Huskers get it done in 12.
Lincoln, Neb — Bryan Peters took a 1-1 pitch into left field that scored Tanner Krietemeier from second base and gave Nebraska (7-4) a thrilling 2-1 walk-off win over No. 5 UCLA (7-3) in 12 innings Saturday afternoon at Hawks Field.
Peters' game-winning single off Nick Vander Tuig (1-1) ended another classic pitching battle as sophomore Dylan Vogt (1-0) earned his first career win by no-hitting the fifth-ranked Bruins over the final five innings. UCLA starter Trevor Bauer, a 2010 All-American, threw 10 innings and gave up one run, a seventh inning homer to Kash Kalkowski, on four hits while striking out 17 on 129 pitches.
Nebraska starter Matt Freeman was impressive through the first six innings as he gave up just one run on four hits to keep the Huskers within striking distance heading into the final one-third of the game.
"We are getting there," head coach Mike Anderson said. "Yesterday we flinched and they won a baseball game. We have always talked about playing at a higher level and we know that we are going to play games like this. What you do in the 11th inning and the second inning need to be the same thing. There was a more determined look in the dugout today."
Peters' game-winning single gave Nebraska its first win over a top-five ranked opponent since defeating No. 2 Texas on March 20, 2010. The Fort Collins, Colo., native was hitless in his first three trips to the plate, but ripped Vander Tuig's 1-1 pitch into shallow left field. Krietemeier, a Castle Rock, Colo., native who was pinch-running for Patric Tolentino, was waved around third base and slid in safely under the throw of Cody Keefer that was just up the third base line.
"I wanted another chance at him (Vander Tuig)," Peters said. "I saw him yesterday and ended up striking out. I saw him well so I knew I was going to get a good pitch to hit. I got a hanging curve ball and I was looking up the middle but I was a little in front of it. Coach Anderson's not hesitant over there at third base. I knew he was going to wave him (Krietemeier) around."
It was the first career game-winning hit for the sophomore second baseman and NU's first walk-off victory since March 30, 2010 against North Dakota.
After falling behind 1-0 in the third inning, Nebraska tied the game with one out in the seventh on Kalkowski's solo home run to right center field, one of four hits that NU had on Bauer through 10 innings. The Grand Island, Neb., native was 2-for-4 on the day and leads the Huskers with a .458 batting average.
The Huskers totaled seven hits in the game, including two off Vander Tuig. Chad Christensen nearly gave NU the win in the 11th inning, but his hard-hit one-out single with Peters and Kalkowski on first and second bounced off Vander Tuig and remained in the field as the runners only advanced one base.
Tolentino led off the 12th inning by claiming first on a swinging strikeout as Vander Tuig's third pitch was wild and allowed the NU catcher to reach safely. Krietemeier then pinch ran for Tolentino and was bunted to second by Khiry Cooper. After Kale Kiser was intentionally walked to set up a double play situation, Peters came up with the biggest hit of the season through the first three weeks.
Tolentino finished the game 1-for-5 while also two attempted base stealers, making him 5-for-5 throwing out runners this season.
After dropping a 1-0 11-inning battle on Friday, the weekend marks the first time Nebraska has played extra-inning games in back-to-back days in school history. The Huskers and Bruins will meet for the rubber match of the three-game series Sunday afternoon at Hawks Field at 1:05 p.m. To purchase tickets, log on to Huskers.com or visit the Hawks Field ticket office (first base side) 90 minutes prior to first pitch.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.