For the second consecutive game, the Nebraska Baseball team got in a high scoring slugfest. Unfortunately for Nebraska, they could not come up with the timely defensive play, and dropped a 14-8 decision in their home opener. Nebraska received spotty pitching from Matt Waldron, and a pair of errors doomed the Huskers in their quest to win their home opener.
After Matt Waldron set down the Mustangs in the top half of the inning, Nebraska got on the scoreboard in the first inning for the second game in a row. The Huskers loaded the bases thanks to a Mojo Hagge walk, a Zac Repinski single, and an error that allowed Angelo Altavilla to reach. After a strikeout from Scott Schreiber, Jesse Wilkening lined a single off of third baseman Nick DiCarlo that scored a pair of runs. Luke Roskam struck out and Jaxon Hallmark flied out to strang two runners for the Huskers.
Cal Poly quickly retook the lead in the third. Tate Samuelson led off the inning with a home run. Colby Barrick was hit by a pitch and Dylan Doherty singled to bring up DiCarlo who singled to score Barrick. Alex McKenna grounded out to score Doherty to put the Mustangs on top.
The Huskers answered Cal Poly’s three runs with three runs of their own in their half of the second. Brison Cronenbold singled and reached second on an error. Hagge singled to push Cronenbold to third, before he advanced to second on a wild pitch. Repinski them doubled down the line past Dicarlo to plate two for the Huskers. After Altavilla walked, and Schreiber reached on a fielder’s choice, Wilkening would hammer a single back up the middle to plate Repinski.
Repinski scored another run in the fourth when he singled and scored after stealing a base. Wilkening recorded his third hit of the inning to load the bases after Altavilla walked but all Nebraska got was a RBI groundout from Roskam to extend the lead to 6-3.
Keegan Watson gave up the run the Huskers gained in the fifth. Klye Marinconz singled and moved second when Nick Meyer grounded out. After a passed ball moved Marinconz 90 feet away, he scored when Samuelson grounded out to Repinski at second.
In the sixth, Repinski started another big rally. He and Altavilla both singled to start the frame to bring up Schreiber. Schreiber ripped a double into the left field corner to put the Huskers up 8-4. After Schreiber reached third with one out, Roskam and Hallmark would strand him.
Then it all fell apart.
The Mustangs plated 5 runs in the seventh inning, all with two outs. After Meyer and Samuelson singled, a fielder’s choice was the second out of the inning. A single from Barrick chased Ethan Frazier in favor of Mike Waldron. Waldron walked the next two batters to bring the Mustangs to within two. With McKenna due up, Waldron got him to hit a ball to Cronenbold at short. Cronenbold threw wide, and then Roskam threw wide trying to get McKenna at second, to clear the bases and put the Mustangs up 9-8.
After getting nothing in their half of the seventh, the Mustangs once again scored in the eighth. Byron Hood loaded the bases via a Marinconz single and walks to Meyer and Josh George. Max Schreiber came in and hit Barrick to force in a run. A ground out platted a second run in the inning before Schreiber got a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
The ninth inning was more of the same yakety sax. McKenna walked to start the frame. He then went to third via a wild pitch and a throwing error. After Schreiber hit Cole Cabrera, Marinconz flew out for a sac fly. A base hit from Samuelson made it 13-8. After a walk to George, Barrick singled to bring it to 14-8.
Flat out, this might be the worst Nebraska game we have seen all season. Without pitchers like Chad Luensmann, Reece Eddins, Jake McSteen, Connor Curry, etc the Huskers went with trial by fire. The bullpen walked eight, while striking out only two. That simply will not get it done.
Nebraska drops back to 6-6 (0-0 Big Ten) while Cal Poly improves to 6-7 (0-0 Big West). Nebraska and Cal Poly resume their four game series tomorrow afternoon with first pitch set for 1:35. Luis Alvarado gets the ball for the Huskers looking to move past a rough start last week against Wichita State.