Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney baseball team erupted for five runs in the top of the 11th inning and then hung on to beat Emporia State, 9-7, Saturday afternoon in Kansas.
This was the first of a three-game set. The two teams will try and play Sunday at 1 p.m. but, due to weather, likely will play a double header on Monday.
To pick up a rare win in Emporia, the Lopers (18-14, 11-7) got another strong starting pitching performance from versatile junior Alex Achetermann (Denver, Colo.) While he tallied a no-decision, the right hander allowed two earned runs over seven innings by fanning five and walking two. At the plate, Achtermann went 3 for 5 and helped his own cause with an RBI single in the seventh to make it 4-3.
However, Emporia tallied an unearned run in the bottom of the inning when UNK committed an error while trying to turn two. Both teams had already recorded unearned runs earlier in the game.
The Hornets had a chance to win it in the bottom of the tenth when a passed ball put runners at second and third with two down. But, senior reliever Thomas Ruwe (Arlington) got a strikeout to get out of the jam. He went picked up the win by allowing no earned runs in two full innings of work.
Kearney struck for five in its half of the 11th thanks to five hits, a walk, hit batter and passed ball. Nine-hole hitter Peter Carlson (2 for 6, two runs) started things off with a leadoff single while four different Lopers knocked in a run.
Emporia took advantage of a two-out error in the bottom of the inning to keep its hopes alive. The miscue led to a run and then nine-hole hitter Tanner Arst belted a two-run homer down the left field line. However, junior closer Eric Sandoz (Austin, Texas) followed up with a strikeout to record his fifth save of the spring.
Overall, the teams combined for 16 runs and 27 runners left on base thanks to 29 hits, 16 walks, seven errors and three hit batters. UNK tallied 17 hits with eight starters having at least one.
Individually, junior center fielder Brett Young (Lodi, Calif.) and senior second baseman Scott Platt (Longmont, Colo.) joined Achtermann as Lopers with three hits while junior left fielder Brandon Hernandez (San Diego, Calif.) went 2 for 6 with two runs and three RBI’s. He has now reached base in 29 straight games; Achtermann (23) and freshman catcher Will Olson (19) also have similar streaks going.