TEMPE, Ariz. – Sophomore Andrew Sopko threw seven scoreless innings and freshman Nick Brooks had a pair of RBIs to push the Gonzaga University baseball team 5-3 over the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
The victory is the first of the year for the Bulldogs (1-3) as the club wrapped up its opening weekend in the Husker Classic.
Sopko allowed just four hits and struck out four while only walking two. The win also marks his first in his collegiate career. Husker starter Derek Burkamper picked up the loss after giving up five runs in three innings.
Gonzaga built a 5-0 by the end of the third inning. In the top of the second, Payden Cawley Lamb doubled down the left field line to bring in Cory LeBrun. Lamb advanced to third on the throw and scored after the next batter, Brock Slavin, hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
LeBrun had an RBI single in the third inning for the third GU run. Then with two outs and runners on second and third base, Brooks delivered a double to left field to give the Bulldogs a 5-0 edge.
Brooks, making his first collegiate start, finished the game 3-for-3.
The Huskers mounted a late rally in the ninth. With two outs and two on, Austin Darby singled to right field off reliever Kenny Smith. An errant Gonzaga throwing error allowed both runs to score as the GU lead was cut to 5-3.
Smith however got Steven Reveles to ground out to Mitchell Gunsolus at third to seal the Zag victory. Smith was credited with the save.
Gonzaga out-hit Nebraska 10-5 in the game. Brooks and Caleb Wood were the two Bulldogs with multiple hits.
GU hits the road again next weekend as the 2014 campaign continues. The Zags will face University of Incarnate Word Thursday in the opening game of the Irish Baseball Classic in San Antonio.