Bakersfield, Calif. – The Nebraska baseball team fell to 0-1 on the season, as it dropped is 2013 season opener, 9-4, on Friday afternoon to CSU Bakersfield at Hardt Field.
Chad Christensen was 3-for-4 on the day for the Huskers and Tanner Lubach hit a homerun in his Husker debut, but the NU offense was unable to match the Roadrunners’ attack.
Bakersfield totaled 15 hits on the day, led by Tyler Shryock’s 5-for-5 outing. CSUB’s 4-5-6 hitters produced seven hits and four RBIs.
The Huskers threw the first punch, as they plated a pair of runs in the top of the first on three hits.
Michael Pritchard led off the game with a bouncing single up the middle, but was then erased on a fielder’s choice bunt attempt by Rich Sanguinetti. Christensen followed with his first hit of the season and Sanguinetti went 1st-to-3rd on the base knock. Kash Kalkowski kept the hits coming and drove in Sanguinetti to give NU a 1-0 lead. Associate Head Coach Will Bolt then dialed up a double steal that moved Christensen to third and Kalkowski to second for Pat Kelly, who worked a full-count walk to load the bases for Josh Scheffert. The senior from Lincoln did his job and lifted a sacrifice fly into left center field to plate Christensen to push NU’s lead to 2-0.
Nebraska was held to just six hits and two runs over the final eight innings of the game, including Lubach’s leadoff homer in the fourth.
Down 5-2, the Huskers were in position to cut into CSU Bakersfield’s lead in the top of the third when they loaded the bases with one out following a second full-count walk to Kelly, but CSUB starter Jeff McKenzie buckled down kept NU off the board. The lefty sent down Scheffert and Austin Darby swinging to end NU’s threat.
Nebraska scratched across a run in the top of the eighth following a pair of doubles from Kelly and Darby off of Hayden Carter, who came into the game in the top of the seventh, but NU was unable to get anything else going leaving CSUB with a 7-4 lead.
The Roadrunners added a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to complete their scoring for the day.
Nebraska’s California road trip continues tomorrow with a trip to Goodwin Field for a doubleheader with No. 22 Cal State Fullerton. The first game between the Huskers and Titans is set for 4 p.m. (CT) and it will be streamed for free live on BigWest.TV. Fans will also be able to listen to Greg Sharpe and Lane Grindle call all the action on the Husker Sports Network, including for free on Huskers.com worldwide.
The Huskers are 0-2 all-time against the Titans, with the last meeting between the two teams coming in the first round of the 2001 College World Series.