Huskers Fall to Northern Colorado

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Jake Mort went 1-for-2 and scored three runs, but Northern Colorado scored three times in both the sixth and seventh innings to overcome a 5-3 deficit and take the finale of the two-game series, 10-7, Wednesday afternoon.

Mort and Kyle Bubak combined to score five of the Huskers’ seven runs, but Nebraska (15-8-1) was held to just six hits on the afternoon. Freshman Boomer Collins was the only NU player to record more than one hit, going 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Jarod Berggren paced the Bears’ 14-hit attack, going 3-for-4 and driving in four runs, while Phil Santucci had three hits and scored twice to help the Bears (8-15) to their second win in 17 tries against the Huskers since 2003.

“Give them a lot of credit, they did a good job with their offense throughout the whole two days,” Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. “It’s tough to win baseball games when you give up 10 and 13 runs, we were fortunate yesterday, but weren’t fortunate today. I thought they were very offensive, but at the same time, (we gave up) way too many walks and we didn’t pitch out of any jams.”

Nate Steinmetz (1-0) earn the win, allowing five run on four hits over five innings of work, while Joe Willman allowed one hit and fanned three over the final 2.1 innings to record his third save.

The Huskers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, scoring twice in the first and one more in the second. In the first, Collins, who had three hits last night, continued to swing a hit stick, driving in Bubak with NU’s first run, while Jeff Tezak plated Mort with a RBI groundout. Jed Hanson gave the Huskers a three-run cushion one inning later, sending the first pitch he saw as a Husker over the fence for a homer.

Northern Colorado came back against starter Michael Mariot, scoring three runs to even the score. Santucci doubled to open the third before Berggren’s RBI single made it 3-1. Two batters later, Mike Raudenbush belted a two-run homer to knot the game.

The Huskers regained the lead in the fifth, loading the bases with one out before a wild pitch plated a run before Tyler Farst’s RBI single push the Husker advantage to two runs.

The lead would be short-lived, as Northern Colorado strung together five hits off of reliever Sean Yost (1-1) to push across three runs in the top of the sixth. UNC loaded the bases with one out before Santucci pulled the Bears within a run. Berggren then lined a two-run single to center, giving UNC the lead for good at 6-5.

Yost, who got NU out of a jam in the third and pitched well until the sixth took the loss. He allow three runs on six hits over a career-high 3.2 innings, while striking out five batters in the process to record another season best.

In the seventh, Northern Colorado got some insurance runs, getting a solo homer from Erik Hegstad before a costly passed ball led to two unearned runs. With two outs and the bases loaded, Kash Kalkowski struck out Santucci for the third out, but the ball went off Hanson’s glove, allowing a run to score and the inning to continue. UNC took advantage, scoring a second run on a wild pitch to make it 9-5.

The Huskers fought back in the seventh against reliever Brian Sizemore, pulling within 9-7. After loading the bases with no outs, NU got one run as Tezak grounded into a double play before Nick Sullivan’s RBI single off Willman it a two-run game. That would be as close as the Huskers would get, as Willman retired seven of the final eight Huskers he faced to collect the save.

The Huskers return to action on Friday afternoon, as they begin a three-game series with No. 11 Oklahoma. Friday’s first pitch has been moved from 6:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Courtesy: NU Media Relations