SMS Shuts Out Nebraska for Lincoln
- Southwest Missouri State junior right-hander Bob Zimmermann threw
a complete-game five-hit shutout to pitch the Bears to a 7-0 win
over top-seeded Nebraska and claim the NCAA Lincoln Regional title
at Hawks Field on Sunday afternoon.
With the win,
SMS improved to 38-24 on the season and claimed the first NCAA Regional
title in school history. The Huskers finished the season with a
47-18 record and fell one win short of its fourth straight Super
The Bears will
advance to next weekend’s Super Regional series with the Ohio
State Buckeyes, who swept through the Auburn Regional with a 9-7
win over the Auburn Tigers on Sunday afternoon. The site of that
Super Regional series will be determined on Monday by the NCAA.
masterful performance stunned the 7,456 fans at Hawks Field, who
saw the Huskers get shut out for the first time at home since May
14, 1994 (Iowa State, 2-0 at Buck Beltzer Stadium), and the first
time in 331 games dating back to May 3, 1998 at Texas (8-0) that
the Huskers had been shut out in any game. Nebraska’s streak
of 330 games without being shut out was the fourth-longest scoring
streak in NCAA history.
only legitimate scoring threat came in the eighth inning, as Daniel
Bruce led off with a single before John Grose followed with a one-out
single to give the Huskers runners at first and third. But Jake
Mullinax fouled out to the first baseman and Jeff Leise grounded
out to short to end the threat. Bruce was the only Husker base runner
to reach beyond first base in the game for the Huskers.
to 5-3 on the season, striking out seven Huskers without issuing
a single walk in a 121-pitch performance. The Creve Coeur, Mo.,
native was also named the NCAA Lincoln Regional Most Valuable Player.
silenced the NU bats, the SMS offense found production up and down
the lineup. Eight Bear hitters recorded at least one hit, led by
a 3-for-4 effort at the plate by Shaun Marcum and a 3-for-5 game
for Brooks Colvin. Marcum (shortstop/pitcher) and Colvin (third
base) both joined Zimmermann on the all-tournament team.
provided the biggest blow for the Bears with his solo home run to
lead off the sixth inning to cap his perfect 2-for-2 game at the
plate. Piazza, who was named to the all-tournament team as a catcher,
added a sacrifice fly to drive in the Bears’ first run of
the game in the second inning. He also scored the Bears’ fourth
run of the game after leading off the fourth inning with a single,
and was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning.
Dant’e Brinkley, pitcher Brad Ziegler and designated hitter
Clay Wheeler rounded out SMS’s representatives on the all-tournament
Phil Shirek took the loss on the mound, surrendering three earned
runs on four hits in just 2.2 innings of work. Shirek fell to 5-3
on the season.
The Bears scratched
together their first run in the second inning off Shirek, as Wheeler
and Marcum singled, before advancing on Greg Mathis’ sacrifice
bunt. Piazza followed with a sacrifice fly to center to give the
Bears a 1-0 lead.
SMS added a
pair of runs in the third inning off Shirek, as Scott Nasby led
off with a single. Shirek struck out Brinkley and Colvin, before
walking Rick Wilson and hitting Wheeler to load the bases. Marcum
then greeted reliever Steve Hale with a two-out RBI single from
out Mathis to end the inning, but the Bears struck for two more
runs in the fourth, as Piazza and Adam Pummill started things off
with singles before advancing on Nasby’s sacrifice bunt. Brinkley
drove in Piazza with a groundout to shortstop, and Colvin followed
with an RBI single to give the Bears a 5-0 lead.
Grose was the
only Husker to record two hits off Zimmermann, going 2-for-3 with
a pair of singles. Joe Simokaitis, Matt Hopper and Bruce were the
only other Huskers to manage hits. All five NU hits were singles.
base) and Bruce (outfield) led NU’s four-player contingent
on the all-tournament team. They were joined by Mullinax (second
base) and Curtis Ledbetter (outfield).
Huskers got shut out for the first time at home since May 14, 1994
(Iowa State, 2-0 at Buck Beltzer Stadium), and the first time in
331 games dating back to May 3, 1998 at Texas (8-0) that the Huskers
had been shut out in any game. Nebraska’s streak of 330 games
without being shut out was the fourth-longest scoring streak in
now falls to 22-17 in eight NCAA postseason appearances.
47 wins tied for the sixth-highest total in school history and marked
the fourth straight year that NU has won 47 or more games in a season.
*- The Husker
senior class of Jeff Leise, Matt Hopper, Steve Hale, Jamie Rodrigue
and Josh Birmingham (2002-03) won a school-record 195 games over
the past four years
*- Matt Hopper
finished his career holding school and Big 12 record in hits (338),
runs scored (246), homers (64) and RBIs (271).
*- Jeff Leise
finished his career second in hits (305), runs scored (210) and
*- Jamie Rodrigue’s
win earlier today was his 23rd of his career, moving him into sole
possession of fourth place on NU’s career wins list. The senior
from St. Clair, Mo., finished his career ranked second in innings
pitched (.296.2) and starts (53) and sixth in strikeouts (200).
hitters were hit a school-record 103 times this season, the sixth-highest
total in NCAA history, as five players (Jake Mullinax, 17; Daniel
Bruce 14; Alex Gordon, 11; Brandon Fusilier 11 and Joe Simokaitis)
all reached double figures in that category.
Lincoln Regional All-Tournament Team
Outstanding Player - Bob Zimmermann, Pitcher, Southwest Missouri
- Tony Piazza**, Southwest Missouri State
Base - Matt Hopper**, Nebraska
Base - Jake Mullinax, Nebraska
Base - Brooks Colvin, Southwest Missouri State
- Shaun Marcum**, Southwest Missouri State
- Ryan Goleski, Eastern Michigan
- Daniel Bruce, Nebraska
- Curtis Ledbetter, Nebraska
Hitter - Dant’e Brinkley, Southwest Missouri State
- Bob Zimmermann**, Southwest Missouri State
- Brad Ziegler, Southwest Missouri State
Ziegler and Shaun Marcum received the same number of votes for the
all-tournament team as pitchers.
selections received a vote at a position on every ballot.