FULLERTON, Calif. — Nebraska’s pitching staff couldn’t handle the firepower of Cal State Fullerton’s offense as the Huskers lost both games of a doubleheader Saturday to fall to 0-3.
The No. 22 Titans (3-0) came from behind to earn a 10-5 win Saturday afternoon before cruising to a 9-0 victory later that night. They had 24 hits in two games and were retired in order just three innings on the day.
“We’re in a position where we’re going to play baseball teams where we have to understand how important it is to pay attention to our approach and the details of this game,” Husker coach Darin Erstad said in a postgame radio interview. “(Saturday), we were just too sloppy.”
Senior starter Ryan Hander gave Nebraska a chance in the opener, pitching into the sixth inning and allowing three earned runs. The Huskers tied the game on senior left fielder Chad Christensen’s triple in the top of the seventh, and then took a 5-4 lead when sophomore second baseman Pat Kelly singled to left.
That was NU’s only lead in either game. And it didn’t last long.
Fullerton sophomore J.D. Davis tied it 5-5 with a one-out RBI single. Then senior Anthony Hutting blasted a pinch-hit, two-run home run. The Titans added three insurance runs in the eighth.
The Huskers couldn’t match Cal-State Fullerton’s offensive production Saturday, especially in the nightcap.
Nebraska, shut out for the first time since dropping a 4-0 decision against California last March, managed four hits in the second game.
Freshman right-hander Justin Garza pitched six scoreless innings to earn the win while three Titan relievers made it difficult on the Husker hitters after that.
Nebraska batters struck out 12 times in the second game. The Huskers, who averaged about five strikeouts per game last season, have struck out 31 times already this year.
“I think just some guys are probably pressing a little bit,” Erstad said. “We just have to regroup.”
It’s the third 0-3 start in the last four seasons for NU, which lost 9-5 at CSU Bakersfield Friday.
The Huskers play at USC on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Junior designated hitter Michael Pritchard, who left Saturday’s first game with an injury, may not be available to play Sunday, Erstad said.