The Husker baseball team dropped the first game of their weekend series against the Iowa Hawkeyes 3-2 on Friday night.
Senior pitcher Matt Waldron had a strong outing for Nebraska. He pitched 7.2 innings, striking out six while allowing no walks and allowing two runs on eight hits..
Iowa put its own senior pitcher on the mound in the form of Cole McDonald. He pitched six innings and gave up six hits and two runs, struck out four batters and walked two.
Freshman infielder Spencer Schwellenbach and junior outfielder Joe Acker each hit singles in the top of the first inning for Nebraska, but the Huskers failed to scratch any runs across. Waldron got off to a strong start on the mound for Nebraska in the bottom of the first inning, retiring the Hawkeyes in order.
Neither team produced a baserunner in the second inning and Nebraska failed again to put someone on base in the top of the third inning. Iowa appeared to be headed the same way as Waldron stayed strong and retired the first two batters he faced in the inning.
With two outs, Iowa junior outfielder Zeb Adreon doubled down the right field line for the Hawkeyes first hit of the game. The next batter, senior infielder Chris Whelan singled to left field to score Adreon and give Iowa a 1-0 lead heading into the fourth inning.
Nebraska wasted little time responding in the top of the fourth inning. Senior infielder Angelo Altavilla led off the inning with a walk and eventually advanced to third on back-to-back groundouts, putting him 90 feet from scoring with two outs.
Junior outfielder Mojo Hagge tied the game with a infield single that brought Altavilla across home plate, but the Huskers weren’t done in the inning. Hagge stole second to put himself in scoring position and freshman infielder Cam Chick hit an RBI single to right field, giving Nebraska a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Waldron settled back into his groove and sat down the Hawkeye batters in order.
Nebraska came close to expanding its lead in the top of the fifth, loading the bases up with two outs. Hagge, however, grounded out to end the Huskers scoring chance. Waldron, still holding to a one-run advantage in the bottom of the fifth inning, stayed locked in and once again retired the Iowa hitters without allowing a baserunner.
Chick led off the top of the sixth for Nebraska with a single, but the next three Husker batters were all retired to bring a quick end to the half inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Whelan doubled to begin the inning for Iowa before advancing to third on a balk. Two batters later, junior catcher Austin Martin singled to score Whelan and tie the game at two.
The two teams then combined for just three baserunners over the next two innings of play, sending the game to the ninth inning with the score deadlocked at two. In the eighth, Waldron was replaced on the mound by junior pitcher Robbie Palkert.
Senior infielder Alex Henwood reached on a hit-by-pitch for Nebraska to start the top of the ninth, but he was caught stealing for the first out of the inning. The Huskers failed to produce any other baserunners in the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Iowa got its leadoff man on as senior infielder Tanner Wetrich singled to reach base. The Hawkeyes then attempted a sac bunt with junior outfielder Justin Jenkins in the batter’s box, but it turned into a fielder’s choice as Wetrich was thrown out at second for the first out.
Jenkins stole second as sophomore infielder Tanner Padgett struck out to put a runner on second for Iowa with two outs. Then Adreon, who had the first hit of the day for Iowa, earned the final hit of the game by slapping a single to right field to score Jenkins and give the Hawkeyes a 3-2 walk off victory.
Game two of the series is set to begin on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. The game will be televised on BTN.