Huskers Fall to Kansas State

Barrett Rice's three-run triple highlighted a five-run third inning, as Kansas State snapped a 10-game losing streak to Nebraska with an 11-5 victory over No. 3 Huskers at Tointon Stadium Friday evening.

Rice went 2-fof-3 and drove in four runs, while Jared Goedert had two hits, including a homer, and drove in three runs, as Kansas State (20-3, 2-2 Big 12) picked up its first win over Nebraska since the 2002 season.

While KSU totaled 13 hits, the Huskers were done in by a shaky pitching performance, as six Husker pitchers combined to walk 10 Wildcats, the most free passes issued by Husker pitching since 2002, and hit two batters.

Joba Chamberlain suffered the loss for NU, as he allowed five runs in just 2.2 innings, the shortest outing of his Husker career.  Chamberlain, who had walked just seven hitters in 27.1 innings this season entering Friday, walked four and hit another in dropping to 3-2 on the year

Brad Hutt was the beneficiary for the Wildcats, going seven-plus innings as he allowed four runs on 10 hits to improve to 5-0 on the season.

Nick Jaros had three hits and scored twice for Nebraska (18-5, 2-2 Big 12). Jeff Christy and Nick Sullivan also had two hits apiece, while Jake Opitz drove in a pair of runs. Ryan Wehrle also continued his hot hitting with three hits, including a pair of doubles in the loss.

The Huskers strung together three straight hits to open the second before Opitz's sacrifice fly gave NU a 1-0 lead. Jaros began the second with a single to left center before consecutive bunt singles by Sullivan and Christy loaded the bases with no outs. Opitz then lofted a fly ball to left, scoring Jaros for the night's first run.

Kansas State took advantage of Chamberlain's wildness in the third, knocking the Husker starter out of the game. In all, Husker pitchers combined for five walks and a hit batter in the thitd, leading directly to a five runs.   With runners on the corners and one out, Goedert plated one run with a fielder's choice before Chamberlain walked Joe Roundy and hit Cris Tapia to load the bases. Rice then provided the game's big blow, sending fouling off several pitches before lacing a 2-2 pitch off the wall for a bases-clearing double to left center to make it 4-1.  After another walk, Jared Cranston came in for Chamberlain, but could not stop the damage, walking two straight hitters, including Eli Rumler with the bases loaded, to drive in the fifth run of the inning.

Cranston ran into more trouble in the fourth, as Brandon Farr coaxed a leadoff walk before coming home on Goedert's two-run homer to center to put the Huskers in a 7-1 hole.  One inning later, KSU pushed across three more runs off left-hander Dan Jennings, including RBI singles by Tapia and Rice and a sacrifice fly from Roundy, to make it 10-1

Nebraska pushed across the run in the top of the sixth, as a Sullivan single and walks to Christy and Opitz loaded the bases before Hutt uncorked a wild pitch to score Sullivan from third. NU continued to climb back in the top of the eighth, loading the bases on two hits and a hit batter before getting a fielder's choice off the bat of Optiz and a sacrifice fly from Jake Mort to pull within 10-4.

KSU tacked on its final run in the bottom of the eighth on Brandon Farr's RBI single, his fourth hit of the evening.  Brandon Buckman made it 11-5 in the top of the ninth with a sacrifice fly that scored Wehrle, who opened the ninth with a double and moved to third on an error.

The Huskers and Wildcats will continue the series on Saturday afternoon, as Tony Watson (4-0, 1.69 ERA) takes on Adam Cowart (4-1, 2.09 ERA) with a first pitch set for 2 p.m.


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