Huskers Rally for 7-4 Win over Northern Iowa

Seventh-ranked Nebraska used a four-run seventh inning to overcome a three-run deficit, defeating Northern Iowa, 7-4, at Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday evening.

The Huskers, who improved to 32-7 on the season, got an outstanding performance from the Husker bullpen, holding UNI without an earned run over the final eight innings after the Panthers (14-21) chased NU starter Phil Shirek in the bottom of the first.

Jeremy Becker (1-0) earned the victory with a scoreless inning relief, while Brett Jensen, the seventh Husker pitcher of the evening, fired a perfect ninth for his sixth save.

Daniel Bruce paced NU's offensive attack, driving in a pair of runs, while Curtis Ledbetter, Andy Gerch, Brandon Buckman and Ryan Wehrle had two hits apiece in NU's 13-hit attack.

Shirek struggled with his control, loading the bases on two walks and a single to open the contest. Nate Trumm then gave Northern Iowa a 1-0 lead with an RBI single before Shirek went 2-1 to Ryan Norman before Tony Watson came out of the bullpen. Watson struck out Norman, but walked Clayton Daniels to put the Huskers in a 2-0 hole after the first inning. Shirek allowed two runs on two hits, as he faced only four batters in NU's shortest start of the season.

The Huskers finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth on Gordon's 13th homer of the year, a two-out solo shot to left center.

Watson, who established a career high with six strikeouts in 4.2 innings of relief, kept the Huskers in the game, holding Northern Iowa off the scoreboard again until the fifth, when the Panthers took advantage to a Husker error to plate two runs. With two outs and a runner on first, Brett Douglas doubled off reliever Dustin Timm to put runners on second and third. Andrew Farmer then hit a grounder to third that was booted for by Gordon, allowing both runners to score, increasing the UNI lead to 4-1.

Nebraska finally broke through in the seventh, scoring four runs off the Panther bullpen and capitalizing on two costly Panther errors. Consecutive singles by Buckman, Gerch and Bruce, coupled with an error by Brett Douglas in left, plated NU's fist run. Pinch hitter Brandon Fusilier pulled NU within 4-3 with an RBI single off Brandon Rinnan before loading the bases again on pinch hitter Ryan Wehrle's bunt single. Bryce Nimmo hit into a fielder's choice to tie the score, but the throw by Moran was wide of the bag, allowing Fusilier to score

The Huskers added an insurance run in the eighth on Bruce's sacrifice fly to right that plated Buckman, who drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on an errant pickoff attempt by Rinnan, who allowed unearned runs in 1.1 innings of relief to take the loss.

The Huskers return home for a three-game series against Baylor beginning Friday evening. First pitch between the No. 7 Huskers and No. 8 Baylor is set for Friday at 6:35 p.m.

The Huskers, who improved to 32-7 on the season, got an outstanding performance from the Husker bullpen, holding UNI without an earned run over the final eight innings after the Panthers (14-21) chased NU starter Phil Shirek in the bottom of the first.

Jeremy Becker (1-0) earned the victory with a scoreless inning relief, while Brett Jensen, the seventh Husker pitcher of the evening, fired a perfect ninth for his sixth save.

Daniel Bruce paced NU's offensive attack, driving in a pair of runs, while Curtis Ledbetter, Andy Gerch, Brandon Buckman and Ryan Wehrle had two hits apiece in NU's 13-hit attack.

Shirek struggled with his control, loading the bases on two walks and a single to open the contest. Nate Trumm then gave Northern Iowa a 1-0 lead with an RBI single before Shirek went 2-1 to Ryan Norman before Tony Watson came out of the bullpen. Watson struck out Norman, but walked Clayton Daniels to put the Huskers in a 2-0 hole after the first inning. Shirek allowed two runs on two hits, as he faced only four batters in NU's shortest start of the season.

The Huskers finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth on Gordon's 13th homer of the year, a two-out solo shot to left center.

Watson, who established a career high with six strikeouts in 4.2 innings of relief, kept the Huskers in the game, holding Northern Iowa off the scoreboard again until the fifth, when the Panthers took advantage to a Husker error to plate two runs. With two outs and a runner on first, Brett Douglas doubled off reliever Dustin Timm to put runners on second and third. Andrew Farmer then hit a grounder to third that was booted for by Gordon, allowing both runners to score, increasing the UNI lead to 4-1.

Nebraska finally broke through in the seventh, scoring four runs off the Panther bullpen and capitalizing on two costly Panther errors. Consecutive singles by Buckman, Gerch and Bruce, coupled with an error by Brett Douglas in left, plated NU's fist run. Pinch hitter Brandon Fusilier pulled NU within 4-3 with an RBI single off Brandon Rinnan before loading the bases again on pinch hitter Ryan Wehrle's bunt single. Bryce Nimmo hit into a fielder's choice to tie the score, but the throw by Moran was wide of the bag, allowing Fusilier to score

The Huskers added an insurance run in the eighth on Bruce's sacrifice fly to right that plated Buckman, who drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on an errant pickoff attempt by Rinnan, who allowed unearned runs in 1.1 innings of relief to take the loss.

The Huskers return home for a three-game series against Baylor beginning Friday evening. First pitch between the No. 7 Huskers and No. 8 Baylor is set for Friday at 6:35 p.m.


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