The Nebraska Baseball team took advantage of 10 walks from Utah pitching en route to a 7-4 win Sunday afternoon in Surprise, Arizona. Finishing off play in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, Nebraska got solid pitching from Matt Warren, and timely hitting keep the Utes winless on the season.
Warren would set the Utes down in order to start the game, bringing the Husker bats up. In the first, Nebraska load the bases with walks to Mojo Hagge and Luke Roskam and an error on a ball hit by Scott Schreiber. Jaxon Hallmark struck out to strand three for the Huskers.
Hallmark would come back in the third inning when he got the Huskers on the board. Hagge would walk, Schreiber singled to put Hagge at third and then was promptly thrown out trying to steal second. Following walks to Jesse Wilkening and Roskam, Hallmark singled to give the Huskers a 1-0 lead. With just one out, a fielder’s choice and a strikeout would keep the Huskers from doing any more damage.
Utah tied the game in the fifth via a single, double, and groundout. Warren would get a pop-up to prevent the Utes from taking the lead.
Nebraska grabbed the lead back in their half of the fifth when walks to Schreiber and Wilkening came around to score via a Roskam groundout and a Hallmark double.
Utah cut the lead to 3-2 in the sixth after an error, double, and a wild pitch from reliever Nate Fisher. A fly out would end the inning.
Seeing their lead cut to 3-2, the Huskers added two run innings in both the sixth and the seventh innings. Alex Henwood walked, and moved around the bases via two ground ball outs, and a passed ball. Schreiber doubled and scored when Wilkening singled.
After a scoreless seventh from Fisher, Nebraska got a big bases loaded single from Hagge to extend their lead to 7-2. Luis Alvarado singled to start the inning, while Henwood added a single to bring up Angelo Altavilla. He would walk and then Hagge struck for his two run single.
With a 7-2 lead, Fisher ran into trouble in the eighth. He would give up a walk and a double, but would sandwich in a pair of wild pitches and two sacrifice flies to plate a pair of runs. Matt Waldron would be called out of the bullpen to put out the fire as the tying run came to the plate. Waldron would get a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Jake Hohensee came in to pitch the ninth. He allowed the tying run to come to the plate, but induced a weak groundball to end the game and secure the victory for Nebraska.
Nebraska did nothing special this weekend but managed to end the weekend with a 2-2 record. They took care of business in less than convincing fashion against a Utah team. Ideally you would have liked to see Nebraska be more competitive against Oregon State, but that team is a juggernaut.
Nebraska will leave the desert with a neutral site record of 5-3 already this season. One more win then they had all of last year at a neutral site. This team will need to get the bats going, as Ohio State managed to drop 20 on this Utah team. Not every game will Nebraska get 10 free passes.
Nebraska improves to 5-3 (0-0 Big Ten) and will next travel to Wichita State for a three game series next weekend. First pitch is set for 3:00 CT on Friday. Utah falls to 0-7 and will look for their first win against Santa Clara next weekend.