Stetson Invite: Iowa, Notre Dame Top Huskers

First off, my apologies for the short length and late posting of this recap. I'm on the road, heading towards Arizona for Spring Training. Internet access is spotty at best, but I'll do what I can.

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After being delayed for two days by snow and then rain, the Huskers finally played their first game of the Stetson Invite in DeLand, Florida on Sunday morning.

The first game was against Missouri river rival Iowa. Tony Watson was the only Husker pitcher to have anywhere near a good day, tossing six innings while only giving up three hits, a walk and two runs. Watson struck out five Hawkeyes in his appearance, and left with an 8-2 lead.

After that, well... I'll let Mike Anderson tell you:

"Tony was our competitive person. After Tony, I don’t think we performed well and we didn’t pitch well. We will have to get better in those areas."

Nebraska gave up 10 runs in the seventh and eighth innings, including Erik Bird getting lit up for three runs and only getting two outs.

In the second game, against Notre Dame, it was obvious that Nebraska was still feeling the effects of the late-game beating.

The Huskers spotted the Irish a 5-0 lead in the first inning, but charged back to tie it in the third. Notre Dame unleashed a crooked number in the sixth, scoring seven runs to put the game out of reach.

The second game's starter, Drew Bowman, faced six batters, gave up four hits, a walk and five runs. Charlie Shirek came in and pitched well until things fell apart in the sixth, though.

The big news of the day was a collision in center field between Husker center fielder Bryce Nimmo and right fielder DJ Belfonte. Nimmo laid on the ground for several minutes before being carted off the field. He was diagnosed with a concussion and an injury to his shoulder. He'll be out for several weeks.

Earlier this season, I would have been fine with Nimmo being out of the lineup (but not by injury, of course) since his bat was about as lively as a fungo. Of course, Nimmo was injured after he breaks his walk-less at-bat streak with not one, but two bases-on-balls in the first game. Nimmo's line still sits at .200 average, .273 on-base percentage, and .200 slugging in 30 at-bats. That's horrendous.

Nimmo's replacement will be DJ Belfonte, who isn't quite the defender that Nimmo was, but he's still very much above average. Belfonte can hit, though. His AVG/OBP/SLG line is .333/.576/.429. That's much, much better than Nimmo. Belfonte leads the team with 9 walks and 3 hit-by-pitches, leading to that inflated on-base percentage.

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The Huskers finish up their trip to Florida by taking on host school Stetson on Monday at 11:00 a.m. central time. Johnny Dorn will pitch for Nebraska as the Huskers try to avoid falling to 5-5 on the season. The game can be heard for free through Huskers.com, where you can also keep up with the live stats.

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