NU Bows Out to Dons

Lincoln - The top-seeded Nebraska baseball team saw its 2006 season come to an end with a 5-1 loss to third-seeded San Francisco in Saturday's first game of the NCAA Lincoln Regional at Hawks Field...

Many thought the only team the Huskers might have trouble with in the Lincoln Regional was perennial college baseball power, Miami, Fla.  But it was with the teams that were new to the scene.  First the #4 seeded Manhattan Jaspers, making their first NCAA Regional bid since 1957, stopped the Huskers 4-1, and now making their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, the San Francisco Dons sent the Huskers packing in their own backyard with a 5-1 victory.


For the second straight day the Huskers could not find any offense, this time to the #3 seeded San Francisco Dons.  The Dons, making their first ever NCAA Regional appearance, used a three run second inning and added another in the sixth and seventh to beat top seeded Nebraska 5-1. 


Also, for the second straight day, the second inning was not kind to Nebraska.  Against Manhattan, the Huskers gave up two homeruns to go down 2-0, and today against the Dons, the Huskers gave up 3 runs.  In the inning, San Francisco got three hits off NU starter Tony Watson, but Watson did not help himself by balking twice.


The Huskers ran themselves out of the top half of the second inning.  Both Andrew Brown and Andy Gerch were hit by pitches from Dons starting pitcher, Aaron Poreda.  NU Head Coach Mike Anderson called a hit and run with Jeff Christy at the plate.  Christy missed the pitch and Brown was caught stealing at third base.  Christy ultimately grounded out and Jake Optiz flied out to center to end the threat.


The Huskers bats were silent, with only five hits in the game.  The only run of the game came on a homerun by Gerch in the fourth inning.  The Huskers had a chance to really open up their offense in the sixth inning.  Ryan Wehrle and Brandon Buckman began the inning with back to back singles.  After a strikeout and line out, Christy coaxed a walk leaving it up to Opitz with the bases loaded.  Optiz flied out to left field ending the Huskers best scoring chance of the game.


Nebraska ends their season with a 42-17 record.  San Francisco now plays the loser of tonight's game between #2 seeded Miami, Fla. and #4 seeded Manhattan tomorrow afternoon.

  2006 NCAA Lincoln Regional
                  San Francisco 5 (39-22), Nebraska 1 (42-17)
                   Jun 03, 2006 at Lincoln, NE (Hawks Field)

Nebraska                  AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB  Avg.
Jaros, Nick lf...........  3  0  0  0   1  1  1  0   1  .342
Wehrle, Ryan ss..........  4  0  2  0   0  0  2  1   1  .367
Buckman, Brandon 1b......  4  0  1  0   0  0  7  0   2  .339
Brown, Andrew rf.........  3  0  0  0   0  1  3  0   0  .298
Gerch, Andy dh...........  3  1  1  1   0  0  0  0   0  .290
Christy, Jeff c..........  3  0  0  0   1  1  5  0   0  .284
Opitz, Jake 2b...........  4  0  0  0   0  0  0  4   4  .293
Edlefsen, Steve 3b.......  2  0  1  0   1  1  0  0   0  .260
 Sullivan, Nick ph.......  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0  .318
Nimmo, Bryce cf..........  4  0  0  0   0  2  6  0   0  .259
Watson, Tony p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0     -
 Jensen, Brett p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0 1.000
Totals................... 31  1  5  1   3  6 24  6   8

San Francisco             AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB  Avg.
HALL, Tavo ss............  4  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   1  .267
SMITH, Andrew 3b.........  4  0  0  0   0  2  1  5   0  .324
COUSINS, Scott lf........  4  0  0  0   0  1  2  0   0  .346
GARTRELL, Stefan rf......  3  2  1  0   1  1  1  0   0  .332
NELSON, Blake dh.........  3  0  1  0   0  0  0  0   0  .300
 SOMMER, Luke ph.........  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0  .265
BACIGALUPI, Chris 1b.....  2  1  1  1   0  0  7  1   2  .220
 BIALOSKY, Mitchell 1b...  0  0  0  0   0  0  3  1   0  .243
MORALES, Daniel c........  3  0  0  0   0  1  3  1   0  .240
 NORFOLK, Jonathan c.....  0  0  0  0   0  0  4  0   0  .299
RAILEY, Joey 2b..........  3  2  2  1   0  0  1  4   0  .343
DELONG, Lucas cf.........  3  0  1  1   0  0  2  0   0  .254
POREDA, Aaron p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0     -
 MCGUIGAN, Patrick p.....  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0     -
Totals................... 30  5  6  3   1  5 27 13   3

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
Nebraska............ 000 100 000 -  1  5  2
San Francisco....... 030 001 10X -  5  6  0

E - Wehrle, R.(13); Opitz, J.(8). LOB - Huskers 8; Dons 3. HR - Gerch,
A.(4); RAILEY(2). HBP - Brown, A.; Gerch, A.. SF - BACIGALUPI(3). CS -
Brown, A.(4).

