Lincoln Zach Herr and Erik Anderson got the Huskers out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the top of the eighth, while Nebraska took advantage of a pair of wild pitches in their half of the frame to pull out a 3-2 victory over UC Riverside Friday afternoon at Hawks Field.

 

With the score tied at two, the Highlanders (2-4) to a pair of walks and a fielder’s choice to load the bases with nobody out against the heart of the order.  Herr struck out Drew Garcia for the first out and got Joey Gonzales looking for the second out before Anderson came in and fanned Aaron Wible to get Nebraska out of the jam, earning a standing ovation from the crowd of nearly 3,000 watching the Huskers’ first-ever February game at Hawks Field.

 

Head Coach Mike Anderson said that the work by Herr and Erik Anderson to get Nebraska (2-2) out of the inning unscathed was the difference in Friday’s win.

 

“It was good pitching, and Zach Herr was great,” Mike Anderson said. “They had that switch hitter up and Zach getting him to strike out was a big play.  Then we had that match up we wanted  left on left, that one was expected and Eric Anderson came in and did a great job.  The key to that inning was the first batter where they had the match up they wanted.”

 

Ben Kline opened the bottom eighth with a double to left, moved to third on a one-out wild pitch before coming home to score on Ryan Platt’s first offering later in the inning, a pitch that bounced into the dirt and past catcher Brett Hambright that allowed Kline to easily score.

 

Erik Anderson allowed a leadoff single in the ninth before retiring the final three hitters in order, punctuating the win by getting Hambright to strike out to end the game.

 

The crisply-played contest was a pitcher’s duel between Nebraska starter Johnny Dorn and Stephen Penney of UC Riverside saw the teams combine for just nine hits. Dorn pitched well in a no-decision, allowing two runs on four hits over seven innings, while striking out nine Highlanders.

 

The only mistake Dorn made was surrendering a two-run homer to Ben Price in the second, as the senior right-hander didn’t allow a hit over his final 4.2 innings of work.

 

Penney pitched just as well, scattering four hits and striking out four over 7.2 innings, as solo homers from Mitch Abeita and Jeff Tezak accounted for all of the Huskers’ scoring in the first seven innings.

 

“It was a good baseball game all around with good pitching and defense by both teams,” Mike Anderson said.  

 

UC Riverside got on the board in the second, as Ryan Goetz singled and came home on Price’s first homer of the season – a two-run shot to right center. Dorn then settled down and allowed just one runner into scoring position until he departed following the seventh.

 

Nebraska got one of the runs back in the bottom of the frame, as Abeita’s solo homer – his second of the year – pulled Nebraska within 2-1. Two innings later, Tezak tied the score with a one-out solo homer to right for his first round tripper of the year.

 

The two teams will continue the series Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader scheduled for 12:05 p.m. Fans can listen to both games on Huskers.com and on selected Husker Sports Network stations following the men’s basketball game at Oklahoma State.  

 

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