Husker Baseball

Week 2 Recap

The Huskers posted a 3-2 record this week.  Overall we saw what we pretty much expected of this team from the beginning.  They’re young and talented which typically translates to inconsistency.  However, you have to love the fight that this team has displayed.  You can’t ever count them out as they proved again that they can come from behind at any time.

Nebraska 10 - North Dakota 6
On Wednesday, the Huskers squeezed in a home game during some unseasonal warm weather at Hawks field posting a 10-6 victory over the visiting Fighting Sioux.  The young Husker pitching walked 10 batters to keep the game close, but in the end, the more talented Nebraska team pulled away.  JUCO transfer Adam Bailey led the offensive surge that would eventually finish off North Dakota with a 3 for 5 day that drove in 6 RBIs including a 3-run blast to put the Huskers back in it.   Tyler Farst and Khiry Cooper both chipped in 2 RBIs a piece and DJ Belfonte scored twice to pace the Huskers.

Nebraska 14 - Missouri State 12
To call this game a thriller might be understating things a bit.  The pesky Husker offense managed to overcome a 4+ run deficit 3 times in one game!  If you liked constant scoring, this was the game for you. 

The Huskers got themselves in trouble early, allowing Missouri State to build a 5-0 lead in the first inning but fought their way back with 3 in the first and 1 in the second.  The Bears extended their lead with a run in the 3rd and two in the 4th for a 8-4 lead.  In the sixth, the Huskers finally answered back.  Junior Adam Bailey opened the frame with his third homerun of the year to draw the Huskers within 3.  With two outs, Junior Cade Thompson started the Huskers rally with a walk and scored on true Freshman Cory Burleson’s RBI double to bring the Huskers within 2.  That hit chased preseason All-American starter Tim Clubb and the Huskers didn’t wait long to attack the bullpen.  True Freshman Kale Kiser drilled a shot over the right-center wall to even the game at 8.

Missouri State looked to have finally put away the Huskers when they plated 1 run in the top of the 7th and 3 runs in the top of the 8th for a commanding 12-8 lead with just 2 at bats left fort he Huskers.  Nick Sullivan got things going in the bottom of the 8th when he was hit by a pitch.  Cody Asche singled and both runners advanced on a wild pitch to put two in scoring position.  Thompson and Burleson hit back-to-back singles to bring the Huskers within 2 at 12-10.  Kiser laid down a perfect sacrifice to move both runners over and DJ Belfonte’s groundout scored Thompson to bring the Huskers within 1.

Then, in what Coach Anderson called the best at-bat of the day, Ben Kline fought back from an 0-2 count and smacked a 3-2 pitch over the right side of the infield to score pinch-runner Boomer Collins to tie the game at 12.  Two batters later, with Kline and Tezak aboard, Bailey delivered the go-ahead dagger in the form of a 2-RBI triple on yet another full-count pitch. 

True Freshman Kash Kalkowski, a Grand Island, NE native, allowed just one baserunner in the 9th to pickup his first win of his Husker career.

Nebraska 5 - St. Mary’s 7
It looked early like Nebraska might finally win a game without having to come from behind.  Fast forward to the 7th inning, Nebraska has a 3-0 lead and Senior Eric Bird is on the mound controlling St. Mary’s hitters all day long.  In the 7th, Bird gave up a solo homerun to start the inning, then followed by a couple singles and a SAC bunt St. Mary’s had the tying run in scoring position.  The next batter hit a grounder between third and short which the Husker shortstop Kline tried to backhand, but was unable and was charged for an error.

Nebraska went to it’s bullpen to try and stop the bleeding, but reliever Eric Rose allowed a walk and a double to give the Gael’s a 5-3 lead.  In the bottom of the frame, Sullivan drove home Tezak on a sacrifice fly and a St. Mary’s infield misplayed a Cody Asche grounder allowing the Huskers to tie it at 5-5.

After both teams failed to score in the 8th and 9th, St. Mary’s scored two runs in the 10th when the Gael’s Cory Miller hit a bouncing ground ball that was too tall for a drawn in Husker 1st baseman Tyler Farst. 

Nebraska 8 - Sam Houston St. 1
This is what most expected out of Mike Nesseth for this fall, domination. In his 6 shutout innings he struck out 12 and allowed just 3 singles from the tournament hosts.  Nesseth’s only weak spot was the 4 free passes he surrendered but at no point did the Bearcats mount a real threat as Nesseth didn’t even allow a ball out of the infield until after the 5th.  Adam Bailey, who has been a dominant force with a bat in his hands, pitched the final three innings surrendering just an uneared run to seal the 8-1 win.

The offense was led by a couple of true freshman.  Cody Asche drove in 3 runs on his first homerun of the year and Cory Burleson drove in 2 more on 4 hits to power the Huskers.

Nebraska 2 - Missouri State 3
Jordan Roualdes gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and struckout 4 over 6 innings to keep the Huskers in the game, but the offense couldn’t hold up it’s end of the bargain.  Twice in the late innings the Huskers got the first two runners on. 

In the 7th, consecutive singles from Adam Bailey and Tyler Farst gave the Huskers runners on first and second with no outs and managed to get just one run on a two out walk by Kale Kiser.  In the 8th, again the Huskers got things going with a walk, a single and an error to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out.  Again, the Huskers let the opportunity slip away with a popout behind the plate, a sacrifice fly to right by Farst (scoring Sullivan) and a flyout by Ben Kline.

Casey Hauptman pitched two more scoreless innings to keep the Husker within 1, but they were unable to capitalize.

What we know
Here we are, two weeks into the season and while we’ve learned a couple things about this team, but we still have many questions unanswered.  This team is very young with just 4 seniors seeing playing time this weekend (Jake Mort is the 5th senior on the team, but has been injured).  Eighteen players who saw significant playing time are either Freshman (7), Sophomores (7), or 1st year JUCO transfers (4). 

The end result of having a young team is high-energy, lots of walks, fielding mistakes, and baserunning errors.  Hopefully by the middle of the season Coach Anderson and Coach Newman will have corrected many of the bad habits and when they do, this team will be a very decent squad.  The talent is there, but it’s raw and undisciplined.  For now, the future looks bright.

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3 Responses to “Husker Baseball Blog: Week 2”

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