Tempe, Ariz. – Chance Sinclair gave the Nebraska baseball team 7.0 innings in his first start as a Husker and earned the win, as Nebraska improved to 2-1 on the year with a 7-4 victory over the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
On the mound, Sinclair gave up just two runs, both unearned, on three hits, while Josh Roeder picked up his second save in three games after securing the final two outs of the ninth inning. Sinclair sent the Zags down in order three times on the afternoon, including the seventh inning.
Austin Darby led the Huskers at the plate with a 3-for-4 afternoon, including a triple and a double, while Michael Pritchard picked up his third triple of the weekend and Blake Headley added a triple to give the Huskers seven triples in three games. Nebraska hit 13 triples all last season.
Through three game Pritchard (5-for-10) and Pat Kelly (6-for-12) are each hitting .500 on the year, while Pritchard leads the team with five RBIs and Kelly is close behind with four.
The Huskers squandered a pair of early opportunities when Darby led off the bottom of the first with a double and Headley led off the second with a triple, but neither crossed the plate. NU broke through in the third when Pritchard drove in Christian Cox and Steven Reveles with a triple and then scored himself on a double by Kelly. The Zags responded in the top of the fourth with a pair of runs, but both were unearned, including when Caleb Wood scored from third on a balk when Sinclair dropped the ball out of his glove while on the pitching rubber.
Nebraska’s offense got one run back for its starter in the bottom of the frame on a two-out triple from Darby that scored Austin Christensen, who was hit-by-pitch to start the inning.
The two teams then went scoreless for three innings, before the Huskers plated three insurance runs. With one down and runners on the corners, Taylor Fish laid down a squeeze that score Ryan Boldt to put the Huskers ahead 5-2. Nebraska wasn’t done though, as Cox and Darby both came through with two-out singles that each scored a run to give Nebraska a 7-2 lead heading into the ninth.
The Huskers turned to freshman Jake Hohensee to start the ninth and the first-year right-handed hit the first batter he faced. After getting a ground ball for the first out, he then walked the bases loaded before Nicholas Minter cut the Husker lead to four with an RBI single. With the bases still loaded and the tying run at the plate, Roeder came in and give up a base hit that scored one run, but then got a 6-4-3 double play ball the sealed the Husker victory.
The Huskers wrap up their opening weekend tomorrow with another game against the Zags, when the two squads meet at 1 p.m. (CT). Greg Sharpe and Lane Grindle will have the call on the Husker Sports Network, including Huskers.com and the Official Husker App.