Ann Arbor, Mich. - The Nebraska baseball
team (33-20, 13-9 Big Ten) secured its spot at next week's Big Ten Baseball
Tournament on Thursday night with a 15-2 win over the Michigan Wolverines at Wilpon
Complex. The 15 runs were the most for the Huskers in a Big Ten opener this
season, as every Husker starter had at least one hit on the night. NU strung
together a conference-high 20 hits off four Michigan pitchers, including a
career-high four hits Rich Sanguinetti, who also tied a career high with four
RBI's. Four Huskers roped doubles on the night, while Kale Kiser stroked his
first triple of the season.
the mound, lefty Kyle Kubat continued to set the pace for the Huskers, as the
freshman picked up his third straight win in conference play. Now 5-0 on the
season, Kubat went 6.0 innings and gave up just two runs on six hits and one
walk, while punching out six. Kubat has gone six innings or more in all three
of his Big Ten starts this and has allowed no more than two earned runs, while
striking out 16.
Huskers took a 1-0 lead in the first when Michael Pritchard scored after
reaching on a one-out single. After Richard Stock reached on a fielder's
choice, UM starter Matt Ogden walked Josh Scheffert with two down to the load
the bases. With no place to put Sanguinetti, the Wolverine freshman issued his
third walk of the inning to plate Pritchard. Ogden bounced back and struck out Kash
Kalkowski to escape the jam.
came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on two singles, a walk
and a pair of stolen bases to take a 2-1 lead into the second. NU was in
position to tie the game after Kiser ripped a one-out triple into the
right-center field gap, but Ogden snagged a line drive off the bat of Pat Kelly
and Pritchard grounded out to end the inning.
Huskers broke through and chased Ogden out of the game in the third with four
runs on six hits to retake the lead, 5-2. Chad Christensen led off the inning
with his team-leading ninth bunt single of the year, but was then cleared
trying to steal second. The hits kept coming though, as Stock laced a single
and Scheffert roped his 11th double of the season to put two runners in scoring
position for Sanguinetti. The junior added his second RBI of the game with a
single and then took second base on a throwing error by center fielder Patrick
Biondi. Kalkowski kept the runs coming with a two-RBI single through the right
side and then scored all the way from first on a double by Austin Darby, but
the freshman was thrown out on a close play at third, as he tried to pick up
his first career triple.
Kubat put down the Wolverines in order in the bottom of the third, NU got right
back to scoring runs with five in the fourth on five hits. Christensen and
Sanguinetti each doubled in the inning, with Sanguinetti adding his third RBI
of the game on his two-bagger. Stock, Darby and Kiser each singled in the
inning, with Stock driving in a pair of runs and Darby adding another to put NU
Huskers extended their lead to 11-2 in the sixth when Kelly stroked a two-out
single of the middle to score Sanguinetti.
scored four or more runs in an inning for the third time in the ball game in
the top of the ninth with four runs on five hits, all singles. NU strung
together four straight two-out singles, while Kiser picked up his 46th career
hit-by-pitch in the inning.
Ryan Hander will try to win the series for the Huskers tomorrow when he takes
the mound for his second career conference start at 5:05 p.m. (CT) against
senior right-hander Brandon Sinnery. Greg Sharpe and Jeff Culhane will have the
call on the Husker Sports Network and the game will be streamed live on BTN.com