Huskers get Win Over Washington

Sophomore Kash Kalkowski hit a grand slam in his fifth career at bat and the Huskers scored 10 runs on 11 hits as Nebraska (2-1) defeated Washington (1-1), 10-3, for its second win of the day Saturday at the Texas State Tournament in San Marcos, Texas.

The victory moves NU to 2-1 on the season after it defeated Air Force, 8-1, in the early contest. Dating back to last season, the Huskers have scored at least eight runs in six of the past seven games.

Lemke made his first start of the young season and was solid on the mound by giving NU 5 2/3 innings and giving up two runs on six hits. The sophomore, who was 5-6 with a 5.34 ERA in 2010, struck out three while throwing 88 pitches. The right hander had the luxury of strong Husker hitting as NU put up nine runs on nine hits while he was on the hill, including a six-run third inning on four hits, including each an RBI bunt and sacrifice fly.

"I really liked our offense through the fifth inning," head coach Mike Anderson said. "We put up a big number in there, but we had bunts, sac bunts, a squeeze and then a big home run in there. I hope Kash (Kalkowski) and everyone understands that one of the reasons that happened is because we had guys in front of them start to put pressure on. Those are big innings. It was some small ball and some big ball."

Nebraska tagged Washington for 11 hits on the night, while the Husky hurlers also had trouble finding the strike zone as they plunked four Husker hitters, including Bryan Peters twice. The Big Red was also very effective with its execution at the plate, as NU's leadoff man reached first each of the first four innings. The Huskers also had a pair of bunt singles from Chad Christensen, who hit 3-for-5 on the night with one RBI and one run scored. He was one of three NU players with a multi-hit game, joining Cody Asche (2-for-3) and Kurt Farmer (2-for-3). Kiser, NU's leadoff hitter, was 1-for-3 with two walks as he upped his season on-base percentage to a team-high .643. Catcher Cory Burleson was also 1-for-4 with 2 RBIs.

The Huskers exploded in the third inning for six runs on four hits, including Kalkowski's grand slam as the seventh man to the plate. The homer, which was also Kalkowski's first career hit, marks the fourth grand slam for the Huskers over the last two seasons, as Asche hit three in 2010.

Nebraska took advantage of two hit batters to start the third that put Peters and Asche on base. Scheffert then dropped a single into short center which knocked out UW starter Michael Garber. The Huskies brought in lefty Geoff Brown and Burleson hit an RBI sacrifice fly to center to bring in Peters for NU's second run of the game. The Huskers continued to execute small ball from there, as Christensen bunted his way on base for the second time in the game to score Asche from third. A Farmer infield hit to third then loaded the bases Kalkowski, who took the first pitch into the netting behind the left field wall.

After the big inning, Lemke settled down on the hill. The right hander had benefited from a pair of groundout double plays keyed by Christensen and Peters up the middle in the first and second. In the third, he sat down the Huskies in order and one point had thrown 9 of 11 pitches for strikes. He was relieved in the sixth by senior Casey Hauptman, who tossed the remaining 3 1/3 while giving up just a run on three hits while striking out four.

The Huskers struck early as Kiser reached safely in the first inning with a leadoff walk. It paid off for NU as Bryan Peters bunted him to second before he came around to score on an Asche single to left. Kiser narrowly beat the throw from left field Rogers, sliding head first under the tag of UW catcher B.K. Santy. Kiser also scored in the fifth, again after a leadoff walk.

Nebraska will conclude the Texas State Tournament tomorrow morning in San Marcos by taking on Missouri State at 11 a.m. The Bears defeated Texas State on Saturday afternoon, 12-8.

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