Huskers Use Long Ball to Take Game One of DH
Columbus, Ohio - A two-run home run from both Kale Kiser and Kash Kalkowski, as well as a solo shot from Josh Scheffert, accounted for all five of Nebraska's (24-13, 6-5 Big Ten) runs a 5-4 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday afternoon in game one of a double header at Bill Davis Stadium. After the Huskers dropped game one of the series on Friday night, rain hit the Columbus area on Saturday to postpone the game two until today.
Along with his fifth home run of the season, Kiser added a pair of singles and reached base all four times he came to the plate, as he was HBP in his other at-bat. Scheffert also put together a multi-hit game with two hits, while five different Huskers were HBP.
Brandon Pierce gave the Huskers 5.2 innings in the start, but did not factor into the decision as he left with the game tied at 4-4 in the sixth. Pierce gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and five walks, but struck out four Buckeyes. Dylan Vogt got the win to improve to 2-1 on the year after working 2.1 innings of shutout baseball before Travis Huber picked up his sixth save of the year with a shutout ninth.
After neither team got much going in the first, the Huskers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second on a two-out home run by Kiser. With Cory Burleson on first following a fielder's choice, Kiser lifted his fifth home run of the season and his second during conference play over the 370-foot sign in left-center field.
The lead didn't last long, as the Buckeyes responded with three runs in the bottom of the second on two hits. With one run across and two down, Tim Wetzel placed a two-run double down the left-field line, but the inning came to an end on the play when Wetzel was thrown out trying to take third on a relay from Kiser to Chad Christensen to Scheffert. OSU extended its lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the third when Ryan Cypret scored on an error by Christensen after reaching on a leadoff walk.
NU got a threat going in the top of the fourth when it loaded the bases with two outs; starting with a two-out single by Burleson, who then moved all the way to third on an error by David Corna in right field. Kiser then reached after being hit for the second time this weekend and Bryan Peters drew a four-pitch walk. Michael Pritchard came to the plate and hit the ball hard, but it was right to Wetzel in center to end the Huskers' rally.
After walking two batters in both the second and third innings, Pierce put the Buckeyes down in order in the fourth to give the Huskers some momentum going into the fifth. Rich Sanguinetti was HBP to lead off the fifth and Kalkowski quickly made OSU starter Brian King pay for the mistake when he took King's next pitch over the right-field wall to tie the game, 4-4, with his fourth home run of the season.
The teams both went scoreless in the sixth and seventh inning, before Scheffert lead off the eighth inning with his second home run of the weekend to put NU up 5-4. Later in the inning the Huskers had runners on second and third following a HBP to Burleson, a bunt single by Kiser and a sacrifice bunt by Peters, but Andrew Armstrong came in and got both Pritchard and Sanguinetti to fly out to left field to end the inning.
Vogt retired his fourth and fifth straight batters to start the bottom of the eighth, but OSU strung together consecutive singles to put a bit of pressure on the Husker righty. Vogt bounced right back and got Kirby Pellant to ground out to Richard Stock at first to end the inning.
Huber took the mound in the top of the ninth to face the top of the Buckeyes' order. Wetzel reached on a leadoff single to get the tying run on base, but Huber retired the next three batters he faced to close out the game for NU.
Game two of today's double header is schedule to start at 12:50 p.m. (CT).