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Cal Poly uses walk-off single to edge Huskers

FINAL STATS:

Nebraska had some early offense, but a Cal Poly walk-off single to left field led the Mustangs (8-13) past NU 3-2.

The Huskers (10-10) had runners on second and third in the eighth inning because of back-to-back hits from juniors Jake Meyers and Scott Schreiber. Following a pitching change for Cal Poly, senior first baseman Ben Miller flied out to the shortstop and junior Luis Alvarado grounded into a double play.

“We had our chance, I think there was a generous strike zone on both sides and I think that hurt us,” head coach Darin Erstad said in his postgame radio show on the Husker Sports Network. “We need to fight through that stuff; they got the big hit and we didn’t, so there you go.”

Junior right-hander Derek Burkamper (1-2, 3.78 ERA) finished with three strikeouts and three walks, giving up six hits in five innings. Erstad said that Burkamper struggled quite a bit, but was proud of the way he continued to compete.

“He didn’t think he had a feel for anything,” Erstad said of his senior, who had a no-decision in his fifth start of the season. “I think we had the lead-off guy on in four of six innings. The execution, the pitching of two-strike, and we just need to execute better. He showed signs, but just it was just overall a struggle to command his stuff.”

Junior reliever Reece Eddins only faced eight batters in 2.1 innings and made the most of them. Eddins struck out two and retired the first six batters he faced.

“When he has his angle on his fastball, he can be very effective,” Erstad said. “He looked like he had that and that was good to see. He made some nice pitches for us when he was out there. We are going to need him to get some big outs for us this year.”

Another thing that stuck out was sophomore right-hander Chad Luensmann, who struggled for the second consecutive game. He gave up three hits, an earned run and struck out one in his brief relief effort.

Saturday's series conclusion will be a double-header between the two teams with the first one starting at 3:00 p.m and the second one taking place 30 minutes following the completion of game one.

In the first game, Nebraska lefty Jake Meyers (3-1, 1.54 ERA) will take on Cal Poly right-hander Bobby Ay (0-2, 3.95 ERA). The second game starters have not been announced yet.

“It was a tough one today and we are just going to have to turn the page,” Erstad said. “We have a chance to win a series. You are not going to get the breaks on the road. We need to be able to handle that during the grind of a double-header tomorrow.”