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Huskers Fall to SMS, 4-2
Lincoln, Neb. - Southwest Missouri State pitchers Brad Ziegler and Shaun Marcum combined to hold Nebraska to just two runs on six hits, as the third-seeded Bears knocked off the top-seeded Huskers, 4-2, in the NCAA Lincoln Regional at Hawks Field on Saturday afternoon.

With the victory, SMS (37-23) advanced to Sundayís regional championship game to face the winner of tonightís elimination game between the Huskers (45-17) and No. 4 seed Eastern Michigan (33-27).

Ziegler (11-1) won the pitching dual with Nebraskaís Aaron Marsden by allowing just two runs on five hits in six innings.  Ziegler, who surrendered just one earned run, struck out five and walked just one Husker.  SMS closer Shaun Marcum came on in relief of Ziegler in the seventh and allowed just one hit and two walks with one strikeout in the final three innings for his 13th save of the season and second in NCAA Regional play.

Marsden suffered the complete-game loss to fall to 8-3 on the season.  The left-hander allowed a career-high 11 hits to the Bears, surrendering four earned runs with two walks and six strikeouts in a 137-pitch performance.

Marsden and the Huskers jumped to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first with an unearned run off Ziegler, which came on Alex Gordonís routine fly ball to center that was dropped by SMSís Dantíe Brinkley.  The error allowed Matt Hopper to score from first base, after he reached on a two-out walk.

The Bears answered quickly in the bottom of the first, as Brooks Colvin singled with one out, before moving to third on Clay Wheelerís two-out single.  After a walk to Tony Piazza loaded the bases, Marcum drove in SMSís first run of the day with an infield single to third base.

Marsden and Ziegler silenced both offenses in the second, third and fourth innings, before the Bears struck for two runs in the bottom of the fifth off Marsden.  Brinkley laced a one-out double down the left field line, before Colvin followed with an RBI double to give the Bears a 2-1 lead.  Wheeler added a two-out, RBI single to center to score Colvin and give SMS a 3-1 edge.

The Huskers responded in the top of the sixth inning with a one-out single by Hopper, who moved to second on a Ziegler balk and scored on Curtis Ledbetterís two-out, RBI single to center.

After Marsden set the Bears down quietly in the sixth, Brandon Fusilier brought the 6,581 fans at Hawks Field to their feet with a leadoff double to left field to chase Ziegler.  Marcum entered the game and wild pitched Fusilier to third before walking John Grose to give the Huskers runners at the corners with nobody out.  But Bubbs Merrill and Jeff Leise both popped out in the infield, before Grose was thrown out by Piazza at first trying to get back to the bag.

Marsden retired the Bears in order in the seventh, and the Huskers tried to rally again in the eighth, putting runners on first and second with two outs, before Daniel Bruce flied out to left field to end the NU threat.

SMS added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on a two-out double by Rick Wilson, who then stole third base and scored on a wild pitch to produce the 4-2 margin.

Game Notes
*The 11 hits allowed by Aaron Marsden were the most by an opponent in his career.  It was Marsdenís fifth complete game of the season and eighth of his career.  His 115 innings pitched this season are the third-most in school history.

*The loss by Nebraska snapped the Huskersí 10-game NCAA regional winning streak dating back to the 2000 season.
*NUís loss was also its first in Lincoln during NCAA regional play in three seasons.
*SMS advanced to the final day of NCAA Regional competition for the fifth consecutive time (1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003).

*Dantíe Brinkley extended his hitting streak to 16 games with his one-out double in the fifth inning.  He is 27-of-65 (.415) in those 16 games.

*Shaun Marcum has 13 saves in 14 opportunities this season.  The 13 saves is a continuing SMS single-season record, and his 18 career saves also represent an SMS career record.

*Brad Zieglerís 11th win marks an SMS single-season school record.

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