Nebraska: 4 Utah: 3

Nebraska got back into the win column on Sunday afternoon with a 4-3 win over Utah.


Surprise, Ariz. – After dropping a 7-5 decision to the defending Pac-12 champion Utah Utes (5-2, 0-0 Pac-12) on Friday night, the Nebraska baseball team (2-4, 0-0 Big Ten) responded with a 4-3 victory on Sunday afternoon. The Huskers outhit the Utes, 10-3, on the day, while relievers Chad Luensmann and Luis Alvarado combined for 4.2 shutout innings, with Luensmann earning his first win of the season and Alvarado earning his first career save.


Freshman Mojo Hagge continued to swing a hot stick in 2017, as the Omaha native went 3-for-5 with a run and a RBI. Sophomore Angelo Altavilla also produced a multi-hit game, going 2-for-5. In two games against the Utes this weekend Altavilla went 6-for-9 with three doubles and four RBIs.


After missing the entire 2016 season following Tommy John surgery, junior Jake Hohensee was back on the mound for the Huskers on Sunday. The junior from Lincoln hadn’t pitched in a college game in 653 days and showed little rust, as he retired the first six batters he faced. Hohensee went 4.1 innings for the Huskers and was tagged for three runs on two hits, but only one run was earned.


For the first time all weekend the Huskers took a lead, scoring a run in the top of the first on a two-out single by Scott Schreiber. Hitting in the leadoff spot for the first time this season Hagge led off the game with a single and was soon at third following a two-base throwing error on a failed pickoff by Utah starter Josh Lapiana. The Utah lefty responded with back-to-back strikeouts and nearly got out of the jam, but Schreiber came through with a RBI single to give the Huskers a 1-0 lead.


Hohensee then took the mound for the first time since he threw at Illinois on May 15, 2015, and put the Utes down in order, including strikeouts of the first two batters he faced. Hohensee retired the first six Utes he faced before issuing a leadoff walk to Chandler Anderson in the third. Hohensee retired the next two batters and then picked off Anderson to face the minimum though three innings.


Nebraska’s offense then went to work and tacked on three runs to give Hohensee a 4-0 lead. A leadoff walk by Schreiber along with back-to-back singles by Alvarado and Luke Roskam quickly loaded the bases for the Huskers with no out. Mike Waldron worked a walk that plated a run before Lapiana struck out Brady Childs for the first out of the inning. Lapiana nearly got an inning-ending double play off the bat of Alex Raburn, but the Husker shortstop beat the throw to first and another run came into score. The NU lineup rolled over and Hagge picked up his second hit of the game, a RBI single that plated Roskam. Lapiana put an end to the top of the fourth with his seventh strikeout of the game.


Utah answered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of a Husker error. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. led off with a triple and after a ground out the Utes had runners on the corners following a walk to Dallas Carroll. Hohensee executed and got what looked to be a potential 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Hunter Simmons, but the ball went under Raburn’s glove at shortstop, which scored a run and continued the inning. After a walk loaded the bases, the Utes got a RBI single and a sacrifice fly before a groundout ended the frame, but not before the Utes cut Nebraska’s lead to 4-3.


The Utes had the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with one out in the fifth for their No. 3 and 4 hitters, but Luensmann came in and ended the threat with a strikeout and a fly out to keep the Huskers in front.


After coming on in the fifth Luensmann retired 10 straight Utes before plunking Hunter Simmons with two out in the bottom of the eighth. The right hander went right back to work and got a pop out off the bat of Josh Rose to end the inning.


With a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth the Huskers turned the ball to Alvarado, who was making his second career appearance on the mound and first save opportunity. Wade Gulden welcomed Alvarado with a line-drive single to center, putting the tying run on base. Alvarado responded with a strikeout, a fly out and a groundout to end the game.


The Huskers will be back in action next weekend at the Frisco College Classic in Frisco, Texas. The Huskers will face Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Arizona over three days at Dr Pepper Ballpark, starting with the Cowboys on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.  

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