Huskers Rout Utes, 15-0
Corpus Christi, Texas - The Nebraska baseball team picked up its second straight win in a 15-0 victory over the Utah Utes on Saturday at Whataburger Field, after NU scored five runs on 12 hits in a 5-2 win over Utah on Friday afternoon to open the Kleberg Bank College Classic. While NU starter Jon Keller kept the Utes off the board with just two hits over seven innings of work, the Husker bats lit up the Utes' pitching staff with 18 hits, including a combined 11 runs off 10 hits in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Keller was dominate in his second start of the season to move to 1-0 on the year. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native only struck out two, but also kept the ball in the zone and only allowed two walks. The 6-5 righty sent the Utes down in order four times on the day, including 1-2-3 innings in both the sixth and seventh.
Ryan Hander and Aaron Bummer combined to finish the shutout for the Huskers in the eighth and ninth innings. Hander sent the Utes down in order with two strikeouts in the eighth, while Bummer notch a strikeout in his first career appearance in the ninth.
Bryan Peters led the Huskers with a career-high four hits, including two doubles, while Chad Christensen, Josh Scheffert and Sam Stucky each had two hits. Christensen belted his second home run of the season for two his team-leading four RBIs and Kale Kiser was close behind with three RBI's, while Rich Sanguinetti and Kurt Farmer each had two RBI's.
After two solid innings to start the game, including a pair of strikeouts in the first, Utah starter Ben Mordini lost his touch in the third. Mordini had two strikes on Stucky, but the NU catcher earned a free pass to lead off the inning after being hit-by-pitch. Junior Bryan Peters followed with a double down the leftfield line and Kiser was hit-by-pitch to load the bases with no outs for Sanguinetti. Mordini continued to struggle and walked Sanguinetti to plate Stucky for the first run of the game. Following a strikeout by Austin Darby for the first out of the inning, Christensen continued his hot hitting and drove in Peters and Kiser with a RBI single to left field. Stock kept the runs coming with a 4-3 groundout to score Sanguinetti and move Christensen to third. Farmer then dug into his bag of tricks with a two-out bunt down the third base line that not only resulted in an infield single, but also scored Christensen to give NU a 5-0 lead.
The Huskers would bat around again in the fourth and add five more runs to give Keller a 10-0 lead. Stucky led off with a single and then the Utes' pitching staff once again loaded the bases with a hit-by-pitch of Peters and a walk to Kiser. Sanguinetti came through with an RBI groundout before Christen produced his third and fourth RBI's of the game on a two-run home run to left field for his second homer of the season. Richard Stock nearly made it back-to-back home runs, but settled for a double on a ball that bounced out of the right fielders glove on the warning track. Stock soon scored on an RBI single from Farmer.
Nebraska wasn't satisfied with the 10-0 lead, as it added another run in the fifth off three singles and two runs in the sixth off four singles, including a two-out, two-RBI single from Kiser. NU plated two more in the eighth to take a 15-0 lead off three straight hits from Scheffert, Stucky and Peters, including Peters' second double of the day.
Following a 30-minute intermission, the Huskers will hit the field again for a nightcap with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Junior Tom Lemke will make his first start of the season against the Islanders, while TAMU-Corpus Christi will counter with junior right-hander Tim Keller. NU will finish the Kleberg Bank College Classic tomorrow with an 11 a.m. game against UNLV. The Rebels are 1-1 on the weekend following a 3-1 loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday night and a 9-2 win over Utah earlier today.