Lincoln – Drew Bowman allowed one run over six innings, while Andy Gerch’s two-run single sparked a three-run first inning, lifting No. 26 Nebraska to a 4-1 victory over Northern Colorado Wednesday afternoon at Hawks Field.
Bowman (4-1) turned in a strong performance, allowing three hits while matching his longest effort of the season. The sophomore left-hander from Morrison, Colo., struck out a season-high five Bears en route to earning a win in his third consecutive start. In that span, he is 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA and allowed one extra-base hit over 16.2 innings.
"Bowman did a good job," Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson said. "We keep getting good, quality starts out of him no matter who we’re facing. I like what I see out of Drew, and that’s good."
The Huskers, who upped their record to 15-9 and concluded the homestand with a 5-2 mark, were opportunistic early on, jumping out to a 4-0 lead against UNC starter and loser Eric Maydew, who allowed four runs – one earned - over three innings to dip to 3-3 on the year.
In the first, Nebraska capitalized on a costly error by third baseman Chad Murray to score three unearned runs. With two on and two outs, Craig Corriston’s grounder to third was thrown away, allowing Andrew Brown to score from second to put the Huskers on the board. Gerch then pushed the lead to 3-0, driving in a pair of runs with a single to left.
The Huskers manufactured another run in the second, as Jake Opitz’s ground out gave NU a 4-0 cushion. DJ Belfonte was hit by a pitch to open the inning before Ryan Wehrle’s single put runners on the corners with no outs. Two batters later, Opitz plated Belfonte with an RBI grounder to second.
Wehrle and Gerch led Nebraska with two hits apiece, as NU out-hit Northern Colorado, 8-5, but left 11 runners on base, including eight in scoring position.
UNC clawed back into the game in the fourth, as John Ray singled in Brad Beaman, who opened the inning with a double to right. That was the only run allowed by Bowman over six frames before three relievers combined for three innings of shutout ball.
UNC threatened in the ninth against Steve Edlefsen, loading the bases with two outs on an error, walk and infield single by Cory Morales. Edlefsen then got the Huskers out of trouble by striking out Grady Gorman to notch his third save.
The Huskers will return to Big 12 action this weekend, as they travel to Texas A&M beginning Friday night. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be shown on Ch. 102 on Time Warner Cable and on Cox Cable Ch. 2. All three games from College Station will also be broadcast on the Husker Sports Radio Network