Huskers Silence Gophers in Game 1
Minneapolis, Minn. – The Nebraska baseball team (13-8, 4-1 Big Ten) crushed Minnesota, 10-1, during the first game of a doubleheader at Siebert Field on Sunday afternoon. It marked Darin Erstad's 100th conference win as the head coach at Nebraska.
Senior left-hander Nate Fisher, making his sixth start of the season, continued the trend of strong starts for the Huskers as he tied his career high with 8.0 innings. He also matched his career high in strikeouts with seven. He allowed only one run and one walk. Mike Waldron came on for the final 1.0 inning of relief.
In the opening frame, Nebraska scored three runs to take an early lead. Joe Acker drew a one-out walk before stealing second. Gunner Hellstrom singled to drive in Acker before Luke Roskam blasted a two-run home run to right field. In the bottom of the first, Minnesota managed one hit, but left the runner stranded at third in a scoreless frame.
Nebraska managed one baserunner via hit-by-pitch in the second, but left him on base. The Gophers’ lone baserunner walked in the leadoff spot, but was caught stealing. That out was bookended by a pair of flyouts.
In the top of the third, Aaron Palensky drew a one-out walk before Hellstrom singled to put runners at the corners. But a strikeout and groundout left the runners stranded. The Gophers went down in order in the bottom of the third as Fisher recorded a pair of strikeouts.
Nebraska added three runs in the top of the fourth to build a 6-0 lead. Angelo Altavilla drew a leadoff walk before stealing second. Colby Gomes singled before a fielder’s choice cut down Altavilla at third. Acker laced a two-RBI single to drive in both runners. Palensky also singled before Hellstrom was walked. A passed ball and wild pitch brought in Acker. In the bottom of the fourth, Fisher struck out the side while allowing one hit.
The Huskers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Jordan Kozicky hit a home run in the bottom of the fifth to put the Gophers on the board at 6-1. Minnesota’s next batter singled, but three consecutive batters flied out.
In the top of the sixth, Hallmark drew a leadoff walk before he was thrown out a fielder’s choice. The next two batters struck out. One Gopher batter reached on a one-out error, but a double play ended the frame.
Nebraska plated two runs in the top of the seventh to extend its lead to 8-1. Each of the first four Husker hitters reached on either walk or hit-by-pitch. Hallmark drove in one run with a one-out RBI single before back-to-back strikeouts. The Gophers went down in order in the bottom of the seventh.
NU’s first two batters reached in the top of the eighth on a hit-by-pitch and a walk, but a strikeout and double play ended a scoreless inning. Fisher retired all three Gopher batters in the top of the eighth.
NU tacked on two more runs in the top of the ninth to build a 10-1 advantage. After Hallmark laced a two-out single, Mojo Hagge smashed his second home run of the weekend. NU left two runners on after Acker doubled and Palensky walked. The Gophers went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.
The second game of Sunday’s doubleheader will begin at 2:55 p.m. (CT).