Bloomington, Ind. - Behind a
seven-strikeout performance from freshman Kyle Kubat and three home runs from
the Husker offense, the Nebraska baseball team (29-16, 9-7 Big Ten) put an end
to the Indiana Hoosiers' four-game winning streak with a 13-2 win. Chad Christensen,
Kash Kalkowski and Josh Scheffert each had three hits and three RBI's on the
afternoon, as the Huskers outhit the Hoosiers, 16-5. Christensen, Scheffert and
Richard Stock accounted for NU's three homers, while Kalkowski and Rich
Sanguinetti each roped doubles.
his first career conference start, Kubat put together his best game as a Husker
with a career-high seven strikeouts over a career-high 6.2 innings of work.
After giving up two runs on three hits in the first inning, Kubat found his
rhythm and gave up just one hit and didn't allow a runner past second base over
the next 5.2 innings. Of his seven strikeouts, Kubat punched out a pair of
Hoosiers in each of the second, third and fourth innings.
Pritchard extended his hitting streak to 22 games with a leadoff single in the
sixth and can tie Curtis Ledbetter for the fourth longest hitting streak in NU history
since 1958 with a hit tomorrow.
Huskers got on the board in the top of the first on a two-out solo home run by
Christensen on the second pitch he saw from lefty Joey DeNato. The Hoosiers'
starter had given up just one home run through 71.0 innings of work entering
the game and it was Christensen's first home run since March 17, after he hit
six home runs in the first 20 games of the season.
would last just 5.0 innings on the day and was tagged for his second loss of
the season, dropping his record to 7-2. He gave up eight runs on nine hits and
three walks, which forced IU to dig into their bullpen early.
responded in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer from Sam Travis to give
IU a 2-1 lead with one out. Micah Johnson followed with a double and Michael
Basil reached on an error at short to keep the pressure on Kubat, but the
freshman stayed composed and got Scott Dooney to ground into 6-4-3 double play
to end the inning with minimal damage.
Kubat sent the Hoosiers down in order in both the second and third, including
four strikeouts, the Huskers pushed across seven runs in the top of the fourth
to take a 8-2 lead.
led off the fourth with a single and scored when Stock followed with an
opposite-field homer for his third dinger of the year to put the Huskers back
out in front, 3-2. Scheffert then posted the Huskers' third straight hit to
open the inning and Sagnuinetti reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt
that catcher Kyle Schwarber couldn't handle in front of the plate. Pat Kelly
put down a sacrifice bunt that moved Scheffert and Sanguinetti into scoring
position, which paid off when Austin Darby lifted a deep fly ball to left field
that scored Scheffert. With two out, DeNato couldn't find the strike zone and
loaded the bases with walks to Kale Kiser and Pritchard, which set the table
for Christensen to notch his 19th and 20th two-out RBI's of the season with a
single up the middle. Kalkowski then came to the plate for the second time in
the inning and drove in a pair of runs with a double to put the Huskers up 8-2.
Head Coach Tracy Smith turned to reliever Walker Stadler to start the sixth and
the Huskers welcomed the righty with three straight singles from Pritchard,
Christensen and Kalkowski. After Stadler retired Stock for the first out of the
inning, Scheffert laced a line drive over the 370 sign in left field for a
three-run home run to push NU's lead to 10 at 12-2.
added one more run in the top of the ninth on a two-out single by Darby that
scored Sanguinetti, who scored from second after reaching on a double.
teams return to Sembower Field tomorrow for game two of the three game series at
11 a.m. (CT). The game will be shown nationally on the Big Ten Network, with
Brandon Pierce taking the mound for the Huskers against Indiana's Kyle Hart.