Fayetteville, Ark. -- The Nebraska baseball team could not overcome an early three-run deficit, falling to Arkansas, 7-3, Tuesday night at Baum Stadium.
It was a night of missed opportunities for the Huskers (11-6-1), who could not capitalize on the early control struggles of the Arkansas pitching staff.
“We loaded the bases twice with no outs early on and only scored one run,” Anderson said. “After that, we started to press a little bit and tried to do too much at the plate and that hurt us.”
In both the second and third innings, the Huskers loaded the bases with no out, but could only push across one run in those frames, scoring on Cody Asche’s double play grounder in the second.
In the second, Arkansas starter Brett Eibner walked the first three Huskers he faced, but NU could only push across one run, as Tyler Farst scored on Asche’s double play ball. One inning later, two Eibner walks and a throwing error on reliever Mike Bolsinger put the Huskers in the same situation with the middle of the Husker lineup coming up. Bolsinger settled down, striking out Adam Bailey and Farst before getting Nick Sullivan to ground out to end the inning.
By that point, the Huskers had dug themselves a 4-1 deficit and were forced to play catch up, as Arkansas (13-3) scored two runs in each of the first two innings off of starter and loser Erik Bird (0-1), who didn’t get out of the second.
Arkansas got on the board in the bottom of the first on Ben Tschepikow’s two-run homer to take an early lead. Collin Kuhn doubled to open the game before Tschepikow sent a Bird offering over the fence in left center for his sixth homer of the year.
The Razorbacks chased Bird in the second, scoring twice to make it a 4-1 game. With two outs and runners on second and third, a wild pitch plated a run before Kuhn’s second double of the night – a shot to the gap in right center – gave Arkansas a three-run cushion.
Kuhn went 2-for-4 and scored twice while Sample drove in three runs for Arkansas, which is riding a four-game winning streak.
After the third, the Razorback pitchers settled down as four hurlers combined to allow just four hits, including none over the first 7.1 innings before Jeff Tezak’s single through the left side broke up the no-hit bid. Bolsinger (2-0) earned the victory, fanning six over four innings of no-hit relief.
“I thought our young guys did a very good job of keeping us in the game until the seventh inning,” Anderson said.
The Husker relief corps kept Nebraska in the game, as five relievers combined to keep Arkansas off the scoreboard until the seventh, when Travis Sample’s three-run double broke the game open. A walk and a hit batter put two runners on before a wild pitch moved both into scoring position. The Huskers then intentionally walked Tschepikow to get to Sample, who had just two hits in 17 at bats. Unfortunately for the Huskers, Sample cleared the bases by sending an Adam Bailey offering into the corner in right to break open the contest.
The Huskers pushed across a pair of runs in the ninth, as doubles from Jake Mort and DJ Belfonte plated the first run before Belfonte scored on Kyle Bubak’s grounder to second for the final margin.
The Huskers and Razorbacks wrap up the two-game series Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. the game will be carried on Huskers.com and selected Husker Sports Network stations.
Courtesy: NU Media Relations