Nebraska baseball powered its way to a big win over Northern Colorado on Wednesday as Nebraska used an eight run and nine-hit performance to help propel it to victory and complete the sweep over the Bears.
The scoring came early for the Huskers as they scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning via a pair of home runs. A moonshot three-run home run from junior outfielder Aaron Palensky put Nebraska up 3-0 followed by another long home run, a solo shot, from sophomore shortstop Spencer Schwellenbach which made it a 4-0 game right away.
The Huskers tacked on another two runs in the second and third as Palensky continued his hot day, driving in two more runs with a screaming double into right-center field before junior Jaxon Hallmark made it 8-0 with a two-run single in the third before the Huskers were blanked for the remainder of the contest.
“You look at his statline and he has more walks than strikeouts and he is driving in almost a run a game, he is going to be on the barrel quite a bit,” Nebraska head coach Will Bolt said of Palensky. “... It was great to see him break out not only with the home run but also that double to the right side of the field.”
Freshman Quinn Mason started on the mound for the Huskers and he was able to work through three innings allowing only a hit and a walk while striking out two. He was relieved by freshman Ethan Bradford who worked through two innings with a walk being his only blemish as he struck out four.
Freshman Kyle Wisch also completed two innings of work allowing one run off of two hits while striking out two before sophomore Tyler Martin and Hallmark each pitched an inning apiece to finish off the pitching for the Huskers. Martin allowed two walks while striking out one, while Hallmark struck out two in a clean inning.
“I knew coming in with all the games we have had to play in a short time period that we were going to be hurting for arms and I had told coach that I would be ready after throwing a bullpen,” Hallmark said. “I’m not trying to beat anyone when I’m on the mound, I’m just trying to throw strikes and let my fielders go to work because that is the same thing I tell out pitchers when I’m out at second so that’s the mindset I have too.”
Northern Colorado struggled on both sides of the ball as it was held to one run on only three hits as a run-scoring double from senior third baseman Billy Moreland that drove in freshman Cooper Rust who had entered as a pinch-hitter and reached base via a single. The only other hit came from sophomore outfielder Hayden Heinze as the Bears were stymied for the duration of the game by Nebraska pitching.
Things were not much better for the Bears on the pitching and defense side of the ball as Northern Colorado committed two errors as a team and surrendered the eight runs on nine hits. Six pitchers had to be used to get through the eight innings of work for the Bears as senior Jordan Schiefer struggled in his start as he was only able to get through the first allowing four runs off of three hits and one walk.
Junior Paul Falco pitched the next two innings allowing four runs, six hits and a walk before freshman Iain Isdale pitched the next inning. Junior Daylon Matthews pitched the next two innings allowing only one walk as freshman Hunter Miller and junior Ashton Mansur both worked clean innings besides each walking one to finish the pitching for Northern Colorado.
The Huskers will next take the field against Wichita State as they will travel down to Kansas for a four-game series that will begin on Friday, March 13 at 3:00 p.m.