After losing the series opener 6-2, Nebraska bounced back and finished their homestand with a 7-6 victory over the Northwestern State Demons. Nebraska remains on their undefeated streak on Sunday’s pushing not losing since May 9th, 2016 at Michigan State.
On Sunday, Nebraska used a big inning in the third to set themselves up for the win. After Matt Warren left the bases loaded in the top half of the third, Nebraska struck for six runs in the bottom half.
Ridge Heisler who came into the game with a 1.24 ERA and a complete game under his belt was pounded by the Huskers. Joe Acker and Zac Repinski both singled to start the third. A wild pitch and a RBI groundout from Mojo Hagge plated Acker. Scott Schreiber singled to score Repinski. Jesse Wilkening singled and Angelo Altavilla walked to load the bases for Luke Roskam who hit a towering blast to right field for a grand slam.
The Demons close to within a single run in the next two innings. Warren would give up a pair in the fourth on a strikeout/wild pitch, single, double and a sac fly. A double, single, home run in the fifth would plate three more for the Demons.
Zack Engelken would come in and shut down the Demons in the sixth and the seventh. The Husker defense helped Engelken out in the seventh with a 4-3 double play to end the inning.
Nebraska got insurance in their half of the seventh. Hagge doubled down the left field line to start the inning. An error helped move Hagge to third and he then scored on a bang bang play when Altavilla hit a sac fly deep enough for Mojo to slide under the tag to move the lead to 7-5.
Paul Tillotson struck out the side in the eighth, paving the way for Jake Hohensee in the ninth. Hohensee gave up a solo home run with one out, before getting the next two batters to groundout to earn the save.
Warren got his third win of the season while Hohensee picks up save number four. Heisler moves to 3-1 on the season after taking the loss. While the Huskers won, it was not in convincing fashion. Nebraska finishes their eight game opening home stand at just 5-3. Losses to Northern Colorado and Northwestern State don’t exactly inspire confidence in this team.
Regardless, now is the time to turn it on for the Huskers. Nebraska gets a two gamer midweek series at Oral Roberts before welcoming Minnesota for the start of Big Ten play. Nebraska needs to start winning games and in bunches if they want to return to the NCAA Tournament.