The Nebraska baseball team bounced back from a stunning extra-inning loss to Minnesota and dominated the Gophers Saturday night.
Nebraska tied the series at one game apiece with a 10-1 win against the Gophers in Minnesota. The Huskers improved to 13-8 overall and 4-1 in Big Ten play while Minnesota fell to 10-13 and picked up its first conference loss.
Nebraska came out swinging as its offense had three runs in the first inning. Minnesota’s starting pitcher Patrick Frederickson walked junior center fielder Joe Acker and then Acker stole second base. Sophomore catcher Gunner Hellstrom then hit a single into right field to score Acker. After a Frederickson wild pitch, Hellstrom stole second. Then, junior Luke Roskam hit his second home run of the season and extended the lead to 3-0.
With the Huskers clicking on offense, the defense followed behind senior starting pitcher Nate Fisher. Fisher gave up only four hits, six strikeouts and a solo home run to Jordan Kozicky in the fifth inning.
After the first-inning explosion, Nebraska’s offense went cold for a while, but the defense remained stellar. The Huskers had one hit during this stretch, but the Gophers couldn’t muster any hits.
In the fourth inning, the Husker offense came back to take ahold of the game. Senior shortstop Angelo Altavilla walked and stole second while freshman first baseman Colby Gomes hit a single. The first out came when sophomore second baseman Jaxon Hallmark’s bunt fell too close to the pitcher and he threw Altavilla out at third base.
A groundout from junior Mojo Hagge advanced Hallmark and Gomes to second and third base. Acker hit a single into left field, which scored both runners. Nebraska then led 5-0 which forced Minnesota to replace Frederickson with Jake Stevenson.
Stevenson gave up another run due to two wild pitches that scored Acker from second. Nebraska led 6-0 after four innings and held strong despite giving up a home run.
A part of Nebraska’s offensive success in the first game of the doubleheader was its ability to steal bases. The Huskers stole four times with no one caught stealing.
After another scoreless two innings for Nebraska, the Husker offense clicked in the seventh inning. This time, Stevenson struggled with his composure as he walked the first three Husker batters and created a bases loaded opportunity with no outs.
With the bases loaded, pitcher Ryan Duffy replaced Stevenson at the mound. That did not matter as Altavilla and Hellstrom walked home, extending the lead to 7-1. Duffy struck out Gomes but then gave up an RBI single to Acker. Despite the bad situation early on, the Gophers gave up only two runs.
The Gophers could not muster any sort of response as they went hitless the last three innings. Fisher’s complete game performance was due in part to the fielders doing their job as they only had one error in the first game on Sunday.
With the game well out of hand, Hagge hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning to ice the game and the Huskers won 10-1.
Nebraska finishes the series at 3 p.m. on Sunday. They then travel to play Kansas State on April 2 at 6 p.m.