Sunday Baseball: Huskers fall to Cal

After scoring 20 runs in the first two games of the series, Nebraska's bats went quiet Sunday afternoon against Cal (11-3) dropping the third game 4-0. Tom Lemke (1-1) gave the Huskers (9-6) a strong performance, but didn't receive any support from his teammates.

*Coach Erstad wasn't sure why the bats went silent today after exploding in the opening two games against Cal, but said that it's just a part of baseball. "I don't know if they thought it was going to rain, but it's on me: I have to get them prepared to play, and I didn't do my job today." The Huskers didn't have a base hit until a Kash Kalkowski single in the 7th inning.

The mindset of staying in games is something that Erstad has preached all season, and while that's been key for them in coming from behind in a number of games, it's not something that the Huskers want to do. "You have to be able to set the tone." Said Erstad. "They [Cal] have set the tone and we've responded, and that's a dangerous way to play baseball because this is what's going to happen sometimes."

*Erstad was impressed with Lemke's outing today, which lasted 6 2/3 innings with just 80 pitches thrown. "He did just a fantastic job keeping us focused and keeping us in the baseball game." The only downside to his performance was the fact that all three runs that he allowed were given up with two outs. Part of that is a credit to Cal: Erstad has praised their hitters approach at the plate throughout the series, for battling each and every pitch. But in order to reach full potential, Lemke needs to bear down with two outs.

*Nebraska didn't commit any errors, but didn't look as sharp in the field as they did earlier in the series. Christensen made one nice play up the middle at shortstop, but other than that, they looked relatively lethargic.

*Injury Note: Kurt Farmer has been out the past couple of games with a minor calf injury, and is day-to-day. Josh Scheffert has filled in at third base quite nicely in his absence.

Nebraska will wrap up the series with Cal tomorrow, with Tyler Niederklein (1-1) making his debut as a starter this season, after an unsuccessful experiment as a closer. He has been working his way back toward a starting role with a couple of long relief appearances, but should be close to full strength. He may be able to work his way back into a Friday night role, as Zach Hirsch struggled in his start on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 on Monday.

- Josh Harvey -

Josh Hilkemann has worked for Big Red Report since October of 2011. He is currently a senior at UNL and has been featured on the Big Ten Digital Network as a play-by-play announcer for Husker basketball and volleyball.
Facebook | Twitter| E-Mail |

Big Red Report Top Stories