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Huskers Fall to Alabama, 8-0
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
03/09/2007
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DJ Belfonte had two hits in NU's loss to Alabama
Courtesy: Shamus McKnight/Huskers.com

Tuscaloosa, Ala. Miers Quigley fired seven shutout innings, while No. 22 Alabama took advantage of a rare off night by Husker starter Tony Watson en route to posting an 8-0 victory over the No. 22 Huskers Friday night.

Quigley (3-0), who upped his record to 3-0, worked in and out of trouble most of the evening, allowing three hits and four walks, as NU had at least one base runner on in each frame, but could not plate a run against the left-hander. Quigley, who threw 118 pitches, struck out four and was backed by an Alabama defense that turned a pair of double plays in helping him to lower his season ERA to 1.15.

"You have to give Quigley a lot of credit," Anderson said. He did a great job, and they were great behind him defensively."

UA closer Josh Copeland fired two shutout innings, completing the first shutout against Nebraska in 201 games dating back to the 2003 NCAA Regional title game against Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State) and the first time NU had been shutout on the road since the 1998 campaign.

The Huskers had ample opportunities to plate runs against the Alabama staff, leaving runners stranded in scoring position five times. NU (6-5) had their best opportunity in the sixth, as a leadoff double by DJ Belfonte and a walk to Craig Corriston put runners on first and second with no outs with the middle of the order up. As he did all night, Quigley pitched out of the jam, getting Ryan Wehrle and Andrew Brown to fly out to right before Jake Opitz ended the threat with a ground out to second.

Belfonte was the lone Husker to have success against Quigley, finishing the night 2-for-4 and reaching safely in three of his four plate appearances. NU finished with just four hits, as Andy Gerch and Jeff Tezak each added singles in the losing effort.

Watson, who entered Friday’s game ranked seventh in the Big 12 in ERA, was tagged for eight runs on nine hits over 5.1 innings to take the loss and fall to 1-1 on the year. It was highest total of runs and hits that the junior All-American has allowed in 43 career appearances and 23 starts as a Husker.

The Crimson Tide, who improved to 13-4 on the season and snapped a two-game losing streak, struck early with an RBI double from Jake Smith to batters into the contest before breaking the game open with four runs the following inning, highlighted by Alex Avila’s three-run triple.

In that frame, Alabama capitalized on a costly error by Jeff Lanning that led to three unearned runs, as the Crimson Tide extended their lead to 5-0. With one out, Brandon May drove a triple to right just past the diving attempt of
Steve Edlefsen and came home one batter later on Jared Acvhen’s run-scoring single. Greg Paimi then laid down a sacrifice bunt in front of the plate that Lanning was unable to field, putting runners on first and second. That miscue came back to haunt NU two batters later, as Alex Avila cleared the bases with triple to the gap in left center, giving Alabama all the runs they would need.

"They jumped on us early," Anderson said. "After the first inning, we had a chance to get out of the second with only one run if we make the plays defensively, but we didn’t execute."

Ryan Rhoden gave Alabama a 6-0 lead with a one-out solo homer to right for his first round tripper of the season and chased Watson with a pair of runs in the sixth, including a solo homer from Salem, who finished 2-for-4 and scored three times.

The two teams will continue the series Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. and the game will be carried live on the Husker Sports Network and for free on the Internet at Huskers.com. Charlie Shirek (1-2, 5.93 ERA) takes the hill for the Huskers and will be opposed by Alabama right-hander Casey Kebodeaux (2-1, 1.42 ERA).

-- Huskers --

                          #17 Nebraska at #22 Alabama
             Mar 09, 2007 at Tuscaloosa, AL (Sewell-Thomas Stadiu)

Nebraska 0 (6-5)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB ------------------------------------------------------ Belfonte, DJ cf.......... 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 Corriston, Craig 3b...... 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 Wehrle, Ryan ss.......... 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0 Brown, Andrew dh......... 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 Sullivan, Nick ph....... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Opitz, Jake 2b........... 3 0 0 0 1 0 3 3 2 Gerch, Andy lf........... 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 Weber, Thad 1b........... 2 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 0 Tezak, Jeff ph.......... 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 Lanning, Jeff c.......... 2 0 0 0 1 1 8 0 0 Mort, Jake ph........... 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 Edlefsen, Steve rf....... 2 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 2 Watson, Tony p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Scott, Tim p............ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Harmelink, Mike p....... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Jennings, Dan p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals................... 29 0 4 0 4 7 24 8 8

Alabama 8 (13-4)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB ------------------------------------------------------ Emeel Salem cf........... 4 3 2 1 1 1 2 0 3 Jake Smith 3b............ 5 1 2 1 0 0 0 5 0 Alex Avila dh............ 4 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 Kent Matthes rf.......... 5 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 Matt Bentley 1b.......... 4 0 1 1 0 2 6 2 1 Wes Henderson 1b........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 Ryan Rhoden lf........... 4 1 2 1 0 1 1 0 2 Tyler Odle lf........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Brandon May 2b........... 4 1 1 0 0 2 5 3 0 Jared Avchen c........... 2 1 1 1 1 0 7 0 1 Greg Paiml ss............ 3 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 Miers Quigley p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 Josh Copeland p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals................... 35 8 11 8 2 7 27 12 8

Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Nebraska............ 000 000 000 - 0 4 2 Alabama............. 141 002 00X - 8 11 2 -------------------------------------------

E - Corriston, C(2); Lanning, J.(2); J. Smith(2); May(2). DP - Huskers 1; Crimson Tide 2. LOB - Huskers 8; Crimson Tide 8. 2B - Belfonte, D.(3); J. Smith 2(3); Bentley(6). 3B - Avila(1); May(2). HR - Salem(3); Rhoden(1). HBP - Weber, T.; Avila; Avchen. SH - Corriston, C(2); Paiml(1). CS - Opitz, J.(1).

Nebraska IP H R ER BB SO AB BF ----------------------------------------------- Watson, Tony........ 5.1 9 8 5 2 5 26 29 Scott, Tim.......... 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 Harmelink, Mike..... 1.0 2 0 0 0 2 5 6 Jennings, Dan....... 1.2 0 0 0 0 0 4 4

Alabama IP H R ER BB SO AB BF ----------------------------------------------- Miers Quigley....... 7.0 3 0 0 4 4 22 28 Josh Copeland....... 2.0 1 0 0 0 3 7 7

Win - Quigley (3-0). Loss - Watson, T. (1-1). Save - None. WP - Quigley(3). HBP - by Quigley (Weber, T.); by Scott, T. (Avila); by Harmelink (Avchen). Inherited runners/scored: Scott, T. 1/0; Harmelink 2/1; Jennings, D. 2/0. Umpires - HP: Terrence Mobley 1B: Larry Short 3B: Rickey Powell Start: 6:38p.m. Time: 2:40 Attendance: 4550 Scott, T. faced 1 batter in the 6th.

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