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Los Angeles, Calif. – After dropping the series opener on Friday night, 4-1, the Nebraska baseball team (6-4, 0-0 Big Ten) bounced back with an 8-1 win on Saturday and a 5-1 win in Sunday’s finale to take a road series from the Loyola Marymount Lions (7-4, 0-0 WCC).
Sophomore Derek Burkamper was dominant on the hill, going a career-high 7.0 innings in the win, the first of his Husker career. The Muscatine, Iowa, native was nearly untouchable in his third career start, allowing two hits and one walk, while striking out five. Burkamper retired the Lions in order five times on the afternoon, and after a giving up a leadoff double in the second he retired 18 of the final 20 Lion batters he faced.
After handing Trevor Megill a loss on Saturday, the Huskers dealt his younger brother, Tylor, a loss on Sunday. The younger Megill got off to a rocky start, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits in the first three innings, but then settled in and retired the final 14 Huskers he faced.
The early runs were key for the Huskers, as Megill and reliever Michael Silva combined to not allow just one base runner over the final six innings. Nebraska’s pitching staff was just as good, with Burkamper along with relievers Jeff Chesnut and Colton Howell combining to allow only three hits and one walk, while striking out seven.
The Husker offense got their young starter a 2-0 cushion in the first on a pair of hits and an LMU error. Jake Schleppenbach opened the game with a single and was quickly on third base after Megill committed a throwing error on a bunt by Scott Schreiber. With runners on the corners and Ryan Boldt up, Megill uncorked a wild pitch that scored Schleppenbach. Schreiber also came in to score in the inning on an RBI single by Blake Headley.
Burkamper retired the Lions in order in the first, but was touched for a run in the second after Tanner Donnels started the frame with a double. Burkamper nearly stranded Donnels at second, but a wild pitch allowed Donnels to score on a sacrifice fly.
The Huskers got the run back and then some in the third inning with three runs on three hits, including two doubles. Steven Reveles led off with a double and the bases were quickly loaded following a four-pitch walk to Schleppenbach and a bunt base hit by Schreiber. NU’s No. 3 and 4 hitters then did their jobs, as Boldt delivered a sacrifice fly and Headley drove in a pair of runs with his third double of the series.
Working with a 5-1 lead, Burkamper retired the Lions in order in the third and fourth. After giving up the leadoff double in the second, Burkamper retired 10-straight Lions before David Edwards snapped the streak with a one-out walk in the fifth. Chris Barnett then doubled to put runners on second and third for the Lions. Burkamper’s defense got him out of the jam though when Ted Boeke flew out to right field and Austin Darby threw a strike to Lubach at home that cut down Edwards for an inning-ending double play.
The game then turned into a pitching duel, with the two teams combining for just two hits over the final six innings.
The Huskers will be back on the road next weekend when they travel to Houston, Texas, for one of the premier tournaments in college baseball, the Houston College Classic. Hosted at Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros, the Huskers will play Texas A&M on Friday, Hawaii on Saturday and LSU on Sunday. Every game of the tournament will be carried on ROOT Sports Southwest.