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  1. 2009 Feb 23

    BASEBALL: Assessing the weekend in Louisiana

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    By SMcKewon

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    Did Nebraska's baseball team happen to stow a kitchen sink in the overhead compartment of its plane to and from Louisiana Lafayette?

    The young Cornhuskers sampled a little bit of everything in its opening weekend at the Ragin Cajuns, finishing 2-1-1 in front of healthy crowds at Moore Field. The final game of the series ended in a 5-5 tie, as a 2:45 p.m. deadline had been set Sunday for the Huskers to board their plane back for Lincoln. The final innings were played under protest, as NU coach Mike Anderson disputed a play in which he felt a Lafayette runner had interfered with Nebraska first baseman Tyler Farst catching a fly ball.

    You can read more about each game at NU's terrific baseball site, as comprehensive as we've seen.

    What we'll do is highlight some performances:

    Welcome back, senior Jeff Tezak. The second baseman redshirted last year to rehab a torn ACL, and returned this weekend impressively, hitting .400 (6-for-15) with an on-base percentage of .471.

    Sophomore shortstop Ben Kline hit .375 (6-for-16) with six RBI for the weekend. Took a walk, too. He only had five of those all last season.

    Sophomore Mike Nesseth took a loss in Saturday's first game, but not for a lack of trying. He pitched six innings, struck out seven and gave up just two hits. Nice first trip to the hill.

    Ditto for sophomore Michael Mariot, who battled out of some tough situations in game one and struck out eight while pitching 5 2/3 innings. He got smacked around a little, yeah, but he did a little smacking of his own, too. We'll take the 8 Ks.

    In three relief appearances, sophomore Eric Rose generally did what he was supposed to: Limit damage and shut the door when necessary.

    The latest of those Millard South studs, sophomore pitcher Casey Hauptmann threw a beautiful five innings in relief of Mariot Friday night. Could Hauptmann be that No. 3 starter?

    And finally, we give you freshman Khiry Cooper, who sure didn't disappoint when he got the chance to start in Sunday's final game, hitting a two-run homer as part of a three-hit game. We know NU coach Mike Anderson plans to bring Cooper along at a certain pace. But if Cooper can accelerate it...

    We're probably missing a few, but that's what stood out to us. On to a midweek game at Haymarket that should be played under, well, some of the most gorgeous weather you could possibly have in February. Try 60 degrees.

    Tags: baseball, mike anderson, mike nesseth, michael mariot, khiry cooper, casey hauptmann, eric rose, jeff tezak, ben kline

  2. 2009 Feb 21

    BASEBALL: A long opening night in Louisiana ends in victory - and a school record

    308 views

    By SMcKewon

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    If you're Nebraska's baseball team, and you're opening the season with a 15-inning, turn-off-the-lights dandy at Louisiana-Lafayette, you might as well set a school record, right?

    The Cornhuskers did just that, as the pitching staff combined for a school-record 22 strikeouts in a 4-3 win. NU's Tyler Farst scored from second base off a throwing error by the Ragin' Cajuns. It was Nebraska's second dramatic run of the night, as DJ Belfonte tied the game at three in the bottom of the night with a triple on a 2-2 pitch.

    Sophomore Michael Mariot threw an impressive 5 2/3 innings in his first start and had eight of the 22 strikeouts, while Casey Hauptmann rolled out of the bullpen and had seven throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings and giving up just one hit and one walk in the process. Erik Anderson, Matt Freeman and Eric Rose all pitched in, with Rose doing the bulk of the work in the 14th and 15th innings, striking out three and getting the win.

    For a team that some pitching questions heading into 2009 season, it's a pretty encouraging start.

    Fifth-year senior and designated hitter Jeff Tezak led the way for the Nebraska offense, going 3-for-3 with a sacrifice, while sophomore shortstop Ben Kline was 3-for-5 with one RBI.

    Doubleheader Saturday, and the Huskers might have knocked Lafayette's closer, Justin Robichaux, out of the box for the twin bill. Robichaux pitched five innings on Friday night.

    Tags: baseball, eric rose

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