The Nebraska baseball team (13-6, 0-0 Big Ten) gave starter Jon Keller plenty of offensive support on Friday afternoon at Hawks Field in a 22-3 win over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. The Huskers scored at least one run in each of the first four innings to take a 14-0 lead, while adding four runs in both the sixth and eighth innings. The Huskers’ 22 runs are the most in over eight years, as they also scored 22 in a win over Kent State at the Ultimate Dugout Baseball Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M, on Feb. 22, 2004.
Every Husker that came to the plate on Friday had at least one hit, including 17 from the nine starters and seven from four pinch hitters, while seven Huskers had two or more hits, including four from Michael Pritchard and three from Kale Kiser. Pritchard accounted for two of the Huskers’ eight doubles on the day, while Kiser and Chad Christensen each hit home runs. Six Huskers produced multiple RBI’s, with Rich Sanguinetti, Josh Scheffert and Kiser each driving in three runs.
For Keller, the sophomore went 6.0 innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits and struck out three. Freshmen Kyle Kubat, Jeff Stovall and Aaron Bummer each pitched one inning in relief to close out the game.
The Huskers quietly took a 1-0 lead in the first when Sanguinetti scored on one of Trevor Petersen’s three wild pitches in the game. NU added four more runs in the scored and had the bases loaded again to end the inning. In the second, the Huskers four runs came off two hits, four walks and one Bulldog error. Christensen polished off a three-run third inning with a two-out home run, his fifth of the season.
With an 8-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth, the Huskers buried the Bulldogs with six runs to go up 14-0. The Huskers notched five hits in the inning, including a double each from Pritchard, Austin Darby, Cory Burleson and Richard Stock.
The Huskers failed to score for the first time all game in the bottom of the fifth and after the Bulldogs plated two in the top of the sixth, NU answered with four in the bottom of the frame. Four of the Huskers’ first five batters roped singles before Scheffert nearly hit a pinch-hit grand slam to left-center field, but instead settled for a three-RBI double off the wall.
Nebraska added four more in the bottom of the eighth behind a three-run homer from Kiser. After Kurt Farmer and Scheffert reached on back-to-back one-out singles, Kiser blasted his third home run of the season into the visitor’s bullpen in right field. The senior entered the game with a .196 batting average and improved it 44 points to .240 with his 3-for-4 performance on the afternoon, while is on-base percentage grew to a blistering .472.
The Huskers will look to win the series tomorrow when the two teams meet at 1:35 p.m. for game three of the four-game series. Head Coach Darin Erstad will send junior righty Tom Lemke to the mound, while the Huskers will face a lefty starter for the first time in the series in redshirt freshman Chris Sadberry after facing right-handed starters in games one and two.