For the second straight game, Nebraska's starting pitcher struggled early in the game. But this time, the bullpen and lineup weren't there to pick him up.
Aaron Bummer suffered the worst start of his career, giving up six hits, three walks and four earned runs in three rough innings. After the bullpen pitched 4.2 scoreless innings in NU's season-opening win over Pacific Friday, the group gave up 11 runs as Nebraska (1-1) fell 15-7 to No. 2 Oregon State.
The Huskers actually outhit the Beavers 14-13, but giving up free passes to one of college baseball's top squads killed Nebraska. The Huskers walked 11 batters, four of which forced in a run, and hit two batters.
Senior Luke Bublitz replaced Bummer to start the fourth inning but quickly surrendered three runs. Freshman Ben Miller slowed the OSU offense for a few innings, but things really fell apart in the eighth. Nebraska allowed seven runs on just two hits as the Huskers committed an error, hit a batter and walked six. It took three NU pitchers to get out of the frame.
The offense, dormant for much of the day, showed signs of life in the bottom of the ninth. Nebraska scored five runs on five hits, making the final score at least somewhat respectable. Second baseman Pat Kelly finished the day with a career-high five hits, and freshman Bryce Only reached base in his two at-bats. Shortstop Steven Reveles and left fielder Ty Kildow each added two hits apiece.
The Huskers don't have much time to wallow in the loss - Nebraska will take on Gonzaga at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon. JUCO transfer Chance Sinclair will make his first career start as NU tries to get back on track.
Around the horn
***Nebraska committed its first error of the season in the eighth inning on a low throw to first by Reveles. The Huskers were second in the country in fielding percentage in 2013.
***Bummer's three walks were tied for the second-most in his career. In his other three appearances with three or more walks, Bummer pitched at least four innings and gave up two runs or fewer.
***Michael Pritchard doubled in the ninth inning, extending his on-base streak to 44 games, the second-longest streak in school history.