Nebraska               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP   ERA
Watson, Tony........  6.1  6  5  1  1  2 25 27  87  2.78
Jensen, Brett.......  1.2  0  0  0  0  3  5  5  25  2.56

San Francisco          IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP   ERA
POREDA, Aaron.......  6.2  4  1  1  3  5 23 28 102  2.49
MCGUIGAN, Patrick...  2.1  1  0  0  0  1  8  8  28  3.50

Win - POREDA (8-5).  Loss - Watson, T. (10-2).  Save - MCGUIGAN (5).
WP - POREDA 2(2). HBP - by POREDA (Brown, A.); by POREDA (Gerch, A.). BK -
Watson, T. 2(5). PB - Christy, J.(8). Inherited runners/scored: MCGUIGAN 1/0.
Pitches/strikes: Watson, T. 87/56; Jensen, B. 25/17; POREDA 102/64; MCGUIGAN
Umpires - HP: Mike Duffy  1B: Ray Belfiore  2B: Bill Speck  3B: Mike Conlin
Start: 1:05p.m.   Time: 2:28   Attendance: 7144


NCAA Lincoln Regional: Game 3 (Nebraska vs. San Francisco)
Nebraska Notes
The Huskers ended the season with a 42-17 record, their 17th 40-win season in program
history and seventh in the past eight years.

Nebraska ended the NCAA Regional with an 0-2 record, the first time in school history
the Huskers failed to record a win in a regional. It was the 10th all-time postseason
appearance for the Huskers, who now own a 28-21 record in the NCAA Tournament.

Nebraska was the No. 6 national seed entering the tournament, the third time in school
history the Huskers were a top-eight seed. The previous two times, in 2001 and 2005, the
Huskers posted perfect 3-0 records in regional play and swept two games at the Super
Regional to reach the College World Series.

Husker starter Tony Watson became the 11th player in program history to throw 100 or
more innings in a season, as he went 6.1 innings while taking the loss Saturday. Watson
finished the 2006 campaign with 100.1 innings pitched on the season. It was easily a
team high as he was the only Husker to throw at least 90.0 innings this season.

Watson suffered only his second loss of the season and the third loss of his career by
allowing five runs on six hits Saturday. Of the five runs, only one was earned, as he
finished the season with the best ERA among the team's starters (2.78).

Shortstop Ryan Wehrle recorded his team-high 29th multi-hit game of the season by
finishing 2-for-4 against the Dons. Wehrle's 29 multi-hit games are the most by a Husker
since the 2002 season when Jeff Leise (36) and Jed Morris (32) topped the mark.

Nebraska scored just two runs in the regional, the fewest runs it has produced in back-toback
games this season. The last time the Huskers posted two or fewer combined runs in
consecutive games was May 22-23, 2004, when the Huskers defeated Oklahoma, 1-0, in
11 innings and lost 2-1 in the final game of the regular season.

Designated hitter Andy Gerch accounted for all of Nebraska's run production, as he
recorded his fourth home run of the season. Gerch finished the game 1-for-3 with a run
and an RBI.

Nebraska left eight on base in the contest and 18 over two games this weekend. The
Huskers' opponents combined to leave just seven on base as they outscored Nebraska
9-2 at the regional.

Closer Brett Jensen finished his Nebraska career second all-time with 80 career
appearances, trailing only Steve Hale who had 87 appearances as a Husker. Jensen
went the final 1.2 innings Saturday without allowing a hit and striking out three to finish
the season with a 2.56 ERA in 27 appearances in 2006.

NCAA Lincoln Regional: Game 3 (Nebraska vs. San Francisco)
San Francisco Notes
The Dons, who entered the weekend ranked No. 25 in the Baseball America poll,
improved to 39-22 on the season with the 5-1 win over the Huskers.

The win was the first for San Francisco in the postseason, as this season marks the
Dons' first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Dons are now 1-1 in
postseason play and face the loser of Saturday night's winner's bracket game between
Miami and Manhattan.

