Rice: Nebraska holds off other Owls 8-7 in Sunday opener

By Jonathan Yardley - February 25, 2007

It took three different pitchers to close out the ninth inning, but Nebraska held on for an 8-7 win over Florida Atlantic to go 2-1 in the Rice Invitational.

The offenses quieted a bit after the 6-6 margin through the first four innings. Nebraska went ahead in the fifth when Andrew Brown led off with a double to deep right field. FAU catcher Justin Martin has been pressed into outfield duty this year, and the entire Owl outfield had trouble judging fly balls this weekend. Pinch hitter Jake Mort drove Brown in with a sacrifice fly. Nebraska extended its lead to 8-6 in the sixth on a leadoff home run from No. 9 hitter Craig Corriston to dead center field.

Florida Atlantic got back in the game in the bottom of the sixth with another homer, this one off the bat of DH Alex Silversmith. But the Owls stranded runners in the seventh and eighth innings, despite getting the first two men on in the seventh. Nebraska head coach Mike Anderson used three pitchers – Steve Edlefsen, Zach Herr and Erik Bird – in the ninth inning, and Bird finally recorded his third save by getting Daniel Cook to ground out with two runners on base.

FAU lefthander Chris Salberg turned in five terrific innings of relief after averaging just more than one inning per appearance in his first seven outings. Salberg struck out six batters and walked four in five innings, allowing just one run. To steal a line from Nebraska’s SID, Florida Atlantic certainly is one of the most entertaining teams around – all three of its games this weekend came down to the last at-bat, including a walkoff Friday and a top-of-the-ninth tie-breaking balk yesterday.

That’s it for the first game – we’ll be ready for the Rice vs. A&M-CC game in about 45 minutes.

Posted by Jonathan Yardley at 03:56 PM on February 25, 2007

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