Lincoln – Behind a career-high five hits from Josh Scheffert, as well as home runs from Scheffert, Chad Christensen and Kurt Farmer, the Nebraska baseball team (14-6, 0-0 Big Ten) posted its fifth straight win with a 11-4 victory over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Hawks Field on Saturday afternoon. Winners of 14 of their last 17 games, the Huskers pounded out 17 hits on the afternoon and have scored 42 runs on 52 hits through the first three games of the four-gamer series with the Bulldogs. Along with Scheffert, four other Huskers had multi-hit afternoons, including three from leadoff hitter Michael Pritchard, who is hitting a team-high .467 on the year, as well as two hits each from Christensen, Austin Darby and Bryan Peters.
Scheffert and Pritchard have been on fire against the Bulldogs, as the pair is hitting a combined .625 (15-for-24) with one home run, five doubles and seven RBI’s. Scheffert alone is hitting .636 (7-for-11) for the series and has raised his average from .364 to .418.
In front of 3,244 fans at Hawks Field, the Bulldogs took the lead for the first time in the series with a home run from Taylor Terrasas off NU starter Tom Lemke to leadoff the game. The Bulldogs had the bases loaded with two outs, but failed to score any more runs, as Lemke got out of the jam with a groundout to Scheffert at third.
Christensen tied the game in the bottom of the first with his career-high tying sixth homer of the season. The solo shot came with two down, giving Christensen 16 two-out RBI’s on the year. Scheffert gave Lemke the lead in the second inning with a leadoff homer to left field for this third of the year, all of which have come in the last five games.
The Huskers added two more in the bottom of the fourth on four singles in the inning. Scheffert and Darby started the inning with back-to-back base knocks and Scheffert came in to score on a sacrifice fly from Sam Stucky. With Darby at second and two down, Peters wrapped a single into left field to score Darby and put the Huskers up 4-1.
Louisiana Tech continued to fight and scratched across a run in the top of the sixth on two hits to cut NU’s lead to two, 4-2. Reliever Brandon Pierce started the inning with a ground out, but then loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a base hit. Junior Dylan Vogt then took the mound in a tight spot and struck out Justin Gordey looking, before Terrasas picked up his second RBI of the game on a hot shot down the first base line that bounced off Richard Stock’s glove. Vogt stayed composed and retired the next Bulldog batter to put an end to the rally.
Pritchard set the table again for the Huskers in the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff walk and scored on a one-out double from Christensen. The Bulldogs then rolled the dice and lost when they intentionally walked Stock with one out to get to Scheffert, who made them pay with an RBI double that scored Christensen to give the Huskers a 6-2 lead.
The Huskers put the game away in the bottom of the eighth with five runs on six hits. Kale Kiser led off the inning with a double and scored following a pair of one-out singles from Pritchard and Rich Sanguinetti. After Christensen flew out for the second out of the inning, Farmer ripped a three-run homer to left field for his second four-bagger of the season. The homer gave Scheffert another at bat and he delivered his fifth hit of the game to become the first Husker to post five hits in a game since Kiser achieved the feat against Missouri State last season on Feb. 20. Darby followed with a double into the left-field corner that scored Scheffert from first.
Nebraska will go for the four-game sweep tomorrow at 11:05 a.m. with junior Tyler Niederklein on the mound. The Bulldogs started their projected Sunday starter today, so it is expected that they will throw lefty Chris Sadberry tomorrow.