Huskers Survive against Iowa, 16-14

Jake Opitz's two-run single in the top of the 13th broke a 14-all tie, as No. 4 Nebraska escaped Iowa City with a 16-14 victory over Iowa in front of a crowd of 1,260 at Duane Banks Field.

Jake Optiz's fifth hit of the night capped a wild and remarkable night for Nebraska, which improved to 25-5 overall with its seventh straight win. Opitz drove in a career high five runs and fell a double short of the cycle. The Huskers out-hit Iowa, 24-9, including a school-record tying six hits from Steve Edlefsen.

Edlefsen, a sophomore from Bloomington, Minn., entered Tuesday's game with six hits, but nearly matched that total against the Hawkeyes, going 6-for-8 with four runs scored and a pair of RBIs, becoming the second Husker this season to hit for the cycle. His six hits also tied NU's single-game record for hits, set most recently by John Cole in 1999.

Jon Klausing, the ninth Husker pitcher of the night, allowed one hit over four scoreless innings, as he improved to 2-0 with the victory.

Brandon Buckman also had four hits, as the Huskers squandered a 9-2 third-inning lead, as Travis Sweet's first career homer,  three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off of Brett Jensen, sent the game to extra innings

Edlefsen led off the 13th with his sixth hit of the evening, a one-hopper off the glove of Chris Zimm before Ryan Wehrle's sacrifice moved Edlefsen into scoring position. After an intentionally walk to Buckman, Luke Gorsett's grounder moved both runners to scoring positon. Opitz then lined a pitch to center for the go-ahead run, as the Huskers wrapped up their eight-game road trip with a 6-1 record.

The Huskers struck early, getting a three-run homer by Buckman in the top of the first.  One-out single by Steve Edlefsen and a walk to Ryan Wehrle put runners on first and second for Buckman, who launched a 2-0 pitch from starter David Conroy over the fence in center for his 10th homer of the season.

Conroy allowed three runs on four hits, as he faced just nine hitters before he was chased in the top of the second, as neither starter got out of the second.

Husker freshman Tim Radmacher walked into trouble in the second, as he walked the bases loaded before Jason White coaxed the fourth walk of the frame from the right-hander to pull Iowa within 3-1. Dan Jennings came in and escaped with minimal damage, as L.J. Mims fielder's choice made it 3-2.

NU got the runs back and then some in the top of the third, breaking the game open with six runs on six hits to take a 9-2 lead. Consecutive singles by Luke Gorsett and Buckman put runners on first and second for Jake Opitz, who ripped a ball into the gap in left center for a two-run triple. Andrew Brown made it 5-2 one pitch later, scoring Opitz with a sacrifice fly.  The Huskers continued to rally with two outs, as consecutive doubles by Jeff Lanning and Bryce Nimmo plated a run before Nimmo stole third and scored on a throwing error. Steve Edlefsen then capped the six-run frame with his first career homer, a solo shot to left.

The Hawkeyes came back in the fourth, scoring a pair of runs after Jennings walked the bases loaded with one out. Mike Harmelink came in for Jennings, but could not get out of the jam, as Nate Price singled up the middle for Iowa's first hit of the game. Ryan Gryzwa then hit a slow grounder to second to plate the Hawkeye's second run of the frame.

In the fifth, Nebraska's struggles with the strike zone continued, and the Hawkeyes took advantage, scoring four runs on just two hits to pull within 9-8. Two hit batters and a walk loaded the bases for Iowa before Mims cleared the bases with a three-run double into the corner in right. Price then made it a one-run game, doubling off the wall in left.

Wehrle got one of the runs back in the sixth, belting a two-out solo homer to left to give NU a 10-8 lead. The homer was his fourth of the season.  Iowa continued to claw back in the game in the bottom of the inning, as consecutive doubles by Ben Geelan and Dusty Napoleon made it a 10-9 contest.

