Behind a five run fifth inning, and a dominant relief effort from Jake McSteen the Nebraska Baseball team beat their second consecutive ranked team defeating the Long Beach State Dirtbags by a final score of 9-2.
Both teams would have a handful of opportunities early. Each team would strand two runners in the first inning. Again in the second, both teams would load the bases but Chris Mathewson and Colton Howell were each able to induce ground outs to get escape without any runs on the board.
Nebraska would break through first in the third inning. Mathewson would fall behind Scott Schreiber and would throw a meatball which Schreiber promptly hit out to left centerfield for his second home run this season.
The Huskers would put the game out of reach in the fifth with a five spot. Five straight Huskers reached base starting with back to back singles by Jake Placzek and Ben Miller. Schreiber would then double into the right center gap to pick up his second RBI of the night. After a Jake Meyers walk, Luis Alvarado would pinch hit for Elijah Dilday and scorch a single into the outfield. Two sacrifice flies and an error would add three more Husker runs.
Howell labored through four innings before finding trouble in the fifth. Garrett Hampson would single and advance on an error. Jarren Duran would double scoring Hampson. Duran would come around on a single by pinch hitter Alex Muzzi. Howell would leave the game and turn the ball over to Jake McSteen who proceeded to get the final two outs of the inning.
Nebraska would find three more insurance runs in the ninth inning. Jake Schleppenbach would find the gap in right center for a double to lead off the inning. Ryan Boldt would drive him in with a RBI single after a sacrifice bunt from Steven Reveles. Ben Miller would then clear the fence in right center for his second home run of the season.
McSteen would close out the game, working around the fourth hit of the night by Hampson. Jake McSteen picked up the win for the Huskers pitching 4 and 2/3rds of an inning allowing no runs on one hit with three strikeouts. Mathewson took the loss for the Dirtbags, falling to 1-2 on the season.
The Dirtbags and Huskers will resume the series tomorrow with a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. CT. The second game will be 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Derek Burkamper is scheduled to pitch game one for the Huskers while Matt Waldron will get the start in the finale.