Nicholls State evens series with Huskers

Posted By: Sports

Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

Lincoln – After the Nebraska baseball team took the series opener last night at Hawks Field, the Nicholls State Colonels evened the series with a 7-1 victory on Saturday. Cole Stapler went all 9.0 innings for Nicholls State, his first career complete game and the first by an opposing pitcher this season.

After giving up one run on three hits in the second inning, Stapler allowed four hits the rest of the game and a NU runner got into scoring position just once over the final seven innings. Stapler let his defense work behind him with just one walk and four strikeouts.

NU got 5.0 innings out of redshirt freshman Jake McSteen, but he gave up a career-high five runs on a career-high tying eight hits. McSteen walked just one, while tallying two strikeouts.

All nine batters totaled a hit last night for NU, but on Saturday only four Huskers recorded a hit, including two each from Jake Placzek, Jesse Wilkening and Jake Schleppenbach. Nicholls State’s offense was powered by Kyle Knauth and Alex Shermer, who each recorded three hits and a RBI.

The Huskers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first on three hits. With Jake Meyers and Wilkening each in scoring position, Schleppenbach blooped a two-out single into right field and Meyers scored, but Wilkening was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

With just one run through the first 11 innings of the series, the Colonels took their first lead of the weekend with two runs on three hits in the top of the third. Nicholls State got three straight singles to start the frame, including a two-RBI single from Justin Holt. McSteen limited the damage to a pair of runs and stranded Holt at third by retiring the next three Colonels in order.

Nicholls State added a run in each of the next three innings, taking a 5-1 lead after its half of the sixth. Freshman reliever Robbie Palkert ended NSU’s scoring streak in the seventh with a scoreless frame, but the Colonels still led 5-1.

Palkert tossed 3.0 scoreless frames behind McSteen, but NU’s offense was unable to take advantage and cut into Nicholls State’s lead.

Nicholls State tacked on two more runs in the ninth on doubles from Holt and Knauth. With a 7-1 lead, Stapler finished his complete game with a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Huskers and Colonels wrap up their weekend series tomorrow at Hawks Field, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. There will be a pair of lefties on the mound, as Jake Meyers is scheduled to start against Alex Ernestine.