Lincoln – Nebraska belted four homers, including a pair by Adam Bailey, but Ryan McIntyre’s RBI triple in the top of the ninth broke an 8-all deadlock and lifted CSU Bakersfield to a 10-8 victory Saturday afternoon.
The Huskers led 8-7 heading into the ninth, but could close the door as the Roadrunners scored three times to pull out the victory. Kyle Richardson, who went 2-for-5 with a pair of homers, tied the game as he sent an Eric Rose offering over the fence in right. After a walk, McIntyre laced the next pitch into the corner in right, scoring Brandon Boren from first with the go ahead run before Richard Escalera’s sacrifice fly made it a two-run lead.
Nebraska (22-27-1) fought back, loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth against reliever Mickey Jannis, but could not get the tying hit. Kale Kiser opened the ninth with a single before Jeff Tezak reached on a fielder’s choice two batters later to put runners on first and second. Bailey, who went 3-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs, singled to load the bases with one out for Nick Sullivan, who had two hits and a homer earlier in the game. The senior battled through an eight-pitch at-bat, but hit a grounder to Boren behind second, as he stepped on second and fired to first to complete the double play.
Rose (1-3) took the loss, allowing three runs on two hits, as Nebraska lost for the first time in 138 games dating back to 2005 when taking a lead into the ninth. The Huskers were 136-0-1 in that stretch before Saturday’s setback. Janis (1-7) earned the win with two shutout innings.
“It was a tough one,” Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. “We had a 5-1 lead, and we couldn’t hold that. We had a one-run lead going into the ninth and we couldn’t hold that. It is pretty disappointing. You try to find a positive out of it. The kids did fight back, but just didn’t have it at the end.”
The game was a slugfest, as both teams combined for eight homers, including two each from Bailey, Richardson and Martin Medina, who went 2-for-5 with three RBI for the Roadrunners (10-32).
Cade Thompson went 3-for-4, while Kiser had two hits, including his second homer of the year, and three RBIs for the Huskers.
After falling behind 1-0, the Huskers used the long ball to respond, scoring five times over the next two frames. In the first, DJ Belfonte singled to open the home first before coming home two batters later on Adam Bailey’s 10th homer of the year, a two-run shot to center.
Nebraska opened the second with back-to-back singles from Cody Neer and Thompson before Kiser’s second homer of the year, a three-run blast over the right field bullpen, staked NU starter Kash Kalkowski a 5-1 lead.
The Roadrunners responded in the third against the NU right-hander, scoring three times, including a two-run homer by Medina to pull within 5-4. Nebraska came back, as Sullivan blasted his fifth homer of the season to make it 6-4.
CSU Bakersfield then tied the game in the fourth on Richardson’s two-run homer off the Husker starter, who allowed six runs over a career-high four innings of work, and regained the in the fifth as Medina’s second round tripper of the day off Jordan Roualdes made it 7-6.
That was the only mistake Roualdes made in two innings, as he and Michael Mariot, who worked two innings of one-hit relief, stemmed the tide and held the Roadrunners off the board after Medina’s homer until the top of the ninth.
The Huskers got back into game in the seventh, as Belfonte was hit by a pitch before Bailey uncorked a two-run blast that easily cleared the scoreboard in right, putting Nebraska ahead 8-7. Bailey became the second Husker to hit two homers in a game this year after not hitting one since March 18.
The Huskers will try to earn the series win Sunday afternoon, as Sean Yost takes the hill for the Big Red. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. and the game will be carried on the IMG Husker Sports Network and on Huskers.com. The game will also be televised locally on NET and nationally on CBS College Sports.