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Nebraska baseball wins series-opener despite slow start

Husker Baseball Scott Schreiber

Nebraska baseball (13-12) hit the road to Colombus, Ohio to take on Ohio State (17-7) this weekend. The Buckeyes are one of the Big Ten’s best offenses, leading the league in nearly every offensive category, including runs scored per game, on-base percentage, and RBIs. This series will act as a huge test for the Huskers who have had an up-and-down year both on the mound and offensively.

Ohio State’s offense opened up the scoring early, plating one in the first inning. With a runner on first, Noah McGowan doubled past a diving Jaxon Hallmark down the line in right field, giving the Buckeyes the early 1-0 lead. McGowan was caught out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple to end the inning.

The Buckeyes kept the pressure on, scoring more in the bottom of the second inning. After a Conner Pohl infield single, Nate Romans blasted a two-run home run to centerfield to extend Ohio State’s lead to three. Sloppy defensive play and a walk from Alvarado quickly loaded the bases for the Buckeyes. Alvarado forced a groundout to Altavilla to escape the jam.

After consecutive 1-2-3 innings for Nebraska at the plate, the Huskers were finally able to jump on the board in the top of the fourth. Scott Schreiber led off the inning, blasting a home run to left field to give the Big Red some momentum. After a Luke Roskam walk and Repinski double to pus both runners in scoring position for the Huskers, Jaxon Hallmark hit a slow-rolling groundball to the first base side to score Roskam from third. Gunner Hellstrom followed Hallmark with a two-out single to centerfield to score Repinski and tie the game at three.

Following a leadoff single from Joe Acker in the top of the fifth inning, Angelo Altavilla laid a bunt down along the third base line. The throw to first was wide of the bag, bringing home Acker all the way from first and advancing Altavilla to third. Schreiber kept things rolling, singling to centerfield to score Altavilla and extend Nebraska lead, 5-3.

“I’m just trying to keep things simple, especially staying through the ball,” Schreiber said to BTN following the game. “(I’m) just sticking to my approach and making sure that I continue to work on that each and every day.”

Alvarado started the eighth inning with two strikeouts before giving up a two-out single. The hit brought Ted Silva out of the dugout, calling for Jake Hohensee out of the bullpen. Nebraska’s closer struck out the Ohio State batter to escape the inning.

Alvarado pitched a career-high 7.2 innings, giving up three runs off of seven hits while striking out five.

“The one thing (Alvarado) did fantastic was locate his fastball. He really pounded fastballs in and made some huge pitches,” head coach Darin Erstad said following the outing. “That was probably the best fastball command I’ve seen him have and as a starting pitcher that’s the number one thing you have to have.”

The Husker bats weren’t quite finished, adding a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning. With Hallmark on second, Mojo Hagge tripled to the wall in left-center to score Hallmark. With the infield in, Ben Klenke, pinch-hitting for Acker, singled to right field to score Hagge from third.

Hohensee gave up a two-out single, fielder’s choice, and walk in the ninth to load the bases up for the Buckeyes, but struck out the next batter to earn the save and give Nebraska the 7-3 win.

The win for the Huskers is the first series-opening win on the year.

Husker MVP – Scott Schreiber – Schreiber was the catalyst for Nebraska’s offensive success tonight. The senior was 3-5 at the dish with two-RBIs, opening the scoring up with a home run and singling home Altavilla the next inning. The Wisconsin native, who went 3-3 in last Saturday’s matchup to top Minnesota, continues to ride his early season success. The home run today was his seventh of the year, leading the team.

The second game of the series is set to start at 12:05 p.m. (CT) tomorrow. Matt Waldron (2-1) is set to start on the mound for the Huskers. You can listen to the game through the Huskers Sports Network, or watch it on BTN+ ($).

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