Lincoln, Neb. - Nebraska (16-7) produced 12 hits from 11 different players and scored six runs in the seventh inning en route to a 13-2 win over Northern Colorado (1-13) on Wednesday afternoon at Hawks Field. The Huskers will take a six-game winning streak, NU's longest since March of 2008, into the Big 12 opener this weekend at Texas Tech.
"We got it going, swung it well," head coach Mike Anderson said. "I think we're learning a lot about this club. There are a lot of things we can do when we get base runners on, and I liked some good team at bats today. It was a good approach, just get on and then see if we can create something. When we do get on, we can create some things, so that's good to see."
Nebraska scored 10 runs on 10 hits in the sixth and seventh to stretch its 3-1 lead into a commanding 13-1 advantage heading into the final two innings. Kash Kalkowski, who had a fourth inning single to mark NU's first hit of the day, highlighted the scoring barrage with a line drive 2-run homer to right center field that landed in the first row of the terrace seating. It was the fourth home run of the season for Kalkowski, which gives him the team lead and ranks the Grand Island, Neb., native second in the Big 12 Conference.
The Huskers strung together five straight hits in the sixth inning, including singles from Cody Asche, Kurt Farmer, Chad Christensen and Josh Scheffert. That spurt kept hitting streaks alive for Asche, Christensen and Scheffert, which are all now at nine games.
In the seventh, NU put together a six-run inning, its fifth of the season, with three runs each off UNC relievers Josh Boyer and Kevin Willman. Nebraska batted around the order as leadoff man Michael Pritchard started the inning by reaching on an error, before eventually ending the inning with a pop up RBI single that fell in the infield with the aid of a strong northern wind.
It was a trio of newcomers providing the most offense for Nebraska in the big inning. Freshman Nick Miller tallied his first career hit and RBI on the first pitch he saw from Willman, while redshirt freshman Pat Hirschberg singled through the right side for a 2-RBI hit before Sam Stucky scored Hirschberg with his first career hit and RBI on a single to left.
Nebraska was no-hit through the first three innings by UNC starter Chris Carlberg, but broke though to total double-digit hits for the 14th time this season. Carlberg fell to 0-1 by giving up seven runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. NU starter Dylan Vogt threw the first three innings for the Huskers and left the game in a scoreless tie, while Sean Yost was credited the winner after he threw the fourth and fifth innings and gave up a run on two hits.
The Huskers trailed for a short time as UNC took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Nebraska responded with a pair in the fourth and one in the fifth, including RBI singles from Kalkowski and Cory Burleson, to take a 3-1 lead heading into the sixth inning.
Nebraska has now won eight of its last nine games and will begin Big 12 play this weekend at Texas Tech.
"We're excited for it," Anderson said. "We've been ready. Hopefully, we play well. I think we will. I feel confident in it. I feel confident in our pitching, which is the best part. We go in facing one of the top hitting groups in the entire Big 12 right now. They are very offensive and we have them at their place. We're going to have to show what we can do from the pitching side of things. If we do that, then we
should be in good shape."
The Huskers and Red Raiders open the three-game series Friday night at Dan Law Field at 6:30 p.m. All the action can be heard on the Huskers Sports Network.