Kearney, Neb. – Senior second baseman Scott Platt hit a Grand Slam in the first inning and sophomore first baseman Ty Roseberry hit two home runs to help Nebraska-Kearney hold off Fort Hays State, 11-8, Wednesday night in Kansas. With the win, the Lopers (25-19, 18-12) sweep the season series from the Tigers (13-31). UNK shut out Hays, 7-0, back on March 27 in Kansas and then won a slugfest, 26-17, at Memorial Field on April 11. Entering the week leading Division II in home runs (81), UNK wasted little time adding another. With one run in and two down, Platt stepped to the plate and belted a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall for a 5-0 lead. Platt (Longmont, Colo.) now has 10 HR’s in 148 at-bats this spring; he had none in 96 AB’s last year.
UNK didn’t score again until Roseberry (Kearney) hit a solo shot, his 13th of the year, in the fifth. The Tigers had cut the deficit to two by scoring three times in its half of the fourth. The Lopers seemingly salted things away by scoring three more times in the sixth to grab a 9-3 lead. Junior right fielder Alex Achtermann (Denver) and redshirt freshman shortstop Peter Carlson (Longmont, Colo.) had RBI singles with Platt (1 for 2, one run & four RBI’s) starting things with a walk. However, Hays crossed home plate five times in the bottom of the inning. Each run scored after two outs with the big blow being a three-run homer by catcher Dawson Sramek (2 for 4). In a game where both teams had 10 hits, UNK finished the scoring with single runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Roseberry pulled one down the line in the ninth for homer number 14 in the ninth. Achtermann (15) is UNK’s leader in that area with Platt and catcher Dallas Schramm tied for third.
On the mound, junior closer Eric Sandoz (Austin, Texas) picked up save number eight, three shy of tying the school record, by working around a double and walk in the ninth. He lowers his ERA to a team-best 1.71 with opponents hitting just .217 against him. Finally, junior Jared Bell (Clackamas, Oreg.) wins for the second time by throwing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. He got UNK out of that sixth inning while fanning three of the five batters he faced. UNK hosts regionally-ranked Pittsburg State (28-14, 20-10) this weekend at Memorial Field. Game times are 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon on Sunday.