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Gomes returns to form, but late-game mistakes cost Nebraska baseball again in loss to Aztecs

Gomes returns to form, but late-game mistakes cost Nebraska baseball again in loss to Aztecs

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Colby Gomes got back on track. Nebraska’s offense scored first again.

And again, the Huskers couldn’t hold a lead.

San Diego State scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday to answer NU’s two runs in the top of the frame and zap the energy out of the Husker dugout, and the Aztecs beat Nebraska 4-2 in the second game of the weekend at the Tony Gwynn Legacy in San Diego.

For the third time in five games Nebraska (1-4) lost after having a lead in the sixth inning or later.

"We played just good enough to lose," Nebraska coach Will Bolt said. "And that's not the standard we have here at Nebraska. We need to go out and play and expect to win and expect to make plays, expect to make pitches."

The Huskers, officially, didn’t have an error for the first time this season. But NU mishandled a double-play ball that would have gotten it out of the sixth inning with a 2-0 lead.

Instead, a run scored on the play, and an RBI single from Anthony Walters tied the game. Then San Diego State’s Wyatt Hendrie delivered a two-run single to put the Aztecs ahead.

The inning began with the end of Gomes’ outing after he hit the first batter of the frame. Bo Blessie followed, allowing three runs on one hit while walking two and throwing three wild pitches.

The only thing missing from the bottom of the inning for Nebraska was the partridge in a pear tree.

"I think we gave them probably seven or eight free bases immediately after that (top of the sixth), which was very frustrating; very hard to watch," Bolt said. "A lot of times we probably could have gotten off the field there."

Saturday’s result came one night after NU blew leads of 7-0 and 9-4 in a 12-11 loss to San Diego.

The loss overshadowed a get-right night from Gomes.

The sophomore flamethrower turned in the best start of his young career, working five-plus innings while allowing one run, two softly hit singles and recording his first strikeout of the season.

After allowing five runs on seven hits, including two home runs, two doubles and a triple, in his first start of the season against Baylor, Gomes found himself hopping off the mound and pumping his fists after his strikeout of SDSU’s Anthony Walters in the fourth inning.

"I thought he was really good," Bolt said. "He had the fastball/slider combination going, the occasional change-up, and it was good to see his velocity back up. I just saw a lot more conviction in his pitches, and he just executed at a higher level and got ahead."

Nebraska’s only runs all came with two outs in the top of the sixth. With San Diego State starter Troy Melton cruising, having allowed just one hit through 5 2/3 innings, Spencer Schwellenbach, Aaron Palensky and Luke Roskam delivered back-to-back-to-back hits.

Palensky continued his hot start to the season, tucking an RBI double inside the third-base bag. Roskam followed with a single to score Palensky.

That, though, was pretty much it for the Husker offense. One night after putting 18 hits on San Diego, NU finished with five Saturday, none after the sixth inning, and struck out a season-high 12 times.

The victory gave San Diego State (5-1) back-to-back wins over Big Ten programs. The Aztecs beat Iowa 4-1 Friday night.

Nebraska will end its San Diego trip Sunday with a game against Arizona. First pitch is scheduled for noon.

Contact the writer at cbasnett@journalstar.com or 402-473-7436. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.

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