Published Friday, March 15, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 12:26 am
Huskers come up short against Irvine

IRVINE, Calif. — Nebraska had the game’s potential tying run on second base with no outs in the ninth inning, but the Huskers couldn’t capitalize on the scoring chance, losing 2-1 at UC Irvine Friday night.

The Husker offense didn’t have much success against Irvine’s ace, Andrew Thurman, yet Rich Sanguinetti led off the ninth inning with a single and advanced to second base on an error. But after Chad Christensen fouled off two bunt attempts, the NU left fielder bounced a grounder to shortstop Chris Rabago, who gunned down Sanguinetti at third base for the inning’s first out.

Senior third baseman Josh Scheffert ended the game by tapping into a double play.

It was the third straight one-run contest for the Huskers (5-10). They’re 1-4 in one-run games this year.

“I think we had more opportunities than they actually did to score (Friday),” NU coach Darin Erstad said in a postgame radio interview. “It’s tough right now because that big hit’s eluding us.”

Especially in the fourth inning, when the Huskers put runners on second and third with one out. Sophomore outfielder Austin Darby struck out and sophomore second baseman Pat Kelly grounded out.

That was the only time Friday that NU had more than one runner on base, though.

Thurman, an All-Big West first-teamer last year, was in a groove from the start Friday, throwing his first complete game of the season for UC Irvine (14-4). The junior right-hander struck out 11.

But Nebraska’s new ace, Christian DeLeon, found a way to give the Huskers a chance.

DeLeon found a rhythm after some early trouble in the first Friday night start of his career. He loaded the bases in the first inning, then hit a batter and gave up a sacrifice fly. But DeLeon went 613 innings, striking out two and allowing eight hits. He didn’t try to do too much, Erstad said.

“Let the defense work behind you. They made some great plays (for DeLeon),” Erstad said. “He just kept competing.”

Nebraska trimmed its deficit to 2-1 in the sixth inning when junior Michael Pritchard led off with a double and scored on Christensen’s sacrifice fly.

The teams played through heavy fog for a good portion of Friday’s game. The weather conditions were discussed before the game and midway through, but Erstad said the umpires “didn’t seem to think it was that bad.”

The Anteaters and Huskers will meet again at 3 p.m. CDT Saturday.

Nebraska (5-10) ........................... 000 001 000—1 5 1

At UC Irvine (14-4) ........................... 200 000 00x—2 9 2

W: Thurman, 2-2. L: DeLeon, 1-2. 2B: NU, Pritchard (1). 3B: UCI, Taylor (2).



< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >