The Nebraska baseball team didn't come away empty-handed after a 9-2 loss to Northern Colorado on Wednesday before 1,328 fans at Haymarket Park.
“Hey, we don’t have to worry about being overconfident going into the weekend,” Husker coach Darin Erstad said.
A collection of chalk dust seemed to choke the Huskers' engine a day after NU smacked 17 hits in a 10-2 victory against the Bears. Wednesday, Northern Colorado roared back with a 15-hit attack for its most hits and runs of the season and snapped a 10-road game losing streak.
“Let’s make one thing clear, Northern Colorado whupped our butts,” Erstad said. “Did we come out without intensity we needed? Did we give up too many free passes? Absolutely. Did we come out and compete with our bats?
“They came out and took what they wanted and earned every second of it.”
Husker right fielder Austin Darby said: “We didn't play with much oomph. You face an opponent you should beat and you could tell right away they were hopping on and off and we were not every time – two hits through four innings and we’re down 4-0.”
Northern Colorado (5-13) scored two runs with two outs in the first inning, added single runs in the third, fifth and seventh, and plated two runs in the sixth and eighth against eight NU pitchers.
The Bears scored after three leadoff walks. Northern Colorado picked up three runs on three hits by leadoff batter Jake Ekman, and four hits and two RBIs from Brandon Vaughn. Those two hitters combined for two hits Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Nebraska had just four hits through the first seven innings
“I didn't like our intensity early on and when their pitchers were commanding off-speed (pitches) for strike one,” Erstad said. “Credit them. We squared up on some balls but they made plays on them. I always talk about hitting coming and going – you can’t control where the ball goes.”
For instance, NU's Michael Pritchard slammed a shot to left-center that Northern Colorado’s Rob Cashel dove for and caught in the fourth inning. NU had two runners on with one out in the sixth and failed to get a hit. And the Huskers had the bases loaded with one out in the eighth, but produced just one run.
Erstad, whose team is 9-6, said he was talking with assistant head coach Will Bolt about the game.
“It’s like a basketball game, where one team gets all the loose balls. They got all the hops and won all the battles. They were more prepared and played harder than we did.”
* Shortstop Steven Reveles, who played sparingly Tuesday after missing seven games with a hamstring injury, picked up a hit and a walk in five innings of play Wednesday. Third baseman Blake Headley missed his second game in a row because of back spasms.
* Nebraska plays host to No. 25 Cal Irvine (12-4) for a three-game weekend series starting Friday at 4:35 p.m.