After dropping the first three games of the Big Ten-Pac-12 Challenge, Nebraska got a much needed win, defeating the Utah Utes 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. Jake Hohensee, Chad Luensmann, and Luis Alvarado combined to hold the Utes to three hits, while Mojo Hagge and Angelo Altavilla combined for five hits.
For the first time this season, Nebraska took an early lead thanks to Hagge. Hagge singled to start the game, moved to third on a wild pickoff throw and scored on a Scott Schreiber single.
With a lead, Hohensee mowed down the Utes. Recording three strikeouts in the first two innings, Hohensee looked sharp in his return from Tommy John Surgery.
Nebraska would add three runs in the fourth to push the lead to 4-0. Schreiber lead off with a walk followed by back to back singles from Alvarado and Luke Roskam to load the bases with no one out. After a Mike Waldron walk, an Alex Raburn fielders choice, and another Hagge single, the Huskers had scored three runs and had Utah Starter Josh Lapiana on the ropes.
Utah answered for three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. After a leadoff triple from DaShawn Keirsey Jr and a walk to Dallas Caroll with one out, Hohensee looked to find a groundball. He got a groundball that looked to be a 6-4-3 double play, but the ball hopped under the glove of Raburn for an error. Another walk, single, and sacrifice fly cut the Husker lead to 4-3.
Hohensee would depart in the fifth with the tying and go ahead runs both in scoring position with only one out. Luensmann would come in and strand the runners with a strikeout and a flyball to preserve the Husker lead.
Chad would then put up zeros for another three innings, mowing down the Utes it order in the sixth, seventh, and eighth.
The Huskers who did not score the rest of the contest, handed the ball to Alvarado in the ninth, going for his first save in his second appearance as a pitcher. After allowing a leadoff single, Alvarado retired the Utes in order to get the Huskers back in the win column.
Nebraska now heads to the Frisco College Classic this weekend where they will face Oklahoma State, Arkansas, and Arizona at Dr. Pepper Ballpark. The Huskers first contest, against Oklahoma State is scheduled for 7:30 PM Friday night.