Lincoln – Behind a career-high 13 strikeouts from Johnny Dorn, the Nebraska rolled to a 12-2 victory over Northern Colorado Saturday afternoon.
Dorn was magnificent against the Bears, fanning the first seven hitters he faced and didn’t allow a base hit until Cody Henry’s one-out bloop single in the fifth. Dorn, who improved to 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA, topped his previous high of 12 strikeouts against UC Riverside in the 2007 NCAA Regional and reached double figures in strikeouts for the fourth time in his career.
On the day, Dorn allowed just three hits and one earned run over seven innings, while his 13 strikeouts were the most by a Husker since Joba Chamberlain fanned 13 against Miami in the 2005 NCAA Super Regional. With the win, Dorn ups his career record to 33-9, eight wins shy of Shane Komine’s school and Big 12 record.
Anderson said that Dorn’s velocity and location were pinpoint early on, helping the senior now strikeout 29 in just 20 innings of work for Nebraska (7-2).
“I think the velocity helps, and he located extremely well today,” Anderson said. “That’s good to see. I think everything is just a little bit better.”
“I am just trying to get ahead, and when I get two strikes in the count I try to put as much into that pitch as I can,” Dorn said. “I’ll try and get a strikeout. Otherwise pitch for contact and try and get outs.”
The Huskers, whose six-game win streak is the longest since 2006, were paced offensively by Bryce Nimmo, who went 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored. Nimmo, who is hitting .632 with seven RBIs and seven runs scored over his last five contests, has not recorded five straight multi-hit games over the past week.
Nimmo ignited the Huskers’ five-run second with a one-out bunt single, the first of six consecutive base hits against Northern Colorado starter and loser Chris Reap. Cody Neer singled to put runners on first and second before run-scoring singles from Nick Sullivan, Ben Kline, DJ Belfonte and Jake Mort made it a 4-0 lead. Jake Opitz added a sacrifice fly to cap the five run inning.
The Huskers put the game out of reach two innings later, taking advantage of a Northern Colorado error en route to a four-run inning. With two on and one out, a fielder’s choice off the bat of Optiz was misplayed, loading the bases. Mitch Abeita then came through with a two-run single to make it a 7-0 lead. Craig Corriston plated another run with a ground out before Nimmo’s second hit of the day, an RBI single to right, pushed the lead to 9-0.
Reap (1-1) took the loss, allowing nine runs on 11 hits over 4.0 innings of work.
Neer, Belfonte and Kline also had two hits apiece as NU reached double figures in runs for the third straight game.
The Bears, who finished with four hits, got on the scoreboard with single runs in the sixth and seventh before the Huskers salted away the game with three in the bottom of the seventh. Nimmo belted his first home run in nearly two years before pinch-hitter Brett Sowers laced a two-run single for the final margin.
The two teams will continue the series with a doubleheader scheduled for 12:05 p.m. on Sunday.