April 24, 2010
WACO, Texas - Nebraska built an early 3-0 lead, and just as Baylor worked its way back into the game, the Cornhuskers plated three eighth-inning runs to pull away with a 6-2 win Saturday afternoon at the Baylor Ballpark.
With the win, Nebraska (19-20, 6-11 Big 12) evened the series, while Baylor (23-16, 6-9 Big 12) lost for just the third time in its last 19 games at Baylor Ballpark.
The Cornhuskers scored once in each of the first three innings against Baylor starting pitcher Craig Fritsch. Kale Kiser took advantage of a 25 mph wind blowing out to right for a solo homer in the first, Cody Asche reached on an infield single and later scored on a wild pitch in the second, and DJ Belfonte scored on a sacrifice fly in the third.
"I didn't feel like we lost this game by an inch. I thought they out-competed us at the plate and somewhat on the mound," head coach Steve Smith said. "We just didn't do enough offensively to make much of a game out of this."
Fritsch faced the minimum over the next two frames, but Niederklein answered by holding the Bears scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings.
Willie Kempf came on in relief for Baylor to start the sixth, and he held the Cornhuskers scoreless on one hit over the next two innings.
Meanwhile, Baylor cut its deficit in half with a run in the sixth. Tyler Collins hit a one-out single to right, and after Raynor Campbell reached on an error, Cal Towey knocked a RBI single through the middle. Towey's single ended Niederklein's day after allowing two runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings.
Chris Williams came on from the Nebraska bullpen and hit Landis Ware with the first pitch he threw to load the bases. Logan Vick followed with a bouncer up the middle that looked like it would get through to give the Bears the lead, but Chad Christensen ranged to his left and made a nice play to get Ware going to second base for the final out of the inning.
The Bears put two runners on with one out in the seventh, but Don Lambert's drive to right field was caught by Adam Bailey as he hit the wall, and Luke Bublitz induced a groundout from Gregg Glime to escape the inning.
Pinch hitter Boomer Collins led off the eighth and hit what looked like a routing flyout to right field, but the ball carried just over the wall to give the Cornhuskers a 4-2 lead. Nebraska took advantage of an infield single, an intentional walk and an error to extend its lead to 6-2.
Bublitz worked a 1-2-3 eighth, but after walking the first batter in the ninth, he turned the ball over to Sean Yost. After an error and another walk brought the potential tying run to the plate, Yost got Gregg Glime to strike out swinging to end the game.
Fritsch (0-2) took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits with five strikeouts and no walks in 5.0 innings. Niederklein got the win by holding the Bears to two runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings.
Vick went 2-for-3 and drew a pair of walks, and Hainsfurther had the Bears' only other multi-hit game with a 2-for-5 effort.
Belfonte had three hits in five at-bats, and Kiser went 2-for-4 for the Cornhuskers.
Baylor and Nebraska meet for the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m. at Baylor Ballpark. Nebraska plans to start right-handed freshman Tom Lemke on the mound and the Bears are expected to counter with junior Shawn Tolleson.