Huskers Pound Bears, 12-2, Sweep Series
Lincoln – The Nebraska baseball team (5-6, 0-0 Big Ten) finished off a two-game sweep of the Northern Colorado Bears (6-9, 0-0 WAC) on Wednesday afternoon with a 12-2 victory. The Husker offense totaled 14 hits, while the Bears committed six errors and a Hawks Field record five wild pitches.
The Huskers got three hits each from Mojo Hagge and Jesse Wilkening, while Luke Roskam and Brison Cronenbold each chipped in a pair of hits. Roskam also matched Angelo Altavilla for the team lead with two RBIs.
Senior Ben Miller made his second career pitching start on Wednesday, with his other start coming at Kansas State on March 26, 2014. The 6-4 lefty tossed a pair of shutout innings in his first appearance on the mound since Feb. 20, 2016.
Junior Reece Eddins picked up his first win over the year in 3.2 innings of work behind Miller. Eddins retired the first nine Bears he faced. Three Husker reliever worked after Eddins and combined to allow one hit over 3.1 shutout innings.
The Bears put pressure on Miller right away with a walk to start the game followed by a single. The lefty quickly extinguished the threat with a strikeout and a lineout double play.
Miller put the Bears down in order in the second and his offense gave him a 1-0 lead. Wilkening reached on a one-out single and was soon at third following a two-base error on a failed pickoff. With two out, Hagge plated Wilkening with a single to right field.
Northern Colorado looked to answer in the top of the third when it got a leadoff single and a walk, setting the table for the top of the order. Nebraska turned the ball over to Eddins and he got the Huskers out of the jam unscathed with a foul out, a fly out and a line out.
After Eddins kept the Husker lead intact, NU’s offense added three runs in the third, all with two outs, giving the Huskers a 4-0 lead. With a runner on first and two down, Roskam notched his first RBI as a Husker with a double to the left-center field gap. It was the first of three-straight two-out doubles, as Wilkening and Cronenbold followed with doubles, marking the first time Huskers had recorded three straight doubles since April 15, 2014 against Kansas State.
Northern Colorado cut Nebraska’s lead in half in the sixth with a pair of runs on three hits. Following a leadoff single and a one-out double the Bears had two in scoring position and Jack Pauley drove in NC’s first run with a sacrifice fly. Brett Minnick followed with a RBI double and the Huskers went to lefty reliever Nate Fisher. The sophomore from Yutan put an end to the rally with a foul fly out.
Nebraska’s offense got the runs back in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs on two hits. Cronenbold led off with a bunt single and later scored on a wild pitch, while Hagge scored on a sacrifice fly by Altavilla.
With the bullpen shutting down the Bears’ offense, the Huskers put the game away with two more runs in the seventh and four runs in the eighth. All nine batters came to the plate in NU’s final at bat.
The Huskers continue their eight-game homestand this weekend with a three-game series against the Western Carolina Catamounts. The series opener is scheduled for Friday afternoon at 4:05 p.m.