The Nebraska Baseball team (3-1) rode stellar pitching and timely hitting to win their series finale against the Highlanders of UC Riverside. Colby Gomes and Matt Waldron combined to hold the Highlanders scoreless until the ninth inning.
Nebraska got the bats cooking in the first inning when three straight Huskers had hits to score a run. Angelo Altavilla led things off with a one out single, before Mojo Hagge executed the hit and run perfectly to put runners at the corners for Aaron Palensky. Palensky singled down the third base line to plate Altavilla and give the Huskers a 1-0 lead.
Riverside loaded the bases with no one out in the first but Gomes managed to get out of trouble. After giving up two hits and a hit-by-pitch Gomes got a double play when Altavilla caught a line drive and Alex Henwood at second for the out. Gomes got a line drive out to end the threat.
After trading zeros in the second, Nebraska stretched the lead in the third. A pair of walks and an error led the Huskers to a bases loaded situation. Luke Roskam then delivered with a grounder past a diving first baseman for a two run single.
After four scoreless from Gomes, Ted Silva went to the pen to get Waldron. Waldron would set down 12 straight Highlanders to start his 2019 campaign.
With Waldron on cruise control, Nebraska got one more run in the seventh and then put up a three spot in the ninth.
Blake Peterson singled to start the seventh inning for the Huskers. Spencer Schwellenbach then followed up with a swinging bunt that resulted in him being out, but Peterson moved all the way to third. Altavilla came through with another base hit to stretch the lead to 4-0.
In the ninth Nebraska got a double from Joe Acker to start the inning. Schwellenbach would single to score Acker. Nebraska would then get a walk and a wild pitch before two sacrifice hits would score another pair of runs.
The Highlanders put together a rally in the ninth, and Waldron ended up giving up a run due to a balk and a wild pitch. Waldron would strike out his seventh Highlander in relief to end the Huskers opening weekend with a 3-1 record.
Nebraska should feel good about this opening weekend. The Huskers did not get a chance to play outside before coming out to Riverside and showed offensive potential throughout the lineup. The Huskers won’t continue hitting .346 as a team, but the signs are there for a competitive ball club.
Nebraska will now fly down to Arizona where they head for the Big Ten/Pac 12 Challenge. Nebraska will face defending College World Series Champions Oregon State next weekend in a four game series. First pitch on Thursday is set for 3:00 p.m.