NU Baseball Drops Game Two Against UNLV

Posted By: Sports

Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

Las Vegas, Nev. – In a back-and-forth game on Saturday afternoon at Earl E. Wilson Stadium, the UNLV Rebels notched a 5-3 win over the Nebraska baseball team to even the three-game series between the two teams.

Christian Cox blasted a no-doubter down the right-field line for the Huskers’ first home run of the 2015 season and the first of his NU career in the seventh to put the Huskers ahead, 3-2, but Nebraska’s bullpen was unable to hold the lead. Cox nearly launched a homer in the second inning, but pulled the ball just right of the foul pole.

UNLV tied the game, 3-3, in the seventh and then took a 5-3 lead in the eighth on a two-out two-RBI single off the bat of Justin Jones. Joey Lauria earned the win for UNLV with 3.0 innings of relief, allowing one run on one hit.

Neither starter factored into the decision, with Nebraska’s Kyle Kubat giving up two runs on six hits over 5.1 innings, while UNLV’s Kenny Oakley last 6.0 innings and struck out six.

The Rebels snapped a 10-inning scoreless streak in the bottom of the second with the game’s first run when Austin Anderson drove in Nick Rodriguez with a two-out double. The 1-0 lead didn’t last long, as Nebraska evened the score in the third on a pair of UNLV miscues. Ryan Boldt reached on a two-out error and then moved to second base on a passed ball. Blake Headley made the Rebels pay with his first hit of the season, a two-out RBI single to center field.

Following the two-out double by Anderson in the second, Kubat retired six straight Rebels. Rodriguez snapped the streak with a single and Payton Squier followed with a single to start a rally for UNLV in the fourth, but Kubat shutdown the threat with a ground ball that left game tied, 1-1.

The Rebels put pressure on Kubat in the fifth with a leadoff single that was followed by a walk. Justin Jones then came through with a slow ground ball to the right side that moved both runners into scoring position, and also ended Kubat’s day. Jeff Chesnut took the mound and got two outs on two pitches, but a RBI groundout by Morgan Stotts put UNLV back in front, 2-1.

Once again, Nebraska’s offense responded and didn’t let UNLV keep the lead long. Boldt led off the sixth with a single to put NU’s leadoff hitter on base for the first time on the afternoon. With Boldt on second base following a pair of groundouts, Ben Miller was down to his last strike, but came through with a RBI single to right field that evened the game at 2-2.

After freshmen Garett King and Jake McSteen combined to keep the Rebels off the board in the bottom of the sixth, the Huskers took their first lead of the game with Cox’s one-out solo homerun in the seventh. Just like how the Huskers had answered twice earlier in the game, UNLV responded to NU’s lead with a run in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly that tied the game 3-3.

The Rebels continued to put pressure on the NU bullpen in the eighth, as they had the go-ahead run at third base with one out. Austin Christensen came in and got a fly out to put the Huskers one out away from getting out of the jam. Christensen then intentionally walked Joey Armstrong to setup a lefty-lefty matchup, but UNLV came out on top as Jones came through with a two-RBI single that proved to be the game winner.

Lauria set the Huskers down in order in the ninth to even the series.

The Huskers wrap-up their season-opening series against the Rebels tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. (CT), with sophomore Max Knutson scheduled to make his first career start. Due to Husker men’s basketball on 1400 AM, tomorrow’s baseball game will be carried on 105.3 FM in Lincoln.

Nebraska will be going for its first winning weekend to start the season since 2011 when NU started the year with a 3-1 record.