Huskers Start Strong in 12-4 Win Over Rutgers
Piscataway, N.J. – The Nebraska baseball (17-20, 4-8 Big Ten) hammered 19 hits in a 12-4 win over Rutgers to even the series at Bainton Field on Saturday afternoon.
Five Huskers had multi-hit performances, including Gunner Hellstrom, who went 5-for-6. Jesse Wilkening was a home run away from the cycle, as he went 4-for-6.
Junior right-hander Matt Waldron, who made his eighth start of the season, recorded seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings. He allowed three runs (two earned runs) on seven hits and walked three Scarlet Knights. Mike Waldron earned the save in 3.0 innings of work, allowing one run and recorded two strikeouts.
The Huskers scored five runs in the top of the first on three hits, while Rutgers committed one error. Scott Schreiber drew a one-out walk, but Nebraska did the majority of its damage with two outs. Jaxon Hallmark singled to advance Schreiber to third before a wild pitch scored Schreiber. Hellstrom hit an RBI single to bring in Hallmark before Luke Roskam walked. Zac Repinski singled to drive in Hellstrom and advance Roskam to second base. Carter Cross reached on a fielding error by Rutgers, as two Huskers scored on the play. Rutgers scored one run on two hits in the bottom of the first, but a play at the plate ended the inning without allowing an additional run.
Nebraska added a run in the top of the second to make its lead 6-1. Wilkening hit a one-out single before Hellstrom hit a two-out single to advance him to second. Roskam laced an RBI single to drive in Wilkening. Despite a single by Repinski, Hellstrom was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Rutgers had a leadoff single, but a fielder’s choice followed by a double play ended a scoreless frame for the Scarlet Knights.
Mojo Hagge hit a leadoff home run in the top of the third. Joe Acker reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Wilkening’s two-out RBI single drove in Acker as the Huskers extended their lead to 8-1. Rutgers managed a two-out hit in the third, but he was picked off at first base to end the inning.
Repinski smashed a home run with one out in the fourth to extend NU’s advantage to 9-1. Hagge walked in the subsequent spot, but was left stranded when the inning ended. Waldron struck out the first two Scarlet Knights in the fourth before a single, but the Huskers left him stranded.
Nebraska had a scoreless inning for the first time in the game in the fifth frame. Wilkening hit a one-out double and Hellstrom had a single. Rutgers managed two hits to cut the Husker lead to 9-3, but Waldron recorded three strikeouts during the bottom of the fifth.
Repinski walked in the leadoff spot in the top of the sixth. After stealing second, he scored on a double by Altavilla. The run extended NU’s lead to 10-3. Rutgers left one on base in a scoreless bottom of the sixth.
NU scored one run in the seventh to extend its lead to 11-3. Wilkening roped a leadoff triple before Hallmark walked. Hellstrom hit an RBI single to drive in Wilkening. Rutgers went down in order in the bottom of the seventh.
Acker walked in the eighth, but the Huskers left him stranded. The Scarlet Knights went down in order in the bottom of the eighth.
Hallmark drew a one-out walk in the top of the ninth before Hellstrom and Roskam strung together back-to-back singles. NU scored one run to extend its lead to 12-3. Rutgers managed one run in the bottom of the ninth.
The Huskers and Scarlet Knights wrap up their three-game series on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT).