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April 16, 2014
Huskers win 17-6 laugher over Nebraska-Omaha
There are blowouts in baseball, such at the 14-5 win Nebraska scored over Kansas State Tuesday night. But what transpired Wednesday night was something of an entirely different variety.
The Huskers batted around in each of the first two innings and led 15-2 after the opening two frames en route to a 17-6 beatdown of their in-state foes that improved NU to 25-14. Nebraska has now won 10 of its last 11 games.
"That's crazy," Darin Erstad said. "You ride it. It's hard to understand why some of those hits fall. Guys had a good approach and took some good swings. We're at the mercy of this game, and when it gives you stuff you just ride with it."
For the second straight night, Nebraska turned a rocky start into an explosive lead. The Mavericks scored twice in the top of the first off of Kyle Kubat thanks to a pair of NU errors, but the offense quickly backed the lefty up. The Huskers used five hits to score four runs to retake the lead.
But that didn't even begin to compare to the second inning. Nebraska batted around before UNO even registered an out. The Huskers scored 10 runs, the most in an inning since 2010, to turn the game into a laugher early on.
The offense cooled down considerably after that, but the damage was done. All but one Husker recorded at least one hit, and second baseman Pat Kelly was the only starter that didn't knock in at least one run.
"It's obviously really contagious when all the guys in front of you are just going out and getting hits," Austin Darby said. "Maybe the guys not throwing great stuff, so you just go up there and follow it up and follow it up. As an offense, that's what you build on."
Kubat was far from perfect, but he was good enough on a night when the offense did what it wanted. The junior, still trying to rediscover his form from his first two seasons, gave up five runs (three earned) on seven hits in six innings, striking out five.
"I thought his fastball was better," Erstad said. "His arm speed looked good and the command at times was better - I think he only walked one guy. He competed through a couple of at-bats where he could've gotten sideways and didn't. It's a work in progress and we'll continue to help him through the battle."
Jake Hohensee, Ben Miller and Tyler King finished off the Mavericks, giving up just one run over three innings.
Nebraska is in action next with a three-game home series against Northwestern, which starts Friday at 6:35 p.m.
***Right fielder Austin Darby: The junior tied his career high with four RBIs despite being taken out early for a substitute. He went 3-for-4 and scored twice.
***Designated hitter Michael Pritchard: After going 5-for-5 yesterday, Pritchard added three more hits and a walk in four official at-bats Wednesday. He drove in three and scored three times.
Around the horn
***The Huskers are now 10-2 when its opponent commits two errors or more and 6-4 when they commit two or more themselves.
***Nebraska batted around in the first inning and second innings, the fourth and fifth times it has done so this year.
***The Huskers are now 12-8 when their opponent scores first.
***The attendance was 1,910.