HuskerOnline - Nebraska blows 7-0 lead as San Diego comes out on top
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Nebraska blows 7-0 lead as San Diego comes out on top

Nebraska baseball (1-3, 0-0 Big Ten) suffered a 12-11 loss to San Diego (4-1, West Coast) on Friday night in Game 1 of the Tony Gwynn Legacy Tournament. The Huskers blew a 7-0 lead and struggled defensively.

Senior Gareth Stroh started the weekend off for the Huskers before being relieved by senior Max Schreiber in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sophomore Tyler Martin followed, and sophomore Shay Schanaman closed out the night for the Huskers.

San Diego couldn’t catch a break in the top of third inning. The Toreros recorded three errors in the top of the third inning. Sophomore Cam Chick hit a single to left field, but advanced to second base on a fielding error by the Toreros. It was NU’s fourth hit of the night, and forced San Diego to take a mound visit during the top of third inning.

Nebraska’s momentum didn’t slow down from there. Sophomore Spencer Schwellenbach’s single through right field put runners on the corner for the Huskers with no outs. Junior Aaron Palensky’s two-run double to left field gave the Huskers a 3-0 lead and forced a San Diego pitching change. Freshman Leighton Banjoff plated a run with a base hit.

The Toreros fell apart after that. Senior Mojo Hagge was hit by a pitch to load the bases for NU. A throwing error and walk by the San Diego defense plated two Husker base runners. Chick hit a sacrifice fly to drive in one run. Nebraska led 7-0 headed into the bottom of the third inning.

The Toreros looked to rally back in the bottom of the fourth inning with a three-run homer from junior Adam Kerner. Stroh stopped further damage with a strikeout to end the inning. San Diego trailed 7-3 going into the fifth inning.

Things started to fall apart for Nebraska in the bottom of the seventh inning. San Diego scored five runs on four hits to tie the game 9-9. It was all downhill from there, as Nebraska committed four errors. USD scored three runs in the bottom of the eight inning to seal the win.

Seventh inning disaster

San Diego bullied Nebraska in the bottom of the seventh inning.

After a Schreiber walk and a throwing error at first base, the Toreros sent a double down the right field line plating one run. USD’s bats stayed heated throughout the inning. Freshmen Camden Vasquez singled one up the middle to score one more. Junior Shane McGuire’s single turned into a double after an NU fielding error. The run didn’t stop there, and the Toreros plated another runner with a single through the right. Sophomore Caleb Rickets tied the game with a ground out to short stop for the RBI. It was 9-9 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.

Bull pen struggles

Although the Huskers outhit the Toreros 18-10, NU couldn’t back it up on the defensive end. Nebraska’s bullpen allowed 10 earned runs on the night. Stroh pitched four innings for the Huskers and recorded four strikeouts. Schreiber, Schanaman and Martin combined for just one strikeout.

"Nobody's going to feel sorry for us. We've got to come out and execute pitches at a high level...we need to flush this one. It's going to hurt for the rest of the night. We've got to come out tomorrow and be a lot more focused defensively and on the mound."
— Head coach Will Bolt

What's next

Nebraska takes on San Diego State (4-1, 0-0 Mountain West) tomorrow night at 8 p.m. CST. The Aztecs are coming off a 4-1 win over Iowa in the tournament. The game can be streamed on the Mountain West Network and Husker Sports Network.