- Rich Sanguinetti capped a dramatic ninth inning for the Huskers with a
two-run walk-off home run to propel the Nebraska baseball team (5-4, 0-0 Big
Ten) to a 6-4 win over the New Mexico State Aggies. It was the first walk-off
home run for the Huskers since March 6, 2011, when Bryan Peters beat No. 5 UCLA
with a solo shot to lead off the 11th inning.
Huskers entered the ninth down 4-2 and quickly had life following a pair of
hits. Michael Pritchard led off with a single and then scored from first on
Richard Stock's double to cut the Aggie lead to one at 4-3. Freshman Blake
Headley came in to run for Stock and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by
fellow freshman Austin Darby, who hit a solo home run in the fourth inning.
Head Coach Darin Erstad went to his bench once again and inserted Kash
Kalkowski for afore mentioned Peters with the tying run at third base.
Kalkowski, who has been limited of late due to a groin injury, got behind in
the count early, but dug deep and laced a single through the right side with
two strikes to tie the game at 4-4. Following an out by Kale Kiser, the Huskers
were down to their last out of the inning when Sanguinetti came to the plate
and lifted preseason All-American closer Scott Coffman's first pitch deep into
the right field seats to win the ballgame.
exciting ninth inning would not have been possible without the dominating
performance that the Huskers bullpen put on. Following a short outing from NU
starter Jon Keller, the bullpen came in and did their part to give the Husker
offense a chance. Six pitchers combined to throw the final 8.2 inning and of
the game, as they kept the Aggies scoreless and gave up just three hits, while
striking out 10.
Dylan Vogt relieved Keller and gave Erstad 2.1 innings of no-hit baseball,
while also striking out a career-high four batters. Freshmen Kyle Kubat and
Jeff Stovall combined to throw the next 2.1 innings, as the pair of newcomers
gave up two hits and struck out two. Tyler King took the mound in the seventh
and hit the first batter he faced, but quickly settled in with back-to-back
strikeouts and got a ground out to keep the Aggies scoreless for the fifth
straight inning. Ryan Hander kept the support coming with a no-hit eighth
inning, including one strikeout. Brandon Pierce took the mound in the top of
ninth and was in a bit of trouble with two on and one out, but got a fly out
and a strikeout to end the inning and ended up getting the win to move to 2-1
on the year.
Aggies got to Keller early and knocked him out after just 1.1 innings of work.
Cody Edwards led off the second with a soft fly ball to right field, but Darby
was unsuccessful in his diving attempt and the ball rolled to the right field
wall, resulting in a triple for Edwards. Keller walked Tanner Waite before
Robert Lecount singled and Bryan Karraker doubled to plate two runs. Kurt
Snowley grounded out for the first out, but leadoff hitter Kyle Phillips
followed with a single to drive in the third run of the inning, which ended
Keller's afternoon. Vogt entered and hit the first batter he faced, but got a
fly out, which scored the fourth run of the inning, and a swinging strikeout of
Edwards with the bases loaded to the end the inning.
answered with one run in the bottom of the second and looked poised to add
more, but failed to capitalized on having the bases loaded with one out. Josh Scheffert
led off with a walk and after moving to third following a wild pitch and a fly
out by Kurt Farmer, Scheffert came in to score on a single by Pat Kelly, who
was at the plate for the first time since the Huskers' second game of the
season. Sam Stucky and Darby produced a pair of singles to load the bases, but
Peters and Ty Kildow were retired in order to end NU's chance at a big inning.
Huskers continued to chip away at the Aggies and cut the lead to two runs in
the bottom of the fourth off a home run from Darby. With two out, the freshman
laced his first career home run over the right field wall on a ball that got
out in a hurry. Aggie starter Ryan Beck shutdown the Huskers over the next four
innings, as he gave up just one hit and struck out two Huskers in the fifth,
sixth, seventh and eighth innings combined.
Huskers return to the Metrodome tomorrow for the final day of the Dairy Queen
Classic, as they'll meet the Minnesota Golden Gophers at 3:05 p.m. Even though
both programs are members of the Big Ten Conference, the game will not count in
the conference standing.