The Nebraska Baseball team (12-9) jumped out to a large lead, and managed to hold off the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles on Wednesday, earning a series split with an 11-10 victory. The Huskers fell in game one Tuesday night 11-4.
Nebraska jumped out to an early 5-0 lead with a run in the first and four more in the second. Zac Repinski scored in the first when he reached on a hit-by-pitch, advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches and scored when Angelo Altavilla hit into a double play.
In the second, the Huskers used just two hits to score four times. Jesse Wilkening singled to start the inning and was followed by a Luke Roskam walk. Mike Addante walked to load the bases after Jaxon Hallmark and Zac Luckey struck out. Repinski drove in Wilkening with a walk before Mojo Hagge hit a two run single to right. A delayed steal allowed Repinski to score to stretch the lead to five.
Nate Fisher pitched solid for the Huskers, giving up just a single run in the second. Oral Roberts managed to string together three two out hits to get on the board. Fisher would not face any more threats in his four innings of work on the afternoon.
The Golden Eagles then plated seven runs in the next two innings to jump out to an 8-6 lead. A grand slam in the fifth was the big blow from the Huskers. Ethan Frazier and Paul Tillotson combined for the not so pretty inning.
Max Schreiber came in for the sixth and gave up two runs to put the Golden Eagles ahead. An ill advised thrown from Scott Schreiber set the home team up for a big inning. Combined with a wild pitch, and Max struggling to throw strikes the Eagles pounced.
After seeing their five run lead disappear, the Huskers responded with five unanswered of their own with three in the seventh and a pair in the eighth.
Hagge was hit by a pitch to start the seventh, while Altavilla walked to put the tying runs on base. A sacrifice fly from Schreiber and a wild pitch got the Huskers to within one. After Wilkening got his third hit of the day, Roskam flied out to foul territory, allowing Altavilla to score and tie the game. Hallmark singled off the glove of the third baseman to push Wilkening to third, before a balk plated Jesse, giving the Huskers a 9-8 lead.
In the eight, Joe Acker walked and Repinski singled to put more runners on base. A sac bunt, wild pitch, and a groundout scored both Acker and Repinski to give the Huskers a three run cushion.
Oral Roberts came right back and scored two in the eighth and had the bases loaded after Zack Engelken walked back to back batters. Head Coach Darin Erstad called in Jake Hohensee who got a strikeout to end the threat. Hohensee then set down Oral Roberts in order in the ninth to preserve the Husker victory.
Nebraska moved to 12-9 with the win. Oral Roberts falls to 12-7 with the loss. Oral Roberts is a good ball club and will be in the conversation for being a regional host. This win may not look impressive right now, but wait till the end of the season and we may savor this one a bit more than the other midweek victories.
Nebraska has major issues in the bullpen and it will take time and bodies to fix the issue. Tillotson allowed the grand slam, but Frazier was the one who got in trouble with issuing free passes. Nebraska needs to get ahead of hitters and stay aggressive. When Hohensee did this in the ninth, the Golden Eagles looked complete lost.
Nebraska now returns back to Lincoln to open up Big Ten Play. Nebraska welcomes the Minnesota Golden Gophers to Haymarket Park on Friday. Nebraska and Minnesota are scheduled for first pitch at 6:35 CST.