Huskers Fall 7-5 in Extra Innings

By  | 

Cory Miller’s two-run double in the top of the 10th broke a 5-all tie, lifting St. Mary’s (Calif.) to a 7-5 victory over Nebraska Saturday afternoon in the Sam Houston Baseball Classic.

With runners on second and third and one out, Miller bounced a chopper over NU first baseman Tyler Farst went down the right field line, plating the go-ahead runs for the Gaels (5-2). Troy Channing led off the 10t with a single before NU reliever Kash Kalkowski hit Chris Murphy to put two on with no outs. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position before Miller doubled past the drawn-in Husker infield.

The Huskers (4-2-1), who have played three extra-inning games in their first seven contests, overcame a two-run deficit in the seventh inning to tie the game at five, could not muster another rally against Brandon Berl, who tossed four innings of no-hit relief to improve to 1-0 on the year.

Kalkowski, who earned his first collegiate win on Friday, suffered the loss, allowing two runs in 1.2 innings of relief to fall to 1-1 on the year.

DJ Belfonte led Nebraska’s offensive attack by going 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored, as the Huskers could not take advantage of a strong performance by starter Erik Bird.

The senior from Omaha took a shutout into the seventh before tiring, allowing three earned runs over 6.1 innings of work. He matched his personal best with five strikeouts, but did not get the win, as the Gaels came up with five runs in the seventh.

Nebraska got on the scoreboard in the third, getting a sacrifice fly from Jeff Tezak. Belfonte opened the inning with a double into the corner in right, moved to third on a fly ball by Khiry Cooper and scored moments later, as Tezak lofted a fly ball to left to easily score Belfonte.

Nebraska expanded the lead in the fifth, scoring twice to take a 3-0 advantage. Belfonte opened the inning with his second double of the day, one that bounced off the outstretched glove of a leaping Kyle Jensen in right field. Cooper’s single put runners on the corners before Tezak’s base hit through the left side scored Belfonte. The Huskers later had two on with two outs before Nick Sullivan coaxed a walk after a 10-pitch at-bat to load the bases. The walk proved beneficial as a passed ball by St. Mary’s catcher Ryan Mulligan scored Cooper moments later, staking the Huskers a three-run lead.

Bird was cruising along, taking a shutout into the seventh before St. Mary’s struck against the Husker right-hander. Troy Channing, who went 3-for-5, ended Bird’s shutout bid with a solo homer to right to put the Gaels on the board. A pair of singles and a sacrifice put the tying run into scoring position. Jensen hit a grounder between third and short that Ben Kline tried to backhand, but the ball skipped by for an error, allowing both runners to score and ending Bird’s afternoon. NU reliever Eric Rose then walked Mulligan before Greg Ditmer sent a Rose offering into the gap in right center, plating both runners and giving the Gaels their first lead of the afternoon.

Nebraska came back in the bottom of the frame against Alex Schmarzo, who opened the seventh after starter Scott Schneider allowed three runs on six hits over six frames. Schmarzo opened the inning with two hit batters and a walk to load the bases with no outs. Brandon Berl came in to face Nick Sullivan, who drove in Tezak with a sacrifice fly to left to make it a one-run game. Two batters later, Cody Asche grounder to second was misplayed, allowing Adam Bailey to score the tying run.

The Huskers will continue action tonight against Sam Houston State. First pitch was at 6:05 p.m. between the Huskers and Bears

Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations