Huskers Fail to Closeout Zags
Peoria, Ariz. - The Nebraska baseball team saw the first victory of the 2012 season fall through their hands on Saturday night at the Peoria Sports Complex, as the Gonzaga Bulldogs rallied for a 10-8 victory to take game two of the three-game series. The Huskers took a 8-5 lead into the top of the night with Tyler Niederklein on the mound, but the Bulldog bats came alive with five runs to steal the win after committing seven errors in the game.
Nebraska's offense did its part with eight runs on 12 hits, including two hits each from Michael Pritchard, Kash Kalkowski, Pat Kelly and Bryan Peters. Kalkowski and Peters each knocked in two runs, while junior Kurt Farmer blasted his first home run of the season in the fourth inning to give NU three home runs on the weekend.
One day after pitching against the Huskers, sophomore Marco Gonzales played first base for the Zags and produced a 3-for-5 night with a double and three RBI's. Steven Halcomb and Payden Cawley Lamb also had doubles for the Zags, while Maxx Garrett produced his second extra-base hit of the series with a triple.
The Huskers looked to have all the momentum heading into the ninth inning after adding two insurance runs in the bottom of the eight to take a 8-5 lead. Pritchard got the offense started with a one-out single and was then driven in by Kalkowski's double. Ty Kildow came in to pinch run for Kalkowski and eventually scored on a two-out single by catcher Richard Stock.
The Zags didn't go away though, as Billy Moon started the ninth-inning rally with a single and Royce Bolinger followed with a walk. After a flyout by Clayton Eslick, Garrett blasted a triple and the next four Gonzaga hitters produced a hit before NU reliever Ryan Hander got Alex Stanford to ground into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Rich Sanguinetti gave the Huskers life in the bottom of the ninth when he hustled out of the box and turned a routine single to the right-center gap into a double. Blake Headley then roped a line drive to right center, but Bolinger made a diving catch to rob the freshman. Following a groundout by Austin Darby, senior Kale Kiser lifted a ball to deep centerfield that was caught by Bolinger to complete the Gonzaga comeback.
Nebraska will now look to avoid the sweep tomorrow when the two teams meet at 1 p.m. (CT). Left-handed true freshman Kyle Kubat will take the mound for the Huskers and will face Gonzaga senior righty Andy Hunter.