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Hohensee, defense lead Huskers to 3-2 victory

FINAL STATS

Nebraska used stellar pitching and defense to pull out a 3-2 victory over Cal Poly on Thursday night in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Junior RHP Jake Hohensee (2-2, 1.35 ERA) put together a solid outing for the Huskers (10-9), as he only allowed three hits over 6.2 innings while striking out two. Hohensee threw a total of 102 pitches, the most he’s thrown since coming off Tommy John surgery.

“That arm is as good as you’re going to see it,” head coach Darin Erstad said on his post-game radio show on the Husker Sports Network. “He did a great job of putting up zeroes. He was kind of scared at the start, but he found his way out of a couple jams.”

As for sophomore reliever Jake McSteen, it was a night to forget. McSteen came in during the bottom of the seventh with two outs, but failed to close out the inning and allowed two runs. McSteen led the team with a 1.29 ERA entering Thursday night’s game.

Nebraska's offense couldn’t get much going all night, but the hero might have been senior first-baseman Ben Miller.

Miller hit a two-out double that brought home junior outfielder Jake Meyers, which ended up being the fourth and final hit for NU in the game.

“I was sitting on the bench saying he was due for a one-off the end,” Erstad said. “Then he smokes one in the gap anyway. I can’t wait for them to start falling for Benny, because they are going to fall in bunches, and it was great to see him get that huge hit.”

Sophomore RHP Robbie Palkert came in with two men on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh and was an instant impact. Palkert caused a ground out to end the inning and followed that up with three strikeouts in the eighth.

“Robbie came in and was huge,” Erstad said. “He made some great pitches and we played some good defense behind him.”

Junior RHP Luis Alvarado was trusted with the closing duties and didn’t disappoint. After freshman leftfielder Mojo Hagge made a great off-balance catch, Alvarado struck out two to end the game.

“We did a real nice job of being mentally tough and finding a way to battle through some close calls,” Erstad said. “They had a rally and their fans were into it, and we kept our composure and got it done.”

Friday’s game has been moved back four hours and will now start at 4:00 p.m. CST. Nebraska RHP Derek Burkamper (1-2, 3.78 ERA.) will take on Cal Poly RHP Spencer Howard (1-0, 1.27 ERA).