Nebraska hosted familiar Big 12 foe Kansas State on Tuesday night at Haymarket Park. The Huskers shut out the Wildcats two weeks ago in Manhattan and Kansas State returned the favor on Tuesday. The Wildcats handed the Huskers their first shutout of the year, with Nebraska falling 5-0.
Pitcher Chad Luensmann recorded his first start for Nebraska since Feb. 22. First baseman Ty Roseberry also entered the Husker starting lineup for the first time of his career.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning before junior outfielder Joe Acker made a spectacular diving catch in center field. Unfortunately, this was one of the only highlights of the game for Nebraska.
The Huskers loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first, but couldn't bring anyone home. This ended up being the difference in the game. Kansas State’s hits found the holes and Nebraska’s did not.
Coach Darin Erstad said his team came to play today and that he wasn't disappointed with energy or focus.
“Our balls with runners in scoring position were hit hard,” he said following Tuesday’s loss. “We took some good swings early and the ball didn't go in the right spot and that is what it boiled down to.”
It was a game where every hit ball by Nebraska seemed to go directly to a Kansas State fielder. The Wildcats, on the other hand, managed to squeeze multiple hot shots right inside the foul line that resulted in runs. The game was eerily similar to last week’s matchup with Creighton when Nebraska could never get any momentum going.
The offense has also been fairly quiet recently after putting up 39 runs on Purdue two weeks ago. The Huskers struggled again at the plate tonight, recording only five hits.
Acker was one positive takeaway going two for three on the night. As previously noted, he made a couple of diving catches in center field. While he felt it was nice to have the performance he did, he was clear after the game that it still comes down to wins and losses for the team.
“We’re going to have to flush it and come out ready to play against UNO tomorrow,” Acker said.
Luensmann’s appearance is encouraging for Nebraska. He looked like he had more control, as he went 2.0 innings and was one out away from giving up zero runs.
“I haven’t gotten an out in a while so coming out being able to go two innings and not walk anyone and keep the ball in the strike zone is a big move for me, I think,” Luensmann said.
This is the second straight mid-week home loss for Nebraska. The Huskers will have an opportunity to make up for their mid-week slump Wednesday evening, as they travel to play Nebraska-Omaha at Werner Park. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. CT.