Kearney, Neb. – Junior center fielder Brett Young hit a run scoring double to left center to help Nebraska-Kearney rally past Colorado-Colorado Springs, 10-9 (8 innings), in the first game of a double header Sunday at the Air Force Academy. In the night cap, UCCS (5-5) hit a “Grand Slam” in the bottom of the sixth inning to win 6-2. UNK (3-7) led 2-1 after 1.5 innings but was blanked the rest of the way. The games were held at Air Force because the Mountain Lions new field isn’t quite ready. The UCCS baseball program began just last spring. The Lopers were down 7-1 after three innings in game one. UCCS tacked on another run in the fifth before UNK crossed home plate seven times in its half of the sixth. The big comeback featured three run scoring doubles including one from Young (Lodi, Calif.) that tied the game at eight. After neither team threaten in the seventh, there was two down in the Loper eighth when redshirt freshman shortstop and nine-hole hitter Pete Carlson (Arvada, Colo.) reached via infield single.
Young (3 for 5, two runs and two RBI’s) promptly brought him home on the very next pitch and then scored himself thanks to a double by junior left fielder Brandon Hernandez (3 for 5, one run and two RBI’s). UCCS didn’t go quietly, loading the bases with one down in the bottom of the inning. Junior closer Jared Bell (Clackamas, Ore.) got a strike out but then hit a Mountain Lion. Thankfully, he managed to fan five-hole hitter Jamie Crabtree on three pitches to pick up his third save as a Loper. Junior Eric Sandoz (Austin, Texas) got the win by throwing two scoreless innings. At the plate, five starters had multi-hit efforts. Besides Young and Hernandez, that group included Carlson (3 for 4, two runs and three RBI’s). In game two, the Lopers had just four hits off of three UCCS pitchers. Carlson (1 for 3) managed a two-run single up the middle in the second but UNK had only two runners in scoring position the rest of the way. The Mountain Lions tied things up in the fifth thanks to an infield single, sac bunt and single to center. In the next inning, a double, error and walk loaded the bases with no outs. Cleanup hitter Jeremy Hochmuth then belted a homer to right to provide the winning margin. Besides Carlson, junior lefty Evan Hill (Sebastopol, Calif.) allowed three earned runs over five full innings. He fanned four and walked one before leaving in the sixth with the bases full. UNK heads to Southwest Baptist next weekend to start MIAA play.