Duensing back, pitches 6 shutout innings in win

Brian Duensing fired six shutout innings in his first appearance in nearly two years, as Nebraska completed a sweep of Hawaii-Hilo with a 5-1 victory late Friday.

Less than a year removed from Tommy John surgery, Duensing scattered four hits and struck out three for his first win since March of 2003. The junior left-hander from Omaha allowed two singles in the first and then didn't allow another hit until the sixth, as the Huskers staked him a 5-0 run lead and cruised to the win.

"I was extremely pleased to see Brian pitching again, and I had goose bumps watching him pitch so well," Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson said. "He did a great job of throwing strikes all day and was efficient in his pitches. It was nice to see him finally back on the mound knowing all the stuff he has gone through over the last year."

First baseman Brandon Buckman paced the eight-hit attack in the nightcap, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs, while the Huskers stole nine bases, including three by Alex Gordon and two by Joe Simokaitis.

The Huskers (3-0) started slowly, stranding a pair of runners in each of the first two innings before finally getting to Hawaii-Hilo starter Ryan Olszewski in the top of the third on Buckman's RBI single that scored Gordon, who singled and stole second.

Gordon was involved in the Huskers' second run of the evening one inning later. With two outs and Jesse Boyer on third, Gordon's fly ball was dropped by Vulcan left fielder David Chu, allowing the runner to score on the play and giving the Huskers a two-run cushion.

Buckman, who had four hits in Thursday's season opener, opened the fifth with a double before pinch hitter Daniel Bruce greeted reliever Cadian Hendricks with a RBI double, giving NU a three-run lead. Bruce, who advanced to third on the play, made it 4-0 moments later, as he scored on a freshman Jake Opitz's suicide squeeze.

Opitz, making his first appearance as a Husker, went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Buckman's second run-scoring hit of the evening, a sixth-inning RBI single, plated Gordon with the Huskers' final run of the evening, which was more than enough for Duensing and freshman Ryan Bohanan, who went the final three innings for his first career save.

Bohanan struck out four and allowed only one hit - Chris Campbell's eighth inning solo homer, as the Vulcans (1-15) had just five hits. Chu was the only Hilo player with more than one hit, going 2-for-3 the losing effort.

The Huskers and Vulcans will continue the series Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. (CST), as freshman Johnny Dorn makes his first career start for the Huskers.


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