Pribanic, Belfonte Powers Huskers to 7-0 Win
Lincoln – Behind a complete-game five hitter from Aaron Pribanic, the Nebraska baseball team extended its win streak to nine games with a 7-0 victory over Northern Colorado Monday afternoon.
Pribanic, the junior right-hander from Plano, Texas, tossed his second straight complete game, striking out seven without a walk and allowed just two runners to reach third in a 101-pitch gem. He became the first Husker pitcher to toss consecutive complete games since Aaron Marsden in March of 2003, and improved his record to 2-0 while lowering his ERA to 0.96 in 18.2 innings.
“I was really pleased with Aaron today,” Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson said. "He's throwing 92-95 and locating his breaking ball. We knew he had some good velocity, and Eric (Newman) has done a great job of developing, and keeping his composure. I was more impressed with his composure in the ninth than in the first two or three (innings).”
While Pribanic was dealing, DJ Belfonte powered the Husker offense to its 10th win in 12 games, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. The sophomore center fielder tripled in the third, singled in the sixth and belted his first career homer two innings later, a solo shot into the UNC bullpen off of Chad Murray.
The Huskers scored all the runs they needed in the bottom of the second against Northern Colorado starter T.R. Keating. Bryce Nimmo led off the frame with a bunt single and moved to third on Nick Sullivan’s double to right two batters later before Farst’s slow roller to third allowed Nimmo to score.
The Huskers continued to chip away at Keating, scoring single runs in the third and fourth innings before chasing him in the sixth. Belfonte powered Nebraska to a 2-0 lead in the fourth, tripling to the gap in left center before an errant throw into the Husker dugout allowed him to score. Corriston opened the fourth with a double and eventually scored on Farst’s sacrifice fly.
Nebraska threatened in the sixth, as Corriston doubled with one out before Sullivan was hit by a pitch, setting the stage for Ben Kline, who lined a two-out single to left to make it a 4-0 game. Matt Buck came in and gave up an infield single to Belfonte to load the bases before Jake Mort drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 5-0.
Keating (1-2) allowed five runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings to suffer his first loss in three decisions.
Farst drove in his third run in the seventh, a two-out RBI single to center, before Belfonte’s solo homer in the eighth rounded out the scoring. The only drama was if Pribanic would finish his masterpiece, and that was answered in the affirmative, as he struck out the final two hitters for the complete game.
The Huskers wrap up the 10-game homestand on Tuesday, as they host South Dakota State, beginning at 1:35 p.m. The game will be carried on selected Husker Sports Network stations and on the Internet at Huskers.com.