Lincoln – Jeff Tezak’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth scored Mitch Abeita with the winning run, as No. 26 Nebraska edged Western Illinois, 3-2, Tuesday afternoon at Hawks Field.

Tezak, who drove in two of the Huskers’ three runs on Tuesday, provided the heroics, as he lofted a 1-2 pitch off WIU closer Todd Nelson to center, allowing Abeita to score the winning run. With the win, the Huskers upped their record to 11-7 on the season.

Abeita, who scored twice, opened the ninth with a double to left and took advantage of a Western Illinois (11-11) error, as WIU third baseman Jake Corley dropped the ball as the Husker catcher slid into third. DJ Belfonte was intentionally walked to load the bases before Tezak plated the game winner, marking the third time in the last four contests a Nebraska had been decided in walk-off fashion.

“We got a win, but I can’t wait to see this team start playing some good baseball.” Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson said. “I’m going to be more impressed when they start playing good baseball than when they’re just getting wins. We got a win today, but we didn’t play well. There were a lot of little mental mistakes, a lot of little things that we keep teaching. We should have gotten a few more runs across, and we should have saved a few more runs, but I liked our effort and the fact that we figured out a way to win a baseball game.”

Zach Herr (2-1) picked up the win for the Huskers, as he got NU out of a jam in the top of the ninth by getting Brett Pendell to foul out to short after WIU got the potential go-ahead run to third base. Herr’s effort capped a solid effort from the Husker bullpen, as four relievers combined for 3.1 innings of no-hit ball.

 Nelson took the loss, allowing the unearned run in the ninth, as he dropped to 1-2 on the year.

Western Illinois took advantage of some control problems from Husker starter Matt Foust in the second, as the right-hander walked the bases loaded before Kyle Surprenant lofted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring TJ Kistner with the first run.

The Huskers struck in the bottom of the fifth against reliever Frank Zenisek. Abeita opened the inning with a walk before a Steve Edlefsen sacrifice moved Abeita into scoring position. Belfonte drew a walk to put runners on first and second before a balk moved both runners into scoring position. Tezak then drove in NU’s first run with a ground out to second before Andrew Brown gave the Huskers a 2-1 lead with an RBI single to left.

After a rocky second, Foust turned in a strong performance in his second start of the year. The junior went a career-long 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out three. He didn’t factor into the decision, as WIU tied the game at 2-2 in the sixth on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Peter Schneider.

The two teams will meet against Wednesday afternoon with a first pitch set for 1:35 p.m. Sophomore left-hander Drew Bowman (2-0, 4.91 ERA) will take the hill for the Huskers, while senior right-hander Aaron Madill (3-0. 6.75 ERA) gets the nod for Western Illinois. The game can be heard exclusively for free at Huskers.com.

              2007 Nebraska Baseball
                        Western Illinois at #26 Nebraska
                   Mar 20, 2007 at Lincoln, NE (Hawks Field)

Western Illinois 2 (11-11)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB ------------------------------------------------------ Pendell, Brett rf........ 5 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 Stewart, Cooper c........ 3 0 2 0 1 0 2 2 3 Check, Travis cf......... 3 1 1 0 1 0 9 0 1 Newquist, Matt 1b........ 4 0 1 0 0 1 8 0 1 Kistner, T.J. dh......... 3 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 Schneider, Peter lf...... 2 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 Corley, Jake 3b.......... 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 Prina, Jerry 2b.......... 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 2 Surprenant, Kyle ss...... 2 0 0 1 0 1 2 2 0 Maxwell, Andrew ph...... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Johnson, Dan ss......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Leath, Quinn p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Tolsma, Travis p........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Zenisek, Frank p........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Faulds, Bryan p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 Nelson, Todd p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals................... 26 2 5 2 6 4 25 7 8

Nebraska 3 (11-7)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB ------------------------------------------------------ Belfonte, DJ cf.......... 2 1 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 Tezak, Jeff dh........... 4 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 Brown, Andrew 1b......... 4 0 1 1 0 0 12 0 1 Gerch, Andy lf........... 3 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 Opitz, Jake 2b........... 2 0 0 0 1 0 6 5 2 Corriston, Craig 3b...... 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 Wehrle, Ryan ss.......... 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 5 2 Abeita, Mitch c.......... 2 2 1 0 1 0 3 2 1 Edlefsen, Steve rf....... 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 Foust, Matt p............ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 Jennings, Dan p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Harmelink, Mike p....... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 Bird, Erik p............ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Herr, Zach p............ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals................... 27 3 4 3 6 2 27 14 10

Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Western Illinois.... 010 001 000 - 2 5 1 Nebraska............ 000 020 001 - 3 4 2 -------------------------------------------

Note: 1 out, 2 runners LOB when the game ended.

E - Corley, J(8); Brown, A.(4); Wehrle, R.(4). DP - Huskers 3. LOB - Leathernecks 8; Huskers 10. 2B - Belfonte, D.(4); Abeita, M.(4). HBP - Corley, J; Belfonte, D.; Abeita, M.. SH - Schneider, P(4); Prina, J(1); Opitz, J.(1); Edlefsen, S.(5). SF - Schneider, P(1); Surprenant,(1); Tezak, J.(1). SB - Belfonte, D.(7); Opitz, J.(1). CS - Stewart, C(2).

Western Illinois IP H R ER BB SO AB BF NP -------------------------------------------------- Leath, Quinn........ 2.0 1 0 0 1 0 7 8 25 Tolsma, Travis...... 2.0 0 0 0 1 0 6 8 30 Zenisek, Frank...... 0.2 1 2 2 3 0 2 6 21 Faulds, Bryan....... 3.0 1 0 0 0 1 9 11 37 Nelson, Todd........ 0.2 1 1 0 1 1 3 5 18

Nebraska IP H R ER BB SO AB BF NP -------------------------------------------------- Foust, Matt......... 5.2 5 2 2 4 3 17 24 90 Jennings, Dan....... 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 3 5 16 Harmelink, Mike..... 1.2 0 0 0 1 1 4 6 26 Bird, Erik.......... 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 Herr, Zach.......... 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5

Win - Herr, Z. (2-1). Loss - Nelson, T (1-2). Save - None. WP - Foust, M.(6). HBP - by Tolsma, T (Belfonte, D.); by Jennings, D. (Corley, J); by Faulds, B (Abeita, M.). BK - Zenisek, F(2). Inherited runners/scored: Faulds, B 2/0; Nelson, T 1/0; Jennings, D. 1/0; Harmelink 1/0; Bird, E. 1/0; Herr, Z. 1/0. Pitches/strikes: Leath, Q 25/14; Tolsma, T 30/14; Zenisek, F 21/6; Faulds, B 37/25; Nelson, T 18/12; Foust, M. 90/51; Jennings, D. 16/9; Harmelink 26/17; Bird, E. 2/2; Herr, Z. 5/2. Umpires - HP: Joe Wells 1B: Bill McGuire 3B: Tom Svehla Start: 1:38p.m. Time: 3:00 Attendance: 1091 Game: NU18