Behind another cool day and the roof open at Minute Maid Park in Houston, the Nebraska Cornhuskers Baseball team got some timely hitting and survived a rally in the final inning by the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors to win 4-3 in the first game of the second day of the Houston College Classic.
The Huskers (7-5) came back with 9 hits in the contest and a quality start by Senior Kyle Kubat, while Hawaii (6-9) mounted a late comeback but couldn't string together wins after their victory vs. Baylor on Friday.
Nebraska scored the first runs of the contest in the 5th inning when, after Austin Darby was picked off of 1st base, Luis Alvarado and Jake Schleppenbach had reached and were on 2nd and 3rd. Scott Schreiber stepped up to the plate and grounded to 2nd baseman JJ Kitaoka, but his bobble of the baseball allowed Schleppenbach and Alvarado to score, while Schreiber advanced to second on the throw to the plate. Ryan Boldt grounded out but the Huskers jumped ahead 2-0.
The Huskers nailed some insurance runs in the 8th when, after Ryan Boldt got on via single and Ben Miller was HBP, Tanner Lubach scored Boldt with a single to right, while Jack Placzek (PR for Miller) went to 3rd. Austin Darby next grounded back to Pitcher Eric Gleese, but he could not finish the Double Play, allowing Placzek to score. Alvarado grounded out to end the inning, but the Huskers went up 4-0.
Hawaii made it interesting in the 9th inning, however. Josh Roeder came in and, Chayce Ka'aua walked to start the inning, followed by Alex Sawleson single to LF. Roeder got PH Matt LoCoco on a strikeout, but Jacob Sheldon-Collins singled to RF to load the bases for the third time for Hawaii. Unlike the first two times, however, JJ Kitaoka took advantage of the situation two batters later as he roped a double down the 3rd Base line, clearing the bases and giving Hawaii hope at 4-3. Colton Howell came in for Roeder and issued a Intentional Walk to Eric Ramirez. The game did end on a Strikeout to Jordan Richartz.
Kyle Kubat gets the win for Nebraska, pushing his record to 2-0 on the season. His line at 100 pitches was 6 1/3 innings pitched, 5 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts. His ERA is at a salty 1.15. Howell was credited with his first Save of the year.
Tyler Brashears takes the loss for Hawaii, going 7 innings and allowing 2 runs (both unearned) on 7 hits, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.
Nebraska finishes out their set in the HCC when they take on the LSU Tigers tomorrow morning at 11:05am in the first game of the Classic. Hawaii plays in the last game of the Classic tomorrow when they take on the host Houston Cougars.