The Razorbacks' pitching staff may not have been as sharp, but the performance was pretty effective. In fact, it was enough for Arkansas to hold the Cornhuskers hitless through seven innings.
Arkansas' staff flirted with a no-hitter during the 7-3 win in Baum Stadium despite giving up seven walks and running into two bases-loaded jams in the early innings. Nebraska ended the no-hit bid in the eighth, when second baseman Jeff Tezak singled with one out. It was one of Nebraska's four hits.
"We had one of those four or five years ago, a combo two or three guys," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said when asked if it was a big deal coming close to the no-hitter. "Really, we just wanted to win the game and move on to (today)."
Arkansas used four pitchers and got the longest stint from Mike Bolsinger, who threw four scoreless innings.
The Cornhuskers broke up the no-hit bit with reliever Scott Limbocker on the mound. They got three more hits and scored two runs before reliever Jeremy Heatley recorded the last out.
Arkansas' last no-hitter came in 2006, when Nick Schmidt, Brian McClelland and Devin Collis combined to throw the 12th in school history in a 3-0 win against Oklahoma State.
"I tended to look up between innings," Bolsinger said Tuesday night. "You get caught up in a little bit."
Going to the Pen
Nebraska coach Mike Anderson got plenty of exercise Tuesday night, walking back and forth to the mound to change pitchers.
The Cornhuskers used nine pitchers in eight innings of work against the Razorbacks. Starter Erik Bird lasted 1 2/3. After that, no Nebraska pitcher lasted more than 1 2/3 innings.
Arkansas relied on three most of the game, but made a late change to bump its total to four. In all, the Razorbacks and Cornhuskers combined to throw 12 pitchers Tuesday night.
"Back when I was coaching at Nebraska, when we used to play Creighton, it was crazy," Van Horn said. "They used to run one pitcher out and inning because they were trying to get ready for the weekend, too. We'd almost do the same thing."
Nebraska could blame the loss on its offensive failures in the opening innings. The Cornhuskers — thanks to Brett Eibner's five walks — loaded the bases with no outs in both the second and third innings, but came away with only one run.
Eibner got out of the second-inning jam with the help of a double play. Bolsinger helped Nebraska load the bases in the third with a throwing error, but he got out of the jam by striking out Adam Bailey (.364 with 8 home runs and 28 RBIs) and Tyler Farst (.364 with 1 home run and 12 RBIs). Nick Sullivan then grounded out to the mound to end the inning.
"We're fortunate they didn't punch in some runs early," Van Horn said. "They were one big hit away."
Arkansas may have had the luck of the Irish on its side on St. Patrick's Day. The Razorbacks celebrated the holiday an appropriate manor Tuesday night: They wore green caps.
The hats, which were green except for a white ‘A' on the front, were the same ones handed out to fans who attended the game.
Flirting with No-Hitter
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Scout 2017 Rankings DirectoryThe Scout positional, state, regional, national and team rankings for the Class of 2017...
2017 Signing Day announcement scheduleComplete list of announcement times for the most high-profile uncommitted recruits in 2017.
Scout's Top 25 Recruiting ClassesA look at Scout's top 25 classes with just over a week to go to Signing Day.
Weekend Official Visit PrimerScout takes a look at the biggest visitors for the upcoming weekend in the Power 5 conferences...