NU MEDIA RELATIONS:
Papillion, Neb. – The Nebraska baseball team (17-10-1, 2-0-1 Big Ten) notched is ninth straight victory over the Omaha Mavericks (6-21, 4-5 Summit) night at Werner Park with a 3-1 victory. The Huskers overcame a season-high three errors and were limited to seven hits, after averaging 11.3 hits over their last seven games.
The Mavericks had their chances on the night, as they left 12 runners on bases, including the bases loaded three times.
Chad Luensmann got the final seven outs of the game for his team-high fifth save of the season. Luensmann now has sole possession of third place on NU’s all-time saves list with 18 career saves after entering the night tied with Thom Ott (2000-01).
The Huskers jumped on the board in the top of the first, cashing in a one-out walk. Jake Meyers worked his 13th walk of the season, stole his 11th base of the year and then scored on a RBI single by Scott Schreiber. Ben Miller followed with a single but then Omaha starter Shane Meltz got out of the early jam with a 5-3 double play.
Meltz put the Huskers down in order in the top of the second and the Mavs tied the game ,1-1, in the bottom of the frame. Nebraska committed consecutive errors to start the frame and the Mavs were able to take advantage. With two on and no out Nebraska starter Ethan Frazier picked up his second strikeout of the game and should have been out of the inning, but instead Parker Smejkal came to the plate and the Omaha third baseman delivered a RBI single. After a fly out, Frazier walked No. 9 hitter Adam Caniglia, loading the bases, but left them loaded with an inning-ending fly out.
The Huskers put together a two-out threat in the top of the third when it got a pair of two-out singles from Meyers and Schreiber, as well as a walk to Miller that loaded the bases. Luis Alvarado stepped in an hit a line drive back at Meltz, who was able to knocked it down and retire Alvarado at first.
Omaha also loaded the bases in the third, but left them packed for the second straight inning. After Frazier gave up a one-out single, he issued a pair of walks and Nate Fisher took over. The sophomore left hander put out the fire with a strikeout and a pop out.
James Smith took over for Meltz in the top of the fourth and went on to retire nine straight Huskers before Luke Roskam snapped the streak with a leadoff single in the seventh. With Smith cruising the Mavs’ offense was able to get a runner in scoring position in both the fourth and sixth innings, but was unable to plate a run.
Omaha left the bases loaded for the third time on the night in the bottom of the sixth. With the bases full and two down No. 3 hitter Grant Suponchick hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield, where Jake Schleppenbach made a diving stop and fired to first to keep the go-ahead run from scoring.
After Roskam led off the seventh with a single, the Huskers brought in pinch-runner Alex Henwood. With one down Schleppenbach notched NU’s second single of the inning and Henwood went 1st-to-3rd, putting the go-ahead run 90 feet from home. Smith struck out Brady Childs for the second out, but then with Angelo Altavilla at the plate Smith uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Henwood to score, putting the Huskers in front 2-1. Smith was able to limit the damage to one run with an inning-ending pop out of the bat of Altavilla.
Chad Luensmann retired the bottom of Omaha’s lineup in the eighth and then NU added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. With one down Brison Cronenbold worked a walk and then went 1st-to-3rd on a single by Mojo Hagge, who broke out of an 0-for-18 slump. Schleppenbach then drove in Cronenbold with an RBI fielder’s choice, as Schleppenbach beat out the potential inning-ending double play.
Omaha got its leadoff man on in the bottom of the ninth when Luensmann hit Sam Palensky, but Luensmann retired the next three batters in order, including two strikeouts, to secure the win.
The Huskers will be back at Hawks Field this weekend for a three-game Big Ten series against the Maryland Terrapins. The series opener is scheduled for night, while game is set for and finale has been moved up one hour to