Huskers Drop 5-4 Decision to USC

Brandon Buckman went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs, but No. 18 Nebraska dropped the final game of the Maxwell Auto Group Round Rock College Classic with a 5-4 decision to USC Sunday afternoon.

Jeff Clement's seventh-inning homer gave USC the lead for good before Buckman's second hit of the day, an RBI double to left center in the eighth, pulled the Huskers within 5-4.  Nebraska, which has dropped a pair of one-run games since an 8-0 start, could not muster the tying run in the ninth.

Brandon Fusilier also had two hits and an RBI for Nebraska (8-2), while Tony Watson (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing two runs in 0.2 innings of relief.

USC, which snapped a two-game losing streak, was led by Clement and Daniel Perales, who each drove in a pair of runs, as the Trojans improved to 7-4 on the season.  Paul Koss (1-0) picked the victory for USC, allowing one hit, Buckman's solo homer in the sixth, over two innings of work, while Nate Smith retired the final four Huskers in order for his first save.

The Huskers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on Fusilier two-out RBI single. USC starter Zack Kelter issued two-out walks to Joe Simokaitis and Alex Gordon before Fusilier slapped a 2-1 pitch into right to score Simokaitis with the first run of the game.

USC had several opportunities against Nebraska starter Brian Duensing, who weaved his way in and out of trouble over the first five innings. The Trojans had runners in scoring position in three straight innings, but Duensing continued to pitch out of jams and took a shutout into the fifth.

USC had runners on first and second with two outs in the fifth before Dustin Timm came out of the bullpen into face Billy Hart, the cleanup hitter in the Trojan lineup. Hart roped a single into right, but Daniel Bruce's throw home beat Blake Sharpe and NU catcher Curtis Ledbetter applied the tag to get out of the frame.

Duensing weaved in an out of trouble throughout his outing, as the left-hander tossed 4.2 shutout innings, but did not factor into the decision. Duensing has now gone 12.2 innings without allowing a run since his return from Tommy John surgery.

The Huskers extended their lead to 2-0 in the fifth, as Jesse Boyer doubled into the left field corner and came home on Simokaitis' RBI single to right moments later.

The Trojans finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth, scoring a pair of runs of Timm in the top of the sixth on Perales two-run double to left.  Nebraska regained the lead at 3-2 in the bottom of the frame on Buckman's first career homer, a one-out liner to left.

The lead would be short-lived, as USC struck for a pair of runs in the top of the seventh off Watson. After a leadoff single, Clement lined a 2-2 pitch over the fence in left for a two-run homer. The shot, Clement's second of the season, gave the Trojans a one-run lead. USC took advantage of a Husker error in the eighth, as Sharpe walked and eventually scored on Gordon's throwing error, pushing the lead to 5-3.

The Huskers rallied in the eighth, as Gordon was hit by a pitch with one out and scored two batters later, as Buckman greeted USC reliever Michael Friedman with an RBI double to the gap in left center to pull within 5-4.

The Huskers open the home portion of their schedule on Friday, March 10, as they begin a four-game series with South Dakota State. Tickets are available on Huskers.com or by calling the NU Ticket Office at (800) 8-Big Red

-- Huskers --

                          



#18 USC vs #18 Nebraska

                Mar 6, 2005 at Round Rock, Texas (Dell Diamons)

USC 5 (7-4)
Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
Matt Cusick 2b...........  5  0  0  0   0  0  2  3   1
Blake Sharpe ss..........  3  2  1  0   1  0  5  1   0
Jeff Clement c...........  3  1  1  2   2  0  4  2   0
Billy Hart 3b............  5  0  2  0   0  0  1  3   3
Cyle Hankerd lf..........  3  1  2  0   2  0  1  0   0
 Spencer Pabst lf........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Darin Vieira rf/1b.......  3  1  1  0   1  0  5  0   0
Baron Frost dh...........  4  0  0  0   1  2  0  0   0
Daniel Perales cf........  5  0  1  2   0  1  2  0   6
Lucas Duda 1b............  1  0  0  0   1  0  6  0   0
 Roberto Lopez ph/rf.....  2  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Zack Kalter p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Paul Koss p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Michael Friedman p......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Nate Smith p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
Totals................... 34  5  8  4   8  3 27 11  12

Nebraska 4 (8-2)
Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
Boyer, Jesse lf..........  4  1  1  0   0  1  2  0   0
Simokaitis, Joe ss.......  3  1  1  1   1  1  1  2   0
Gordon, Alex 3b..........  1  1  0  0   2  0  1  5   0
Fusilier, Brandon dh.....  4  0  2  1   0  1  0  0   0
Buckman, Brandon 1b......  4  1  2  2   0  0 10  2   4
 Nimmo, Bryce pr.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Christy, Jeff c.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Ledbetter, Curtis c/1b...  4  0  1  0   0  1  5  0   1
Adams, Trey cf...........  4  0  0  0   0  0  2  0   0
Bruce, Daniel rf.........  4  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
Opitz, Jake 2b...........  4  0  0  0   0  0  2  3   0
Duensing, B. p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  2   0
 Timm, Dustin p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Watson, Tony p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Wertz, Luke p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Klausing, Jon p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Jensen, Brett p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 32  4  7  4   3  4 27 15   5

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
USC................. 000 002 210 -  5  8  0
Nebraska............ 001 011 010 -  4  7  1

E - Gordon, A.(2). LOB - Trojans 12; Huskers 5. 2B - Perales(3); Boyer,
J.(1); Buckman, B.(3). HR - Clement(2); Buckman, B.(1). HBP - Sharpe;
Gordon, A.. SH - Vieira(1). CS - Simokaitis(3); Ledbetter, C(1).

USC                    IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
Zack Kalter.........  4.1  5  2  2  3  2 17 20  85
Paul Koss...........  3.1  1  2  2  0  2 10 11  43
Michael Friedman....  0.0  1  0  0  0  0  1  1   3
Nate Smith..........  1.1  0  0  0  0  0  4  4  12

Nebraska               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
Duensing, B.........  4.2  2  0  0  4  1 15 21  81
Timm, Dustin........  0.2  3  2  2  1  1  4  5  22
Watson, Tony........  0.2  2  2  2  0  0  4  4  17
Wertz, Luke.........  0.1  0  0  0  1  0  1  2  10
Klausing, Jon.......  0.2  0  0  0  1  0  2  3  12
Jensen, Brett.......  2.0  1  1  0  1  1  8  9  28

Win - Koss (1-0).  Loss - Watson, T. (1-1).  Save - Smith (1).
HBP - by Duensing, B. (Sharpe); by Koss (Gordon, A.). BK - Watson, T.(1). PB - Ledbetter, C(1).
Umpires - HP: Scott Johnston  1B: John Ausmus  3B: Rick Miller
Start: 10 a.m.   Time: 3:25   Attendance:
Watson, T. faced 2 batters in the 7th.
Friedman faced 1 batter in the 8th.



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