Kearney, Neb. – Nebraska-Kearney belted six home runs to outscore Washburn, 17-10, in game one of a double header Sunday evening in Hays, Kan. The Lopers (22-16, 15-8) hit three more dingers in the nightcap to the school record of 73 in a single season but the Ichabods (12-27, 6-22) rallied for a 12-11 victory. UNK took the series two games to one thanks to a 6-3 decision Friday morning at Memorial Field. First pitch for that game came at 9 a.m.; the final out Sunday was recorded a little after 9 p.m.Overall, the teams combined for 27 runs on 28 hits, seven walks and two errors. Among the 28 hits were nine home runs and seven doubles as the ball carried well on a breezy day at hitter-friendly Larks Park. Junior right fielder Pate Katechis (Longmont, Colo.) paced the Loper offense by going 3 for 4 with two runs scored and six RBI’s. He hit a solo homer down the right field line in the second and then blasted a deep three-run bomb to left center in the big third inning. Next, senior designated hitter Dallas Schramm (Millard North), junior first baseman Alex Achtermann (Denver) and redshirt freshman left fielder Josh Robinson (Golden, Colo.) had three hits apiece. Robinson smacked two doubles with Achtermann and Schramm both going yard.
On the mound, junior southpaw Josh Cooper (Roseville, Calif.) picked up his fifth win by allowing five earned in six innings. He fanned six and worked around 11 hits and three walks. Finally, Kearney sophomore Peyton Pocock struck out four over the final two innings. Washburn took advantage of five UNK errors to grab leads of 5-0 and 8-3 in game two but the Lopers came back. Scoring four times in both the third and fifth innings made it 11-9 in favor of Kearney but the ‘Bods then turned to lefty reliever Sam Carver. Picking up his first win in nine decisions, the junior allowed just one run over the final five innings. He struck out nine, walked three and gave up only an infield single in the fifth. At the plate, Washburn tallied three runs in the top of the seventh to finish the scoring. Leadoff hitter and outfielder Javis Larson tied things up with a two-out double to right center. After taking third on a passed ball, he scored the winning run on a bloop single to right by first baseman Brady Hoover. A 14-hit ‘Bods attack saw five different players collect two hits including Larson and Hoover. Achtermann (3 for 5, two runs & two RBI’s), Robinson (2 for 5, two runs & two RBI’s) and Hernandez (2 for 5, two runs & two RBI’s) led the Lopers. Achtermann hit his team-best 14th homer in the third with Robinson and senior third baseman Josh Estrada (Houston) also going deep.
The 73 homers ties the record set in 2015 (50 games). UNK is slated to play a home double header against Northwest Missouri State on Tuesday afternoon. The second game is to makeup a postponed April 3 game that was to be held in Maryville. If Memorial Field isn’t ready, the likely scenario is a return to Hays and Larks Park.