March 11, 2007

Nebraska holds on

Alabama made a final run in the bottom of the ninth. Senior Greg Paiml led off with a single and scored on Emeel Salem’s double to right-center. After Steve Edlefsen got pinch-hitter Del Howell to ground out, Alex Avila doubled to left-center scoring Salem. Edlefsen struck out Kent Matthes and Matt Bentley to end the game.

This is fun, folks

After Steve Edlefsen got Del Howell to ground out, Alex Avila doubled to left-center scoring Salem. Alabama is within one with the tying run at second with one out. Cleanup hitter Kent Matthes will try to drive in pinch-runner Tyler Odle.

Last three outs for Bama

Nebraska leads 6-3 as we head to the bottom of the ninth. Alabama has 9,1, and 2 up if someone gets on, this could get interesting.

Erik Bird on the mound for Nebraska.

Who needs hits?

Nebraska manufactured a run with a two-strike hit batsman, their fourth sac bunt of the day, a groundout to the right side, and a wild pitch.

Barry Allen just finished singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame in Harry Caray fashion so it must be the seventh inning.

Cornhuskers are up 6-2 and need nine more outs.

Both starters out

Starting pitchers Johnny Dorn and Bernard Robert were eerily similar. Both are control pitchers living off changing speeds and hitting spots. Each lasted exactly five and a third innings.

It is a battle of the bullpens from now on. Huskers lead 5-2 in the sixth.

Aggressive B-E- Aggressive

Nebraska used aggressive base-running to grab an extra run in the fourth. With runners on second and third, Craig Corriston placed an infield hit up the middle. Alabama shortstop Greg Paiml made a diving stop and tried to get Corriston at first. The runner at second Andrew Brown never stopped running and beat first baseman Matt Bentley’s throw to the plate. Corriston was credited with a two-RBI single on a ball that never left the infield.

Dorn retired ten consecutive hitters from the first to the fourth.

3-0 Nebraska in the bottom of the fourth

Downtown Brown

Andrew Brown homered in his first at bat Saturday and followed it with a home run in first at bat today. Nebraska leads 1-0 in the bottom of the 3rd. Alabama has just one hit - a leadoff single by Emeel Salem. They are hitless since.

Underway early in Tuscaloosa

Due to Nebraska's travel plans we started at 11 am - which was 10 am yesterday with the time change. That's an early start for us wild, party guys.

It might have been hard to get going this morning, but at 71 degrees the conditions are ideal for baseball. An absolute chamber of commerce day at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Bernard Robert is pitching for Alabama against Nebraska's Johnny Dorn.

Nebraska went down in order in the first.

March 10, 2007

Huskers feeling better

After being shutout on Friday, Nebraska head coach Mike Anderson was very disappointed in his team’s approach. He called them timid, tentative, and questioned their competitiveness. After a thrilling 4-3 victory over Alabama Saturday to even the series, Anderson was pleased with how his team responded to the challenge.

Jeff Tezak had five hits including a home run and the game-winning hit in the ninth inning. Starter Charlie Shirek kept Alabama’s offense at bay and reliever Zach Herr put up zeroes in his three inning stint.

Continue reading "Huskers feeling better" »

Tezak tees off - Nebraska evens series

Nebraska third baseman Jeff Tezak's fifth hit of the game drove in pinch-runner Luke Wertz with the winning run as Nebraska beat Alabama 4-3 to even the series.

Alabama got a two-out infield hit from Greg Paiml and a walk from Emeel Salem in the ninth to bring Edlefson in from right field to the mound. The side winding righty got freshman phenom Jake Smith to flare to short to end the game.

more after postgame

Huskers respond

Jeff Tezak hit a solo home run to tie the game at 3. We're heading to the ninth for high drama in Tucaloosa.

Hunter's talk bears fruit

After Jake Smith was retired by shortstop Ryan Wehrle on a smash, Alex Avila, Kent Matthes, and Matt Bentley had three straight hits. Reliever Matt Foust uncorked a couple of wild pitches scoring Avila and Matthes. A pair of walks loaded the bags again, pinch-hitter Elvin Vargas lifted a ball to deep center to score Bentley and give Alabama the lead. Further damage was avoided as Husker Zach Herr struck out Greg Paiml.

Whatever Hunter said, it definitely resulted in a more-focused Tide squad.

The new Tony Robbins

There was just a very visible player only meeting outside the Alabama dugout called by starting pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ever the competitor, when the 6'2" 260 pound Hunter requests an audience, he gets it.

Alabama has responded with three of their hardest hit balls of the game of Charlie Shirek. They have the bases loaded and one out.

Send all requests for Hunter to motivate your group or company through Barry Allen in the Alabama Sports Information Department.

