Lincoln – Ryan Wehrle’s bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning snapped a 2-2 deadlock and sparked a four-run outburst, as the sixth-ranked Nebraska baseball team completed a three-game sweep of No. 25 Alabama with a 6-2 win on Sunday.

The Huskers, who are 11-2 and have won seven straight games, relied on Wehrle’s bat, as the sophomore shortstop drove in Nebraska’s first three runs, including a two-run double to right in the sixth that helped NU overcome an early deficit.

The game was tied heading into the bottom of the eighth before NU opened the frame with consecutive singles by Jake Mort and Bryce Nimmo off Alabama starter Tommy Hunter, who limited the Huskers to just two hits through seven frames. UA closer David Roberston then walked Nick Jaros to load the bases before Wehrle coaxed a walk from the Alabama closer, scoring Mort with the go-ahead run. Jordan Davis then came on and walked Luke Gorsett to spot NU a 4-2 lead before Brandon Buckman’s sacrifice fly and pinch hitter Nick Sullivan’s ground out gave the Huskers a four-run cushion.

"I’m encouraged that we keep finding ways to score in different situations," Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson said of NU’s second last at-bat win of the weekend. "We’re also finding ways to score late in games."

Reliever Brett Jensen (3-0) was the beneficiary of the Huskers’ eighth-inning outburst, as he tossed two innings of one-hit relief for his second win of the weekend. Jensen has not allowed a run in his last 13.2 innings of work, holding hitters to a .122 average in that stretch.

Hunter, who held NU hitless until the sixth, was the tough-luck loser for the Crimson Tide, allowing all four runs on just four hits in seven-plus innings of work to dip to 3-1 on the season.

Jensen, Charlie Shirek and Jared Cranston combined to allow just one earned run on seven hits, as the Huskers, without All-American ace Joba Chamberlain, allowed four runs (two earned) in the series sweep, while holding the Tide to 1-of-26 with runners in scoring position, including an 0-for-7 effort on Sunday.

"I’m encouraged by the fact that we lost our No. 1 guy (Joba Chamberlain) on Thursday, then pitched our No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 guys, and still earned the sweep," Anderson said. "That’s about all you can ask for."

The Crimson Tide (13-6) manufactured a run off of Shirek in the top of the first, as Kody Valverde plated Emeel Salem with a ground out to second. Salem, who went 2-for-3 and scored both of Alabama’s runs, singled, moved to second on a wild pitch before he was sacrificed to third.

That would be the only run that Shirek, making his second career start, would allow over five innings of work, while Hunter kept the Husker bats frozen until Nebraska rallied of the Alabama starter in the sixth.

Mort, who went 1-for-1 and reached all three times, was hit by a pitch with one out before Bryce Nimmo, who had two of NU’s four hits, doubled to put runners on second and third with one out. Two batters later, Wehrle ripped a 1-1 pitch into the right field corner, giving the Huskers a 2-1 lead

"That was an outstanding at bat," Anderson said of Wehrle’s RBI double. "Hunter threw a pitcher’s pitch and he (Wehrle) just took that pitch the other way to right. "

Salem started Alabama’s eighth-inning rally with a double to center off Cranston before Matt Downs tied the score at two moments later with a sacrifice fly to left, setting the scene for NU’s eighth-inning rally.

The Huskers continue their 16-game homestand on Tuesday afternoon, as they take on Illinois State beginning at 1:05 p.m. The game will be available on selected Pinnacle Sports Network stations and on Huskers.com.

