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Altavilla Powers Huskers Past Wildcats 6-4

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Huskers avoid disaster in Evanston

Angelo Altavilla went had a three hit day as the Nebraska baseball team avoided the sweep, defeating Northwestern 6-4. Reece Eddins went six strong innings for the Huskers, while Aaron Palensky added a solo home run for Nebraska.

Palensky started the game with a well hit ball to right field that traveled out for his third home run of the year. The Huskers would get a walk from Joe Acker but would get no more in the first.

The Huskers extended the lead in the fifth inning. Colby Gomes singled to leadoff the inning. Altavilla would double down the left field line, scoring Gomes. Nebraska proceeded to load the bases. Palensky walked to bring up Cam Chick who reached on a bunt. Acker and Keegan Watson both struck out. Carter Cross was unable to bring any runs across on a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

After Eddins gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth, Nebraska responded in the sixth. Jaxon Hallmark hit a triple to start the inning. After two unproductive outs, Altavilla and Palensky had runner scoring hits. Chick and Acker would reach and load the bases but Ty Roseberry grounded out to strand the bases loaded.

Northwestern tried to rally in the sixth. Down 4-1, Northwestern put two runners on via an error and a single. Eddins buckled down and got back to back strikeouts to end the threat. Northwestern Head Coach Spencer Allen was ejected after arguing a low strike three call.

Mojo Hagge pinch hit in the seventh and reached with a double off the top of the fence in left. After the Huskers loaded the bases, Altavilla would hit a chopping ground ball to first that scored Hagge. The Huskers stranded two more after Palensky flew out to center.

Robbie Palkert entered the game in the seventh and worked a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Chick manufactured a run for the Huskers in the eighth. He walked and then stole second. He stole third and scored on a throw into left field. Hagge and Hallmark both reached but Luke Roskam smacked a 3-0 pitch in the ground right to the shortstop for the last out of the inning.

Northwestern mounted a rally in the eighth the pull within three. Working against Palkert, the Wildcats got a single to start the eighth. Another single with one out, and a grounder to Hallmark at second put two runners in scoring position. Palkert gave up a another single to bring the score to 6-3.

After a scoreless top of the ninth, Gomes came in for the save. Gomes had a rough start, giving up a hit batter and a double to bring the tying run to the plate. Jack Dunn, Northwestern’s best hitter flew out to deep right for a sacrifice fly. Gomes got another shallow fly ball before a strikeout secured the victory for the Huskers.

Nebraska gets a desperately needed win to avoid the sweep and for now move into solo third place in the Big Ten. Nebraska is now 3.5 games clear of eighth place in the Big Ten.

Nebraska now returns to Hawks Field to welcome Arizona State in a huge non-conference series. The Huskers and Sun Devils start their series Friday night with first pitch at 6:35.