It took extra innings, and a pair of comebacks but Nebraska bounced back from Thursday’s defeat to double up the Utah Utes 4-2 in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. Luis Alvarado was solid working six innings of two run baseball. Brison Cronenbold paced the offense going 3-5 with a run batted in.
HUSKERS WIN.— Nebraska Baseball (@Husker_Baseball) February 24, 2018
W: Tillotson (1-0)
L: Tedeschi (0-2)
S: Hohensee (2) pic.twitter.com/hvU4Qcn23M
Nebraska jumped on Utah starter Kyle Robeniol early, working him hard in each of the first two innings. The Huskers loaded the bases via an Alex Henwood single, and then free passes to both Jesse Wilkening and Luke Roskam. With the bases loaded Jaxon Hallmark would go down swinging to end the threat.
Utah took the lead in the bottom half when they loaded the bases via a DaShawn Keirsey single, Rykker Tom walk, and a Chandler Anderson single. A sacrifice fly from Oliver Dunn would score Keirsey. Alvarado would get Erick Migueles to fly out to end the inning.
The Huskers would tie the game in the second when Mojo Hagge walked and scored on after a pair of hits via Cronenbold and Joe Acker. Henwood and Scott Schreiber would strike out to end the threat.
After a fast third inning, Utah regained the lead in the fourth. Migueles was hit by the first pitch of the inning from Alvardao. Braden DeBenedictis pushed Migueles to second with a single. Matt Richardson then roped a sinigle to play Migueles to give the Utes a 2-1 lead.
As questionable as Robineol was in the first two innings, he was as fantastic in the middle frames. He set down 10 straight Huskers before Schreiber reach on a walk in the sixth. Outside of the Schreiber walk, Robineol would retire Wilkening to finish his night after six innings of quality pitching.
Alvarado would quiet down as well, allowing just two runs in six innings while striking out five Utes while allowing just two walks.
Joshua Tedeschi would give up the game tying run in the seventh. Tedeschi came in and allowed a single to Cronenbold and a walk to Henwood. Schreiber would line a single into right center to score Cronenbold. With runners at second and third, Wilkening would line out Migueles in right to end the threat.
Paul Tillotson came in for the Huskers and set down the Utes with the aid of a double play ball in the seventh.
Nebraska blew another glorious scoring opportunity in the eighth when Roskam and Hallmark singled to start the inning. After a sacrifice bunt from pinch hitter Zac Repinski, Hagge was hit to load the bases with just one out. Cronenbold hit a chopper to Wade Gulden at first base who came home to get Roskam on the force. Acker would ground into a force out to keep the game tied.
In the ninth, Nebraska went in order against Tedeschi. The Utes would get a two out walk against Tillotson but Keirsey would ground out to end any threat.
On his fifth inning of work, Tedeschi finally broke down in the tenth. After getting Roskam on a lazy fly ball, Hallmark would walk and reach second on an error that allowed Repinski to reach. Hagge would single for just his second hit of the year to break the tie. Cronenbold added an insurance run with a base hit up the middle as well.
Jake Hohensee would come in and lock down the victory needing just nine pitches to retire Utah in order. Nebraska now moves to 1-1 in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge while also moving to 4-2 on the season. Utah falls to 0-2 in the challenge, while also falling to 0-5 in the season. Tillotson would get the win for the Huskers. Hohensee locks down his second save of the year.
For the Huskers it was an ugly game with 13 runners left on base. Nebraska will need to do better in future games against better competition. Nebraska did not use Nate Fisher out of the pen, giving them a possible combination of Jake McSteen and Fisher to throw at Oregon State tomorrow.