Opitz opened the seventh with a tape-measure homer to right, as the sophomore drove in his third run of the evening to push the Husker advantage to 11-9. UI manufactured a run in the bottom of the seventh, as White singled, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a grounder to short of the bat of Price, as he Hawkeye center fielder drove in his third run of the night.

In the eighth, the Huskers extended their lead to 12-10 on a two-out RBI single by Gorsett that scored Edlefsen, who reached on a one-out double before Gorsett sent a first-pitch offering from Tim Gudex between third and short.

The Husker defense, which was perfect through the first seven frames, ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth, as Sweet reached on a fielding error. The miscue would be costly, as the Hawkeyes parlayed it into a sacrifice fly of the bat of Skyler Moss to cut the lead to 12-11.   Nebraska continued to rely on the hot bat of Edlefsen in the ninth, as his RBI single plated Jeff Christy, who doubled with one out. Edlefsen then scored on an Iowa miscue.

Iowa would rally in the ninth off of Jensen, who got the Huskers out of jam in the eighth. The Husker closer struck out the first two batters, but walked Price on a 3-2 pitch and Gryzwa was hit by a pit to put the tying run on the plate. Sweet then launched the first pitch he saw over the fence in left, tying the score at 14-all.

The Huskers had a golden opportunity in the top of the 11th, but could not capitalize. After Edlefsen tripled with one out, Wehrle was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. Buckman then hit a ball back to the mound, where Iowa reliever Chase Stephens tried to get Edlefsen at home, but the Husker baserunner scampered to third to load the bases. The Hawkeyes got out of the jam, as Gorsett lined a ball at short, as Jason White caught the liner and doubled off Wehrle to end the threat. 

The Huskers return home to begin a five-game homestand on Thursday evening, as they welcome the Texas A&M Aggies. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. and the game will be available across the state of Nebraska on Cox Cable (Omaha), Time Warner Cable (Lincoln) and Charter Media (Central and Western Nebraska).

 
                              #4 Nebraska at Iowa
               Apr 11, 2006 at Iowa City, IA (Duane Banks Field)

Nebraska 16 (25-5)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Nimmo, Bryce cf..........  8  1  2  1   0  0  5  0   2
Edlefsen, Steve 3b.......  8  5  6  2   0  0  1  3   0
Wehrle, Ryan ss..........  5  2  2  1   1  1  0  5   2
Buckman, Brandon 1b......  6  3  4  3   2  0 17  2   0
Gorsett, Luke rf.........  6  1  2  1   1  0  3  0   3
Opitz, Jake 2b...........  7  2  5  5   1  1  1  4   3
Brown, Andrew lf.........  6  0  0  1   0  1  2  0   5
Sullivan, Nick dh........  5  0  1  0   1  1  0  0   0
Lanning, Jeff c..........  3  1  1  0   0  1  3  1   0
 Christy, Jeff c.........  3  1  1  0   0  1  5  0   0
Radmacher, Tim p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Jennings, Dan. p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Harmelink, Mike p.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Wertz, Luke p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Herr, Zach p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Bird, Erik p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Jensen, Brett p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Klausing, Jon p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  2   0
Totals................... 57 16 24 14   6  6 39 17  15

Iowa 14 (14-14)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Price cf.................  6  1  2  3   1  0  2  0   2
Gryzwa 2b................  7  1  0  1   0  0  6  4   2
Sweet rf/3b..............  6  1  1  3   1  1  1  0   2
Geelan c.................  4  4  1  0   1  1  6  1   3
Napoleon 1b..............  3  2  2  1   2  0 10  1   1
 Considine pr/rf.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Wooldrik ph/rf..........  2  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Freie dh/p...............  3  1  0  0   1  2  0  1   0
 Moss ph/1b..............  2  0  0  1   0  0  3  1   0
Hoef 3b..................  3  0  0  0   1  1  0  4   1
 Burmester ph............  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1
 Stephens p..............  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Engel ph................  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
 Zinn p..................  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
White ss.................  4  3  2  1   2  1  3  4   0
Mims lf..................  4  1  1  4   2  1  5  0   0
Conroy p.................  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
 Sunderman p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Brune p.................  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Gudex p.................  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
Totals................... 47 14  9 14  11  9 39 19  12