A different Husker team

They got called out by their coach after Friday's 8-0 loss. Nebraska came out focused and leads Alabama 2-0 in the fourth. The first run came in the second inning on an Andrew Brown solo shot to left. The Huskers added another run in third when Tide catcher Jared Avchen threw wildly after a Tommy Hunter strikeout.

On the mound, Nebraska's Charlie Shirek has outpitched Tommy Hunter. Shirek has allowed just one hit while Hunter has been touched up for five hits and two more would-be doubles that centerfielder/corvette Emeel Salem chased down.

Surprise starter

Alabama will start Tommy Hunter today ... after listing Casey Kebodeaux as the projected starter all week. Hunter has not started since a loss to Villanova two weeks ago. Wells would like to move Hunter to the bullpen but until Brandon Belcher returns from injury, Hunter (2-1/1.64) could be in a swing role.

Nebraska is following their plan going with Charlie Shirek. Shirek is 1-2 with a 5.93 ERA.

We'll see how the Huskers respond after a lackluster effort last night. We'll also see if Alabama returns to Earth after playing great last night.

March 09, 2007

Very different dugout moods

Coaches never like losing. They really don't like getting shutout. They really, really don't like getting dominated.

Nebraska head coach Mike Anderson is an unhappy man tonight.

"I am extremely surprised at our lack of competitiveness," Anderson said. "I heard a lot of adjustment talk. Unfortunately it is just talk. Until we start putting things in action, we are going to have a lot of nights like this."

He went on to talk about his disappointment in his team's effort but wasn't ready to push the panic button.

Meanwhile in the other dugout, Alabama is ecstatic. They limped in after a pair of tough losses, got a quick start and piled on with seven extra-base hits.

Continue reading "Very different dugout moods" »

Final in Bama 8-0

Alabama completed the shutout - the first time in 200 games for Nebraska - they had scored in 532 straight road games before tonight.

More coming after postgame interviews.

Dating service no more

Alabama baseball SID had this line in his game notes: In the last nine games, Alabama's offense has resembled an on-line dating service - a lot of singles. In that stretch, 78 of Alabama’s 94 hits were singles. In this game (so far), seven of their eleven hits are for extra bases including a pair of homers and a pair of triples.

It is 8-0 Bama in the bottom of the seventh

Miers Quigley

Miers Quigley is not your ordinary name. He's not an ordinary pitcher either. As Alabama's Friday night starter, the Atlanta-area native has pitched five shutout innings of two-hit ball. Quigley was an elite prep prospect as a high school junior, but suffered an injury as a senior hurting his draft stock and sending him to Tuscaloosa.

His stuff is coming back - and he is pitching with a 6-0 lead after five thanks to his teammates' offensive outburst. Rtyan Rhoden has homered for the Crimson Tide to account for the final run.

Tide triples out to early lead

Alabama scored just four runs last season in three losses at Nebraska last season. They've got five already after two innings in game one.

You don't see a ton of triples but we saw two last inning as Brandon May led off with one down the rightfield line. Then with the bases loaded, Alex Avila cleared those bags with a three-bagger to center.

Going to the bottom of the third, Alabama up 5-0.

Shake and Bake

Alabama's all-America centerfielder Emeel Salem is known for his speed. In case anyone wanted some evidence of his inner cheetah, the folks filing into Sewell-Thomas Stadium just got exhibit A.

After a chop single got Salem to first, the senior hit the afterburners around second and then third. Without hesitation, third base coach Chad Oxendine sent his greyhound home. Even though the ball was en route to the cutoff man, Salem found that final gear often reserved for Ricky Bobby's run toward the checkered flag. Salem beat the throw with his headfirst slide to put Alabama up 1-0.

Beautiful night in a football-town

I've waited five weeks for one of these. It is shirt-sleeve weather in Tuscaloosa tonight as Nebraska visits Alabama. Both teams were National seeds a season ago and but have been inconsistent in the early weeks this year. Still, it is hard not to think about the great football traditions these teams have. Driving in on Bryant Drive, past Bryant-Denny Stadium and the Bryant Museum -- I think you get the gist of it. Football is big here - and even bigger after adding Nick Satan a few months back.

Football is the talk 365 days a year. Hopefully for these three days, they'll tolerate what should be a great weekend series on the diamond.

Some lineup notes. Bryce Nimmo may not play at all this weekend after an injury last weekend. Jake Opitz leads Nebraska with a .343 average, two home runs, and 10 RBI. Tony Watson is on the hill. He's 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings. Alabama will start Miers Quigley. He is 2-0 with a 1.48 in 24 1/3 IP. Kent Matthes leads the Crimson Tide in hitting with a .387 average, five homers, and 23 RBI.

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