Huskers down Shockers 4-2

Joe Simokaitis' two-run single in the second inning highlighted a three-run inning, while four Nebraska relievers combined for 5.2 innings of no-hit ball, as the fifth-ranked Huskers held on for a 4-2 victory over Wichita State in front of 5,270 at Eck Stadium Wednesday evening.

The Huskers, who improved to 35-8 on the season, snapped an eight-game losing streak in Wichita dating back to 1986, while posting their second straight win over the Shockers.

Simokaitis' two-run, bases loaded single was the game's big blow, as the Huskers scored once in the first and three more in the second and relied on a sparking effort by the Husker bullpen.

Phil Shirek, Brian Duensing, Ryan Bohanan and Brett Jensen did not allow a hit, as only one Shocker baserunner reached in the final 5.1 innings. Shirek (4-1) retired all five batters he faced for the victory, while Jensen pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save. In all, the Husker bullpen has not allowed a run in the last three games, spanning 17 innings.

Curtis Ledbetter and Ryan Wehrle had two hits apiece, as Wehrle also drew four walks and reached on all four plate appearances.

The Huskers got on the board in the top of the first, as Alex Gordon doubled with two outs before scoring on Curtis Ledbetter's RBI single up the middle. The Shockers used the long ball to knot the score in the bottom half of the inning on Derek Schermerhorn's first homer of the season, a two-out solo shot to left.

Nebraska took advantage of several Shocker miscues to plate three runs in the top of the top of the second, extending the lead to 4-1. Andy Gerch was hit by a pitch from WSU Kyle Touchatt before Trey Adams coaxed a walk to put runners on first and second. Ryan Werhle laid down a bunt single, as the Shockers were late covering first to load the bases. Jeff Christy drove in Gerch with a fielder's choice to short before Joe Simokaitis blooped a two-run single to left two batters later.

Touchatt went 2.2 innings, allowing four runs on four hits to take the loss, as he dropped to 3-1 on the year.

The Shockers got a run in the fourth of Husker starter Tony Watson, who allowed two runs on six hits in 3.2 innings. After a leadoff single by Joe Muich, Brandon Hall doubled past a diving Trey Adams, who recovered to begin a 9-6-2 relay that got Muich out at the plate. Hall eventually scored WSU's second run on a fielder's choice off the bat of Carlos Jackson. WSU eventually loaded the bases off Watson, but Shirek fanned Phil Napolitan to get out of the jam.

Shirek, who didn't retire a batter in his last outing last Wednesday, struck out two and retired all five batters he faced, as he was helped by outstanding plays by Simokaitis at short and Daniel Bruce in center, who went to the wall off the bat of Hall.

Brian Duensing retired the first five hitters he faced before Nick McCoola reached on a two-base error by Gordon. McCoola eventually got to third on a passed ball, but Ryan Bohanan came out of the bullpen retired the next three Shockers, fanning Hall to end the eighth, as NU clung to a two-run lead.

Nebraska threatened in the ninth, as back-to-back singles by Adams and Wehrle chased reliever Jared Simon, but Damon Sublett came in and struck out the next three Huskers to squelch the rally.

The Huskers return to action Thursday evening, as they travel to Oklahoma. First pitch is set for 6p.m. and the game will be carried on ESPN.

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