Second baseman Joey Railey put the final touches on the Dons' victory in the seventh
inning when he launched his second home run of the season over the left field fence.
Railey collected two of San Francisco's six hits, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Railey moved ahead of teammate Scott Cousins into sixth place on the USF singleseason
hit list, as Railey now has 81 hits on the season

Right fielder Steffan Gartrell, a former walk-on who led the West Coast Conference in
RBIs during the regular season, also scored two runs after going 1-for-3 at the plate with
a walk.

It was the fourth time in the last eight games that San Francisco allowed one or fewer
runs in a contest. USF is 5-3 in that span, including a 15-1 victory over then-No. 29

USF starter Aaron Poreda improved to 8-5 on the season as he picked up his sixth win in
his past seven starts, allowing just one run on four hits over 6.2 innings. His eight wins tie
for third in the USF single-season record book.

Poreda picked up five strikeouts to cross the century mark this season, as he now has
101 strikeouts on the year. The four hits Poreda allowed tied for the second-fewest in any
of his starts this season.

Patrick McGuigan, another former walk-on for the Dons who went on to earn West Coast
Conference Co-Pitcher-of-the-Year honors this season, picked up his fifth save this
season and extended his school record to 19 career saves, as he went the final 2.1
innings allowing just one hit. It was his 88th career appearance, which also extended his
school record.

USF improved to 8-5 this season vs. ranked teams and 36-18 in day games. The win
snapped a three-game losing streak for the Dons.


NCAA Lincoln Regional  - Game 3 Nebraska vs. San Francisco
Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson
Opening Statement
"Obviously disappointed in the results. I'm not disappointed in our kids, just disappointed in the results. Sitting down in that dugout you could really feel what this team is about. They did not want this to finish. They did not want this to end. Just didn't get the results that we wanted. But again I'm not disappointed in my kids at all, just didn't get the results that we wanted when we wanted them. I felt that our pitching and defense would help us and we needed timely hitting. I don't think that happened and it cost us the ballgame. But we move on with this group. We make sure that these young men have the incredible feeling from being at the University of Nebraska."

On not getting timely hits
"We got a little hesitant, but our team tried to fight through it. You could see it by the fact that we would get a base knock or have a good at bat and then we just couldn't get it done. Just couldn't get the timely hit. Those stretches happen, you just don't want them to happen late in the year."

Designated Hitter Andy Gerch
On facing good pitching the last two games
"Those guys weren't anything we haven't seen all year. We play in the best pitching conference in the country. We see that week in and week out. We just have to take it upon ourselves. I think we just kind of fell back on our heels and didn't go out and attack."

Pitcher Tony Watson
On the balks
"You just have to come set. They were on it and they were on it yesterday, so I should have known."

San Francisco Head Coach Nino Giarratano
Opening Statement
"We played extremely hard today, and we played well in contrast to yesterday's game against Miami. Aaron (Poreda) made pitches early, and our defense was flawless."

On the mindset coming in to today's game
"I was disappointed last night from seeing our performance as a team that won 38 games this year. It's a step in the right direction, though, anytime you win (a game) in your first regional."

On the second inning
"Momentum is so crucial. We hadn't really had a break in four games, so we made the most of it with a good bunt. Those three runs (in the second inning) really catapulted us to a good position."

On Nebraska
"Nebraska is a great team. Today just shows that anything can happen on any given day in college baseball. Nebraska is a great representative of the No. 6 national spot."

On the rest of the tournament
"Manhattan is playing great right now, and Miami beat us soundly last night. We just need to continue to play like we did today. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we'll need to pitch and have defense. It's tough to come through the loser's bracket, but I like where we are. There is a lot of good baseball left for fans."

Left-handed Pitcher Aaron Poreda
On his mindset coming in to today's game
"I thought I had a great shot (against Nebraska). I knew our defense and offense would take care of it, and I just kept making pitches. There was definitely a lot of pressure because we've never played against a crowd of this magnitude."

On the team's experience at its first regional
"This has been a great experience. We've never been in an NCAA regional before, and these are the kind of memories you'll remember forever, and we're here to make the most of it."

Outfielder Joey Railey
On the team's strategy against Nebraska
"We wanted to make them hurry. Their mistakes opened the door for us."

On the team's experience at its first regional
"Just like Aaron (Poreda) said, this has been unbelievable. We've never played in front of so many people, and there is so much talent here in this tournament. It has been a wonderful experience.

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