers retire 17 of 18 Shockers from the third to the ninth innings. Bublitz fanned three over two perfect innings while Chris Williams retired the side in his Husker debut in the eighth before Travis Bennett’s one-out single in the ninth off of Sean Yost ended the string. Yost then induced Johnny Coy into a game-ending double play, completing Nebraska’s third consecutive shutout of Wichita State in Lincoln dating back to 2006.
The Huskers will return to action this weekend, as Nebraska hosts Kansas this weekend. Friday’s first pitch is 6:35 p.m.
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications