John Grose, whose previous career high was
four RBIs on three other occasions, went 1-for-4 to help the Huskers, who
improved to 22-5 and are off to their best start since 1987.
"Offensively, we just did what we had to
do tonight," Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. "It was kind of Earl Weaver-type
baseball with the home run and those kinds of things. It is not Nebraska style,
but we got a win, so you have to be happy with that."
While Grose provided most of the
offensive firepower, Quinton Robertson and Brad Furnish combined to allow just
one earned run and fan a season-high 14 Lobos without a walk.
Robertson (3-4) went the first 5.2
innings for his second straight win, allowing three runs - one earned - on nine
hits, as he matched his career high with seven strikeouts. Furnish then closed
the door, fanning a career-best seven Lobos in 3.1 innings of no-hit relief for
his first career save.
Second baseman Jake Mullinax had a
three-hit night and reached base all five times, while center fielder Colin Shockey went 2-for-4 with a walk, as the Huskers had nine hits off four Lobo
After spotting the Lobos (10-17-1) a 1-0
lead in the top of the first on Joe Salas' RBI single, the Huskers took
advantage of the wildness of UNM starter Darren Coltrinari (1-2), who walked or
hit five of the six batters he faced to take the loss. The first three
Huskers reached on walks or hit batters before Jake Mullinax was plunked to knot
the score at one. Curtis Ledbetter then brought home the Huskers' go-ahead run
with a sacrifice fly to left before Grose's grounder two batters later plated
NU's third run of the frame.
New Mexico, which saw its four-game
winning streak snapped, got an unearned run in the second before the Huskers
scored four times off Gaarder in the third. Singles by Mullinax and Al Smith sandwiched a hit batter to load the bases with no outs. Grose then sent
Gaarder's 1-2 pitch over the fence in left for his second homer of the season
and the first grand slam by a Husker in 2004.
It was the only mistake that Gaarder
made, as he pitched 5.2 innings of solid relief and struck out two to keep New
Mexico within striking distance.
The Lobos got their final run off
Robertson in the fifth on an RBI single by Sean Murray, who had two hits, to
score Josh Mader, who reached on an error. NU committed two errors on the
evening and saw its streak of consecutive innings without an error end at 46.0
Matt Young was the only other Lobo with
more than one hit, going 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored.
The Huskers and Lobos conclude the series
Tuesday afternoon at 1:35 p.m., as freshman left-hander Jon Klausing (0-0,
6.14) makes his first career start for the