 

 #25 Alabama at #6 Nebraska
                   Mar 12, 2006 at Lincoln, NE (Hawks Field)

Alabama 2 (13-6)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB  Avg.
------------------------------------------------------------
Emeel Salem cf...........  3  2  2  0   1  0  3  0   0  .307
Matt Downs 3b............  2  0  0  1   0  0  1  2   1  .224
Kody Valverde c..........  4  0  2  1   0  1  3  0   0  .333
Ryan Rhoden rf...........  4  0  0  0   0  1  2  0   1  .221
Alex Avila dh............  2  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0  .229
David Ferazza ph........  2  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1  .368
Evan Bush 2b.............  4  0  1  0   0  0  0  5   0  .222
Matt Bentley 1b..........  3  0  0  0   1  0 14  1   0  .100
Brandon Belcher lf.......  1  0  1  0   1  0  0  0   0  .229
Kent Matthes ph/lf......  2  0  1  0   0  1  0  0   0  .125
Greg Paiml ss............  2  0  0  0   0  0  1  3   3  .254
Tommy Hunter p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  2   0     -
David Robertson p.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0     -
Jordan Davis p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0     -
Totals................... 29  2  7  2   3  4 24 14   6

Nebraska 6 (11-2)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB  Avg.
------------------------------------------------------------
Nimmo, Bryce cf..........  4  2  2  0   0  0  1  0   1  .386
Jaros, Nick lf...........  3  1  0  0   1  1  1  0   0  .340
Wehrle, Ryan ss..........  3  1  1  3   1  0  2  6   0  .375
Gorsett, Luke rf.........  2  0  0  1   2  0  3  0   0  .385
Buckman, Brandon 1b......  3  0  0  1   0  0 13  0   2  .280
Brown, Andrew dh.........  3  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0  .280
Sullivan, Nick ph.......  1  0  0  1   0  0  0  0   0  .375
Opitz, Jake 2b...........  3  0  0  0   0  2  4  5   0  .273
Christy, Jeff c..........  4  0  0  0   0  0  3  2   2  .188
Mort, Jake 3b............  1  2  1  0   1  0  0  2   0  .280
Shirek, Charlie p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0     -
Cranston, Jared p.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0     -
Jensen, Brett p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0     -
Totals................... 27  6  4  6   5  3 27 17   5

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Alabama............. 100 000 010 -  2  7  1
Nebraska............ 000 002 04X -  6  4  0
-------------------------------------------

E - Bush(5). DP - Crimson Tide 1; Huskers 1. LOB - Crimson Tide 6; Huskers
5. 2B - Salem(7); Nimmo, B.(3); Wehrle, R.(6). HBP - Opitz, J.; Mort, J.. SH
- Downs(1); Paiml(2). SF - Downs(1); Buckman, B.(1). SB - Salem(15);
Christy, J.(3). CS - Valverde(1).

Alabama                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP   ERA
--------------------------------------------------------
Tommy Hunter........  7.0  4  4  4  2  3 25 28 104  2.25
David Robertson.....  0.0  0  2  2  2  0  0  2   9  1.59
Jordan Davis........  1.0  0  0  0  1  0  2  5  25  8.64

Nebraska               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP   ERA
--------------------------------------------------------
Shirek, Charlie.....  5.0  3  1  1  2  1 14 18  52  1.80
Cranston, Jared.....  2.0  3  1  0  1  2  9 10  43  2.84
Jensen, Brett.......  2.0  1  0  0  0  1  6  7  26  1.84

Win - Jensen, B. (3-0).  Loss - Hunter (3-1).  Save - None.
WP - Shirek, C.(2). HBP - by Hunter (Mort, J.); by J. Davis (Opitz, J.). PB -
Christy, J.(4). Inherited runners/scored: Robertson 2/1; J. Davis 3/3; Jensen,
B. 1/1. Pitches/strikes: Hunter 104/64; Robertson 9/1; J. Davis 25/13; Shirek,
C. 52/31; Cranston, J. 43/26; Jensen, B. 26/19.
Umpires - HP: Bruce Allen  1B: Patrick Spieler  3B: Tom Svehla
Start: 12:06p.m   Time: 2:38   Attendance: 3283
Cranston, J. faced 1 batter in the 8th.
Hunter faced 2 batters in the 8th.
Robertson faced 2 batters in the 8th.
Game: NU13