Evanston, Ill. - A season-high six
errors from the Husker defense combined with 12 strikeouts from the NU offense
resulted in a 8-4 loss to the Northwestern Wildcats, evening the three game
series at 1-1. With the loss, the Huskers fall to 19-10 overall on the season
and 3-2 in Big Ten play.
of the Wildcats' eight runs were earned off the Husker pitching staff, as the
Huskers out-hit the Wildcats on the afternoon, 7-6. It is the Huskers' first
loss this season when out-hitting their opponent, after entering the game 12-0
on the year when notching more hits.
Husker hitters struggled against freshman starter Brandon Magallones, the
reigning Co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, who improved to 5-0 on the season with
10-strikeout performance over 8.0 innings of work.
starter Jon Keller rolled through the first two inning by retiring six
straight, but then gave up a leadoff single to Nick Linne in the bottom of the
third. Keller bounced right back and got Walker Moses to ground into a fielder's
choice that erased Linne. Hamilton Wise then hit a grounder to Kurt Farmer at
third that looked to be a possible double-play ball, but Farmer threw the ball
into center field, giving the Wildcats runners at first and third with one out.
the game still scoreless, leadoff hitter Kyle Ruchim laid a bunt down the first
base line and was tagged out by Richard Stock, but Moses scored to give the
Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Keller looked to get out of the inning with minimal
damage, but another fielding error by Farmer extended the inning and Keller
walked three straight batters to plate two more runs, before getting a
groundout with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Wildcats add three runs in the fourth on just two hits and two more Husker
errors. Linne led off the second straight inning with a hit, but was soon
cleared off when he was thrown out at second by Cory Burleson. It was Burleson's
13th runner caught stealing in 22 attempts this season. Keller then walked Moses,
who moved to second on a throwing error by Pat Kelly at second on a ground ball
off the bat of Wise. Following a ground out by Runchim, two runs scored on a
two-out single by Zach Morton.
Pritchard started a rally for the Huskers in the top of the sixth with a double
and scored the Huskers' first run of the game on a single from Rich Sanguinetti,
but Magallones retired Chad Christensen and Kash Kalkowski to end the Husker
Northwestern added two runs in the sixth on two hits and one Husker error, NU
went down in order in the seventh and eighth. Nebraska did mount a small rally
in the top of the ninth with three runs off five hits, including a leadoff
double from Sanguinetti, but a pair of strikeouts in the frame by Ruchim killed
the comeback attempt.
two teams will meet for the rubber match tomorrow at 1 p.m. Zach Hirsch will
try to pick up his second straight Sunday win after being Illinois last weekend,
while Morton will try for his first win of the season for the Wildcats after
starting the season 0-5.