Chamberlain improved to 4-0 on the season, allowing two runs – solo homers by Tim Pahuta and John Walsh – on four hits over the first eight frames. The sophomore right-hander, who has a 0.83 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 32.2 innings this season, got stronger as the game went on, retiring the final 11 hitters he faced and allowed only one hit after Pahuta's leadoff homer in the fourth.
The win, the Huskers' eighth straight, improved Nebraska to 16-2 on the season, equaling its best 18-game start since 1998. It is also only the third time that Nebraska has ever opened a year with at least 16 wins in its first 18 contests.
Seton Hall threatened in the ninth, loading the bases with no outs on a hit batter and two walks and put the tying run at the plate. Brett Jensen (Eagle Grove, Iowa) then squelched the rally by retiring the next three Pirates, including a pair of strikeouts, to record his fourth save.
Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson said that he was pleased with the win, as well as the lessons his team learned after the slow start and tense finish.
"There are a lot of valuable lessons that can come from this game, from the first three innings to how we finished the game," Anderson said. "They put some pressure on us late. We kind of had the assumption that we were going to win. We need to know that you have to take those wins, you can't just assume them. This is a good win that has the ability to be a great win if we apply what we learned today."
The Huskers, who trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth, took advantage of a pair of Seton Hall (3-8) errors to plate five runs off starter Jake Haggerty. Brandon Fusilier (Coppell, Texas) pulled NU within 2-1 with a solo homer to right, his team-best seventh round tripper of the year before the floodgates opened.
Brandon Buckman's grounder was misplayed by second baseman Mike Young for an error, a miscue that proved to be costly, as Curtis Ledbetter (Lawrence, Kan.) then singled to right, and the ball went under the glove of Seton Hall right fielder Brandon Cohen for a three-base error that allowed both runners to score.
The Huskers kept applying pressure, as Bruce reached on a bunt single and stole both second and third before a walk to Christy put runners on the corners. Freshman Jake Opitz (Littleton, Colo.) gave the Huskers a 4-2 lead with an RBI single to right before Jesse Boyer's (Littleton, Colo.) safety squeeze plated NU's fifth run of the frame.
Nebraska added to its lead in the seventh off Haggerty, as Christy's RBI single to center scored Bruce, who doubled to right center. Haggerty pitched well in defeat for Seton Hall, allowing six runs – four earned – while striking out seven over seven innings of work.
The series continues Saturday afternoon with a 1:05 p.m. start. Left-hander Zach Kroenke (1-0, 3.72 ERA) takes the hill for Nebraska while Tim Sabo (0-2, 9.00 ERA) gets the starting nod for Seton Hall.