Kearney, Neb. – The top of the order remained hot and junior Alex Achtermann won for the sixth time as Nebraska-Kearney rolled past Missouri Western State, 12-3, Friday night in St. Joseph, Mo.
This was the first of a three-game set. UNK (28-20, 21-13) is now tied with Pittsburg State (29-17, 21-13) for fourth place in the MIAA standings; the Gorillas fell at Southwest Baptist, 9-8, on Friday afternoon. Pitt plays SBU in a doubleheader on Saturday.
Scoring runs in each of the first six innings and tallying 18 hits, UNK saw its first four hitters – Brett Young (Lodi, Calif.), Brandon Hernandez (San Diego, Calif.), Achtermann (Denver) and Dallas Schramm (Millard North) — go 10 for 21 with five runs and nine RBI’s. Last weekend vs. Pitt State this group batted .468 (30 for 64) with 16 runs and 25 RBI’s.
In the first inning, Hernandez (3 for 6, two runs & one RBI) hit a one-out double to left. That two bagger breaks the school record of 24, set by first baseman Andrew Haake in 2011. Two batters later, Schramm (2 for 5, one run & three RBI’s) brought Hernandez home with an infield single. After tonight Schramm now has 198 career hits; he’ll be just the 11th Loper to reach 200.
While the Griffons (26-22) scored twice in its half of the first, UNK scored two runs in each of the next three innings to lead 7-2. That big stretch included a two-run triple and a solo homer by Young (2 for 5, two runs & three RBI’s) and an RBI double by Schramm.
On the mound, Achtermann (3 for 6, one run & two RBI’s) allowed three earned on three walks and seven hits over five full innings. Now 6-1, he fanned three in throwing 97 pitches. Next, Kearney sophomore Peyton Pocock had his best outing as a Loper, tossing four scoreless innings with three K’s to record a rare multi-inning save.
Finally for the Lopers, sophomore first baseman Ty Roseberry (Kearney) and redshirt freshman right fielder Josh Robinson (Golden, Colo.) both had three hits.The series resumes Saturday at 7 p.m.