Rough first inning costs Huskers
in road loss to The Citadel
Nebraska (4-4, 0-0 Big Ten) rallied to cut The Citadel's lead to one run in the top of the seventh, but the Bulldogs added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth and held on to win the series opener.
DeLeon gave up five runs on eight hits, but four of the runs came on four hits from The Citadel's first four batters in the bottom of the first inning. Following the rocky start, DeLeon gave up one run on four hits over his next 6.0 innings of work and tied a career high with seven strikeouts.
The Huskers will return to Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park for a 1 p.m. CST game Saturday, looking to even the series.
Junior lefty Aaron Bummer is set to start for the Huskers, while the Bulldogs will send counter with lefty James Reeves.
The Husker batters had a tough time figuring out crafty lefty Logan Cribb, who did give up three runs, but on just five hits. The starter lasted 6.2 innings for the Bulldogs and struck out eight, a season-high for the Huskers. A pair of Citadel relievers pitched the final 2.1 innings, allowing no hits and one walk.
Nebraska' cut the Bulldogs' lead in half with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Tanner Lubach got the inning started with a double down the left-field line and quickly scored on a double off the right-field wall by Austin Christensen, who then scored on a single by Ryan Boldt. The Huskers could not keep the inning going, though, as Bryce Only struck out, Boldt was caught stealing third after stealing second and Jake Placzek flew out to center.
After the teams combined for six runs on eight hits through the first two innings, neither team scored a run or even put a runner on third base until The Citadel had Calvin Orth 90 feet from home with two out in the bottom of the sixth.
The scoring drought ended in the top of the seventh when Austin Darby cut The Citadel's lead to one, 4-3, with a two-out double to right center. After getting hit by a pitch, Only was able to take off on Darby's hit with two outs and scored all the way from first. Plazcek then worked a walk to get Michael Pritchard to the plate, but reliever Zach Sherrill struck out the Huskers' No. 3 hitter with the tying run at second base.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out in the eighth and plated a pair of runs on a walk and a sacrifice fly. Closer Skylar Hunter then worked a 1-2-3 ninth off the bottom of NU's order to pick up his third save of the year.
R H E ------------------------------------------- Nebraska ........... 020 000 100 - 3 5 0 The Citadel ........ 400 000 02x - 6 9 0 -------------------------------------------