Faced with the challenge of hitting against the best starting pitching staff in the country, the ‘Canes were no match as they were kept off balance all game by Chamberlain who struck out 13 batters in eight innings pitched giving up one run and seven hits while out dueling Miami ace Cesar Carrillo as the ‘Huskers knocked off Miami 3-1 in the first game of the Super Regional in Lincoln.
The game, which was delayed two hours and 27 minutes, was a pitching duel throughout, but Miami's defense, once again, as it had in the season ending road trip came back to haunt the ‘Canes.
After the ‘Canes jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a home run to left by Paco Figueroa, the ‘Huskers responded with a run in the bottom of the inning.
But that run scored because of an error by Danny Valencia at first base.
After Nebraska's Joe Simokaitis singled to open the fourth, Alex Gordon walked putting runners at first and second with no one out.
After Curtis Ledbetter struck out, Andy Gerch hit a sharp grounder to first that should have been fielded, but Valencia misplayed the ball and it went off his glove into the outfield allowing Simokaitis to score from second. Gordon advanced to third.
Gerch was picked off first on relay throw from Brendan Katin, but the damage had been done by the ‘Canes defense that has haunted them throughout the second half of the season.
Nebraska grabbed the lead in the fifth when Daniel Bruce, a hitter with only four home runs coming in, slammed a Carrillo pitch over the left field wall for a 2-1 lead.
That's all Chamberlain would need as he made the potent Hurricanes offense look inept.
The ‘Canes were constantly off balance and even when ahead in the count as Chamberlain pitched deep into the count numerous times, they could not muster up as much as a single.
Paco Figueroa and Jon Jay were the only two players to do anything offensively as Figueroa was 3-for-4 off Chamberlain and John Jay was 2-for-3 off him.
But the rest of the team was a combined 2-for-21 off Chamberlain and Coral Gables Regional Most Outstanding Player Danny Figueroa struck out three times, unable to set the table for his teammates as he did last weekend.
Carrillo kept the ‘Canes in the game, but he grew weary down the stretch.
The ‘Huskers extended the lead to 3-1 in the eighth when a questionable managerial decision was made.
After Jeff Christy led of the inning with a double to left, Jesse Boyer bunted him over to third. Christy was 2-for-2 with a run scored.
With the slow-footed catcher at third and one out, rather than play at medium depth in the field, UM coach Jim Morris brought the infield in and Simokaitis smacked a single right past a drawn in Valencia who would have made the easy out had he been at medium depth.
The ‘Canes had a chance to tie the game in the night after Paco Figueroa led off with a single finally chasing Chamberlain from the game, but closer Brett Jensen closed the game.
Ryan Braun popped to short on one and two count and Jon Jay grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
Carrillo, although valiant in his effort, took the loss. It was his third loss in four decisions after starting off his career at UM with 24 straight wins.
He pitched eight innings, giving up six hits and three runs two earned, walked one and struck out seven.
Brandon Camardese takes the mound for the ‘Canes tomorrow in a must-win game. The sophomore pitched very well in a 6-2 over Virginia Commonwealth in the Coral Gables Regional, but the ‘Huskers will throw at him another one of their aces.
It's win or go home.
Canes Lose Game 1, 3-1
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