Lincoln - In front of the largest home Nebraska baseball crowd in two years, seven runs in the first three innings gave an effective Huskers pitching staff more than enough support to earn the series victory with a 9-2 win over Penn State on Saturday at Hawks Field. The official attendance of 6,082 and a Big Red victory made for an ideal day for baseball in Lincoln.
The early NU attack was aided by a quality performance on the mound from Aaron Bummer who went 7.0 innings on 96 pitches as he allowed four hits and one earned run. Despite four walks, Bummer racked up six strikeouts, his second highest total of the year to improve his record to 5-3. Jake Hohensee came on in relief to throw the final two innings and record four punch outs. The lone PSU runs came on a bases loaded walk in the fourth and a passed ball in the ninth.
At the dish for NU, four hitters recorded multiple hits in the victory with Ryan Boldt pacing the offense with three RBIs on the day. The Huskers registered their second multi-home run game of the year as Pat Kelly and Austin Darby both went yard off PSU pitching. Ben Miller also added a pair of hits and two runs scored.
Senior Michael Pritchard wasted no time extending his current hit streak to 12 games with a single to right in the top of the first as he moved into the 13th position alone on the NU all-time career list with 235 hits.
Kelly drove home the first run of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly to center field. Sophomore Jake Placzek tagged up on the play from third and scored to give NU an early 1-0 edge. After pulling a few pitches deep but foul, Darby connected on a 3-2 pitch and sailed it over the right center field fence for a two-run home run, his first of the year to extend the lead to 3-0.
The Big Red offense continued to hit the ball hard in the home-half of the second and benefited from a Nittany Lion error to increase the NU lead to 4-0. After Miller singled to start the frame, the freshman advanced to third after a throwing error and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Boldt.
In the bottom of the third, the Huskers put together three runs on four hits to take a 7-0 advantage. Steven Reveles walked to put two guys on for Miller who ripped a single through the right side to plate Blake Headley. Taylor Fish stretched the lead with an RBI single through the left side to score Reveles before Boldt earned his second RBI of the day with a base hit up the middle to cap the rally.
Kelly started the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff home run deep to the berm in left field to increase the NU lead to 8-1. Boldt capped the scoring for NU in the eighth with a one-out single up the middle to plate Ty Kildow, who pinch ran earlier in the inning.
Darby now has nine multiple RBI games this year after his second consecutive day with two RBI, while Boldt has five multiple RBI games this year after his third three-RBI outing.
The Huskers will go for the series sweep tomorrow at 11:05 a.m. Greg Sharpe and Lane Grindle will have the call on the Husker Sports Network, including for free on Huskers.com.