Score by Innings                          R  H  E
-------------------------------------------------
Nebraska............ 306 001 112 000 2 - 16 24  2
Iowa................ 020 241 113 000 0 - 14  9  3
-------------------------------------------------

E - Buckman, B.(2); Opitz, J.(4); Geelan; Moss; Conroy. DP - Hawkeyes 3. LOB
- Huskers 15; Hawkeyes 12. 2B - Nimmo, B.(7); Edlefsen, S.(2); Lanning,
J.(1); Christy, J.(7); Price; Geelan; Napoleon; Mims. 3B - Edlefsen, S.(1);
Opitz, J.(3). HR - Edlefsen, S.(1); Wehrle, R.(4); Buckman, B.(10); Opitz,
J.(1); Sweet. HBP - Wehrle, R.; Gorsett, L.; Sullivan, N.; Lanning, J.;
Price; Gryzwa; Geelan 2; White. SH - Wehrle, R.(2); Brown, A.(1); Mims. SF -
Brown, A.(2); Moss. SB - Nimmo, B.(14); Edlefsen, S.(3); Opitz, J. 2(5). CS
- Gorsett, L.(4).

Nebraska               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Radmacher, Tim......  1.1  0  2  2  4  0  4  8  40
Jennings, Dan.......  2.0  0  2  2  3  0  6 10  38
Harmelink, Mike.....  1.1  3  4  4  1  1  7 10  44
Wertz, Luke.........  1.1  2  1  1  0  3  6  6  27
Herr, Zach..........  1.0  1  1  1  0  0  3  4  12
Bird, Erik..........  0.2  1  1  0  0  0  3  4  16
Jensen, Brett.......  1.1  1  3  3  1  4  5  7  28
Klausing, Jon.......  4.0  1  0  0  2  1 13 16  66

Iowa                   IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Conroy..............  1.0  4  3  3  1  0  6  9  37
Freie...............  1.2  7  6  5  0  0 10 11  29
Sunderman...........  3.2  4  2  2  0  1 14 14  46
Brune...............  1.0  1  1  1  0  0  3  4  17
Gudex...............  1.2  4  2  1  3  3 10 13  38
Stephens............  3.0  2  0  0  1  2 10 13  49
Zinn................  1.0  2  2  2  1  0  4  6   9

Win - Klausing, J. (2-0).  Loss - Zinn (0-1).  Save - None.
WP - Radmacher, T(1); Jennings, D.(1). HBP - by Conroy (Gorsett, L.); by Conroy
(Lanning, J.); by Jennings, D. (Geelan); by Harmelink (Geelan); by Harmelink
(White); by Brune (Sullivan, N.); by Jensen, B. (Gryzwa); by Stephens (Wehrle,
R.); by Klausing, J. (Price). PB - Lanning, J.(1). Inherited runners/scored:
Jennings, D. 3/0; Harmelink 3/2; Wertz, L. 1/0; Jensen, B. 2/0; Freie 2/0; Gudex
1/1. Pitches/strikes: Radmacher, T 40/16; Jennings, D. 38/17; Harmelink 44/24;
Wertz, L. 27/18; Herr, Z. 12/8; Bird, E. 16/13; Jensen, B. 28/19; Klausing, J.
66/39; Conroy 37/18; Freie 29/20; Sunderman 46/28; Brune 17/9; Gudex 38/20;
Stephens 49/26; Zinn 9/5.
Umpires - HP: Don Umland  1B: Scott Behn  2B: Jim Meccha  3B: Eric Thornton
Start: 6p.m.   Time: 4:47   Attendance: 1260
Conroy faced 2 batters in the 2nd.
Game: NU30

 


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