What a difference a day makes. Yesterday’s 81 degree first pitch seems like ages ago. The game today was delayed by a slow moving front, and was 43 degrees at first pitch, an hour and 45 minutes late. The Husker bats however, got off to a hot start at home for the first time in a couple weeks.
Nebraska actually started the day, giving its usual Saturday battery the day off. Pitcher Jace Kaminska is coming off back to back subpar outings, and catcher Josh Caron has been slumping a bit offensively as he almost exclusively handles the Huskers catching duties.
Jackson Brockett started in place of Kaminska, and was looking to throw his hat into the ring of potential weekend starters. Brockett held the Wildcat offense at bay all day. He went 6 innings and only allowed 3 hits and zero runs. He also struck out 4 and picked up the win.
Brockett’s counterpart, Michael Fairinelli wasn’t so lucky. After a relatively harmless first inning, Farinelli had a nightmare second inning. The Huskers scored 9 runs on 8 hits. A Ben Columbus RBI double over the head of the center fielder got things started. A bases clearing 3 RBI double by Charlie Fischer provided the biggest blow of the inning, and a 2-run home run from Gabe Swansen provided the early knock out blow.
KEEP 'EM COMING. pic.twitter.com/GkWU1Fiecj— Nebraska Baseball (@Husker_Baseball) April 15, 2023
Swansen and Casey Burnham led the team in hits on the day with 3 a piece. Swansen finished a triple short of the cycle. Burnham had 3 singles, and also a HBP in his 5 total plate appearances.
The 9-0 lead after 2 innings, not only allowed the Huskers to let Brockett show what he could do, but let some of the lesser used bullpen arms get some work. Drew Christo pitched a 1-2-3 inning vs Omaha earlier in the week, and added another shutout inning, giving up only a walk in the 7th.
Austin’s Berggren pitching for the first time since March 7th, had a rougher outing. He gave up 2 runs on 2 hits in his two-thirds of an inning. One run on a sac fly and the other on a wild pitch with a runner on third. Jalen Worthley came in to get Nebraska out of that jam and finished off the last 4 outs to give the Big Red the 9-2 victory in his first outing since March 19th against Nicholls.
Nebraska goes for the sweep over Northwestern on Sunday at 12:05 pm. Will Walsh (1-1, 3.86 ERA) will get the 2nd straight Sunday start for Nebraska. While Northwestern will counter with Luke Benneche (0-3, 9.28 ERA).