Kubat, Niederklein, Vogt
No-Hit No. 10 Razorbacks
It was the fourth combined no-hitter in school history and the first no-hitter since four Huskers no-hit Peru State on March 6, 1993. Tuesday was the first no hitter against a Division I program since April 5, 1981, when Anthony Kelley no-hit the Oklahoma Sooners.
After being sidelined with shoulder soreness for the first 33 games of the year, Kubat made his season debut against nationally ranked Razorbacks. A freshman All-American last year and third-team All-Big Ten pick, Kubat dealt 5.0 innings of no-hit ball. Kubat retired the first six Arkansas batters before issuing a leadoff walk in the third. He then sat down seven straight before hitting Isaac Hellbusch with two out in the fifth.
After playing five straight games at Hawks Field, the Huskers head back on the road this weekend for a three-game Big Ten series with Purdue. The Huskers and Boilermakers kick off the series at 6 p.m. CDT Friday in front a national television audience on the Big Ten Network.
Saturday's game is also set for 6 p.m. CDT, while Sunday's finale is scheduled for an 11 a.m. CDT first pitch.
Niederklein took over in the top of the sixth and retired the first seven Razorbacks he faced. After a one-out walk to Hellbusch, who reached for the third time in the game, head coach Darin Erstad went to Vogt.
Vogt came on and quickly ended the eighth by getting pinch-hitter Eric Fischer to ground into a fielder's choice before striking out Brett McAfee.
Facing the top of Arkansas' order in the ninth, Vogt issued a walk to leadoff hitter Matt Vinson to start the inning but quickly cleared the bases when Joe Serrano grounded into a 6-3 double play.
With one out to go for the first no-hitter in over 20 years, Vogt got ahead 0-2 on Tyler Spoon, and on the 114th pitch of the game for the Huskers, Spoon flied out to center fielder Rich Sanguinetti to complete the no-hitter.
The Husker bats got the only run they would end up needing in the first on a two-out double from Chad Christensen. After Pat Kelly reached on a fielder's choice when he beat out a potential double-play ball, Christensen ripped a 3-2 pitch from Trey Killian into the right-centerfield gap. With the full count, Kelly was able to take off on the pitch and scored all the way from first to give Nebraska a 1-0 lead.
Nebraska added a pair of runs in the third, pushing its lead to 3-0. Sanguinetti led off with a walk, Kelly was HBP and Pritchard followed with a base-hit bunt to load the bases with no out. Christensen came calling again with an RBI single, and Austin Darby followed with an RBI groundout.
Game 1 R H E ------------------------------------------- Arkansas ........... 000 000 000 - 0 0 0 Nebraska ........... 102 000 00x - 3 5 0 -------------------------------------------
With the game tied, 1-1, heading into the bottom of the eighth, Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn brought in sophomore righty Chris Oliver. Nebraska countered by pinch hitting Headley, a lefty, and after he saw one pitch from Oliver, the sophomore from Omaha blasted his first career home run into the right-field bullpen. It was the first pinch-hit homer by a Husker since Pat Kelly notched one against Northern Colorado last season.
Following Headley's leadoff homer, the top of Nebraska's order produced three straight singles, including a bunt base hit from Michael Pritchard to load the bases with no out. Pritchard entered the at-bat 0-2 and extended his team-high hitting streak to 16 games with the bunt single.
With the bases loaded and the Huskers clinging to a one-run lead, Chad Christensen hit a ball hard to shortstop Brett McAfee, who was unable to gather the ball for Arkansas' second error of the game, allowing Rich Sanguinetti to score. With the bases still loaded, Darby hit into a double play, but Kelly scored to put Nebraska up three, 4-1.
Josh Roeder took the mound in the ninth and, after giving up a leadoff double, he struck out two straight Razorbacks. Arkansas kept the game interesting with a pair of singles and with the go-ahead run at the plate in 3-hole hitter Tyler Spoon, Roeder induced a fly out to Sanguinetti in center field to complete the doubleheader sweep.
The Razorbacks entered Tuesday leading the country in both team ERA (1.72) and hits per nine innings (6.32). The Huskers scored three earned runs in the first game on five hits and totaled two earned runs in game two on seven hits.
Following a combined no hitter from Kyle Kubat, Tyler Niederklein and Dylan Vogt, six Husker pitchers continued to keep the Razorbacks in check in game two. Brandon Pierce started on the mound and gutted out 5.0 innings, giving up one run on three hits. Tyler King, Caleb Hawkins, Jeff Chesnut and Luke Bublitz then combined for three shutout innings, giving up a combined one hit. Roeder closed the door in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.
Just like in the first game of the doubleheader, the Huskers scored the game's first run. Pritchard started the fourth inning by reaching on a fielding error by Jacob Mahan at third base and moved to second when the ball deflected into shallow left field. Christensen stepped in an laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, moving Pritchard to third base with one down. After Darby lined out to second for the second out of the inning, Kash Kalkowski delivered a two-out RBI single into right field to put the Huskers ahead, 1-0.
After being shut out for 13 straight innings Tuesday, Arkansas got on the board with a solo home run from Mahan in the fifth. It was nearly a two-run shot, but one batter earlier Christensen threw out Jacob Morris at second base when he tried to stretch a leadoff single into a double.
Game 2 R H E ------------------------------------------- Arkansas ........... 000 010 001 - 2 7 2 Nebraska ........... 000 100 03x - 4 7 1 -------------------------------------------