Nebraska used big innings in both ends of a doubleheader, sweeping Cal State Northridge, 11-5 and 12-6 Saturday afternoon at Hawks Field.
Cody Neer established career highs in both hits (three) and RBIs (four) in the opener as the Huskers erupted for seven runs in the second inning to take command early and used a solid performance from left-hander Jordan Roualdes.
In the nightcap, the Huskers did themselves one better, scoring eight times in the fourth inning, as Nebraska overcame a a pair of early four-run deficits. Tyler Farst’s three-run homer was the key shot in the inning, while Husker relievers Sean Yost, Eric Rose and Kash Kalkowski combined to allow one runs over the final six innings.
With the wins, Nebraska (9-3-1) has now swept 10 straight home doubleheaders dating back to 2004. The Huskers, who totaled 24 hits on the day, will go for the four-game sweep Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. (CDT).
It’s encouraging,” Anderson said of the Huskers’ outbursts, as NU has had at least one five-run inning in each of its last four games. “We need to put quality innings together. Since the South Dakota State game, I’ve thought our intent has been very, very good and we’ve got some individuals doing it.”
Neer, who entered Saturday’s game hitting .227, keyed the uprising in the opener, as his three-run triple opened highlighted a seven-run inning.
After a pair of errors led to the Huskers’ first run, Nebraska broke the game open with seven runs in the following frame, including six two-out runs. Nick Sullivan got the offense going, driving home Ben Kline with an RBI single to center. The Huskers continued to threaten against Cal State Northridge starter Ryan Juarez, loading the bases with two outs before the floodgates opened. Jeff Tezak drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-0. Neer then cleared the bases, sending a 1-0 offering into the gap in left center and spotting the Huskers a 6-0 lead. Cody Asche then drove home Neer with an RBI single to center while Kline’s grounder was misplayed by CSUN shortstop TJ Reed, allowing Asche, who stole second, to race home with the seventh run of the inning.
That would be more than enough for Roualdes, who went the first six innings for his first win as a Husker. The junior scattered six hits and got out of several jams to keep the Matadors (5-7) at bay for much of the game. Matt Freeman went the final three frames for the save, allowing one run on four hits.
Adam Bailey and Kyle Bubak had two hits apiece in the opener, while Tyler Farst went 1-for-4 and scored twice to help Nebraska open the sweep.
In the nightcap, the Cal State Northridge raced out to a 4-0 lead, stringing together four hits, including consecutive run-scoring singles from Ryan Pineda, Dominic D’Anna and Chris Hannick off of Husker starter Erik Bird, who lasted just three innings.
Nebraska chipped away at the lead, getting a solo homer from Adam Bailey in the bottom of the first, but trailed 5-1 heading into the fateful fourth inning, when the Huskers had five hits, including homers from Cade Thompson and Farst, to regain the lead for good.
“I didn’t think we put ourselves in a panic position after they scored the four runs early,” Anderson said. “We’ve come from a four, five, four-run deficit and came back and won. Bailey’s home run was big because it got us back going, put a run on the board. I thought it was one of the key plays of the game.”
Thompson opened the fourth with his first homer of the year to pull NU within 5-2. The Huskers then used a two walks and a hit batter to load the bases for Kyle Bubak, who made it 5-4 with a two-run single to right. Billy Ott then hit DJ Belfonte to reload the bases before Bailey put the Huskers up 6-5 with a two-run single to chase the Matador reliever. Farst then greeted Paul Tremlin with a three-run homer into the right field bullpen to make it 9-5.
Bailey and Farst drove in three runs apiece in the nightcap, while Bubak went 2-for-5 and scored twice. Ben Kline also had a pair of hits and two RBIs helping the Huskers reach double figures in runs for the fifth time in the last nine contests.
Yost, who came in the game in the fourth, picked up his first win as a Husker with two innings of relief, while Rose and Kalkowski combined for four shutout innings for the Big Red.
Leading 9-6, the Huskers pushed across two insurance runs in the sixth on a two-run triple by Ben Kline before the Huskers tacked on their final run in the seventh.
Nebraska will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon, as Michael Mariot looks for his first win of the season.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations