Nebraska: 3 Cal Pol: 2

The Nebraska baseball team (10-9, 0-0 Big Ten) held off a late charge by the Cal Poly Mustangs (7-13, 0-0 Big West) on Thursday night.


San Luis Obispo – The Nebraska baseball team (10-9, 0-0 Big Ten) held off a late charge by the Cal Poly Mustangs (7-13, 0-0 Big West) on Thursday night at Baggett Stadium, as the Huskers took the series opener 3-2.


The Huskers had a 3-0 lead after the sixth and the Mustangs cut the lead to one with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Mustangs managed just one base runner the rest of the game, as relievers Robbie Palkert and Luis Alvarado polished off the win. Palkert struck out three and tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless relief, while Alvarado tossed a perfect ninth and struck out two for his second save of the season.


After tossing a career-high 6.2 innings last week against the College of Charleston, NU starter Jake Hohensee matched the outing on Thursday night. The junior allowed just one run on three hits and one walk over his 6.2 innings. Other than the second inning when Cal Poly loaded the bases with two out, Hohensee never allowed more than one runner to reach base and faced the minimum in an inning five times.


Cal Poly’s Erich Uelmen went 6.0 innings and struck out five Huskers, but did allow three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk. The junior right hander cost himself a pair of runs in the first when a run scored on a failed pickoff and another on a wild pitch.


The Huskers were able to get Hohensee some early support, scoring a pair of runs in the first. Angelo Altavilla led off the game with a single but was then cleared off the bases on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jake Meyers. Scott Schreiber delivered the second hit of the inning, a single, and Meyers went 1st-to-3rd putting runners on the corners with one down. Uelmen then tried to pick off Schreiber at first, but instead threw the ball wide of the bag and Meyers easily scored to give the Huskers a 1-0 lead. With Schreiber in scoring position at second, Ben Miller flew out to right, but Schreiber tagged up and took third, which was important because with Luis Alvarado at the plate Uelmen uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Schreiber to score.


Working with a 2-0 lead, Hohensee put the Mustangs down in order in the bottom of the first. Cal Poly loaded the bases in the second on a hit-by-pitch, a single and a two out walk, but Hohensee got out of the jam with a 3-1 groundout. After the shaky second inning Hohensee got back in a groove and retired Cal Poly in order in both the third and fourth.


After giving up the single to Schreiber in the first, Uelman sat down 13 straight Huskers before Jake Schleppenbach worked a two-out walk in the fifth. Uelman went right back to work and got a fly out to end the frame. 


Hohensee retired his eighth straight Mustang to start the bottom of the fifth before Scott Ogrin notched Cal Poly’s second hit of the game with a bloop single. Hohensee then got behind 3-0 to No. 9 hitter Jack Kuzma, but battled back to a full count and got Kuzma to bounce into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.


Following another quick inning from Hohensee, the Huskers added to their lead in the top of the sixth. Meyers picked up NU’s third hit of the game with a one-out single and looked like he might be stranded after Schreiber flew out. With Miller up and two down, Meyers stole second and then scored on a RBI double by Miller, which ended up being the game-winning run. Working with a 3-0 lead, Hohensee retired the top of Cal Poly’s lineup in order on six pitches in the bottom of the sixth.


Hohensee retired the first two Mustangs in the bottom of the seventh before Elijah Skipps dropped a single into right field. The Huskers went to reliever Jake McSteen, who gave up three straight soft singles that plated two runs. With the tying run at third base the Huskers brought in Palkert and the sophomore retired leadoff hitter Alex McKenna, keeping the Huskers in front, 3-2.


Palkert came back out for the bottom of the eighth to face Cal Poly’s 2-3-4 hitters. The right hander struck out the first two batters he faced before allowing a single to Nick Meyer. With the tying run on base Palkert struck out Kyle Marinconz to end the frame.


Alvarado took the mound in the ninth and made quick work of the Mustangs. Following a fly out to left, Alvarado struck out the final two Mustangs of the game.


The series continues tomorrow at 4 p.m. (CT). The game was originally scheduled for 8 p.m., but was moved up due to forecasted weather.

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