Huskers halt late rally, beat Creighton 10-8

It took over four hours, there were two weather delays, one tornado warning, but the Huskers and Bluejays eventually got their game finished, Nebraska halting a ninth-inning rally to stop the Bluejays 10-8 in front of the largest crowd to ever see a baseball game at Haymarket Park.

With Creighton coming into this much-anticipated post-season match up with the Huskers, owning the bragging rights on the year, beating Nebraska two out of three times, there seemed to be a little reason to worry for the big red.

Sure, Nebraska never really treated the regular season showdown with CU like it was a match up that would decide a conference or a post-season seeding, because, well, it didn't and more than likely wouldn't.

Nobody knew if Creighton had gotten Nebraska's best game, even this far into the year. Well, for eight innings, Creighton got just that, but typical to what the Jays have done to the Huskers this year, they came back, almost

Nebraska's Jesse Boyer, bottom,
is safe at second base ahead
of the throw to Creighton shortstop
Brad Dutton in the first inning of a
NCAA regional winners bracket game
in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, June 4,
2005
stealing a game after Nebraska dominating most of it.

Amidst turbulent weather in Lincoln, which caused two rain delays and even consisted of a tornado warning, the only thing that actually hit the ground was Creighton pitching, Andy Gerch starting the multi-run onslaught on CU starter Adam Schaecher, knocking a 3 RBI triple into deep-center, busting open a game that was just prior tied at 2 a piece.

From that point, the Nebraska bats started heating up, the Huskers taking the 6-2 lead and extending it to 8-2 in the top of the 6th off a Jake Opitz 2 run homer, his third round-tripper of the year.

Creighton answered at the bottom of the 6th, but could only knock one run off the deficit between them and the big red, Dan Norquist coming in on a RBI sacrifice by catcher Tony Daniel.

Freshman phenom pitcher Johnny Dorn came into the game with a 10-1 record, sporting a sub-2.0 ERA and in his last outing against the Jays, way back in March, Dorn befuddled CU hitters, going eight innings, striking out 10, while allowing only two hits and one earned run.

This time around, CU was able to get on top of Dorn early, hitting off the Husker pitcher five times in the first three innings, scoring twice, led by shortstop Brad Dutton, who went 3 for 5, knocking in two RBIs, scoring twice, which included a solo home run at the bottom of the third inning, which notched the game at two.

Dorn settled down after that, though, retiring the next nine batters, taking the Huskers all the way into the bottom of the sixth, where CU managed to narrow the score by one more, NU now leading 8-3.

Dorn finished up with six and two-thirds innings pitched, allowing five hits, hitting four batters, but still only giving up two earned runs, over almost four hours worth of play. The victory puts Dorn's record on at the year at a stellar 11-1.

Dorn got the win, but just when the drama appeared over, Nebraska on its way to tomorrow in the winner's bracket, Nebraska's pitching went south, Creighton's bats going decidedly the other way.

Freshman left-hander Ryan Bohanan, after serving duty all game as the DH, came in to relieve Jeremy Becker, who finished off the seventh for Dorn. Bohanan got through the eighth, but the ninth probably seemed like an inning that would never end, Ryan giving up 5 hits and 4 runs, all earned.

Another lefty, redshirt freshman Tony Watson came in for Bohannon with two outs in the ninth, Watson able to close out the door, sealing the suddenly dramatic win for the Huskers.

The win puts NU in the winner's bracket tomorrow, where they will play the winner of the Creighton/N.C. State, where the winner will have to beat Nebraska twice, the first game to take place tomorrow evening and if necessary, the second will take place on Monday.

The Huskers move their record to 53-13 on the year.


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