Huskers struggle at Kansas State
Manhattan, Kan. — Nebraska's pitching staff could not stop Kansas State's offense Tuesday night, as the Wildcats pounded out 14 hits in a 9-1 win.
After totaling 52 hits in a sweep of Northwestern last weekend, the Nebraska offense struggled, as the Huskers (11-16, 5-1 Big Ten) managed just five hits off five Wildcat pitchers, who combined for five strikeouts and no walks.
Nebraska's Tyler King lasted 3.0 innings in his first start of the season. Even though he produced three strikeouts, King gave up three runs on five hits and a walk.
Kansas State's Tanner Witt had a career night at the plate, going 5-for-5 with a home run, a double and four RBIs.
Nebraska returns to action this weekend in a three-game conference series at Iowa.
The Huskers and Hawkeyes open play Friday with a 6:05 p.m. game at Duane Banks Field. The squads continue the series with 1:05 p.m. games Saturday and Sunday.
After Kansas State scored the game's first run in the first, the Wildcats extended their lead to 3-0 in the third with a solo home run from Witt and a pair of two-out singles that scored Jared King after he reached on a HBP. Witt's round-tripper was the first home run in 10 games off Husker pitching, dating back to NU's March 16 game at UC Irvine.
Reliever Luke Bublitz took the mound in the fourth and gave up an unearned run, pushing the Wildcats' lead to 4-0. KSU appeared ready to blow the game open with the bases loaded and one down, but Bublitz induced consecutive groundballs to strand three runners.
The Huskers got on the board in the fifth without producing a hit. Kash Kalkowski led off the inning by reaching on an error at third and moved to third base on a wild pitch. The senior first baseman scored on an RBI groundout from Tanner Lubach.
KSU got the run back in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out single. Witt reached on a one-out single, his fourth hit of the game, and moved into scoring position when Jeff Chesnut threw wide of first base on a pickoff attempt. After Chesnut struck out Conlon, Mitch Meyer delivered a one-out single to put KSU up 5-1.
Austin Darby led off the seventh with a double, Nebraska's first extra-base hit of the game. The Husker rally quickly died when Kalkowski grounded out, Darby was caught stealing and Bryan Peters lined out.
The Wildcats ended the game by adding three runs in the seventh and one in the eighth.
R H E ------------------------------------------- Nebraska............ 000 010 000 - 1 5 3 Kansas State........ 102 101 31X - 9 14 2 -------------------------------------------