Hohensee heroics, quick offense lead Huskers past Maryland
Nebraska (18-10-1, 3-0-1 in Big Ten) continued their hot start in conference play as they defeated preseason Big Ten favorite Maryland (19-9, 5-2 in Big Ten) 3-1 Friday night behind junior pitcher Jake Hohensee’s career-high eight strikeouts.
Hohensee (4-2, 2.43 ERA) pitched a gem and controlled the flow of the game. He only allowed one hit through the first eight innings and a total of three in the game. The eight strikeouts are a season-high for Husker pitchers.
“He got it rolling early and did a really nice job,” head coach Darin Erstad said. “His fastball command was pretty solid, he stuck a couple fastballs in that was huge and we played some solid defense behind him.”
Hohensee said that his warmup prior to the game was one of the worst ones he's had in his career.
“It doesn’t matter what I do in there,” Hohensee said. “It’s about what I do on that mound over there and it just clicked. Hearing my song, singing to it, calmed me down a little bit and I settled into my routine.”
NU sophomore catcher Jesse Wilkening was hit by a pitch to start the third inning. He used a single by senior second baseman Jake Schleppenbach and a sacrifice fly by sophomore infielder Angelo Altavilla to score the first run of the game in the bottom of the third.
The Husker offense picked apart Maryland pitcher Brian Shaffer (4-2, 1.99 ERA) as he gave up a season-high three runs and eight hits.
“He’s one of the best pitchers in the nation,” Wilkening said. “We did a great job of staying behind it and getting timely hits.”
Nebraska senior first baseman Ben Miller led the NU offense with a pair of hits on Friday. Miller had only one multi-hit game in Nebraska's first 22 games, but he's four multi-hit games in the last seven.
The scoring continued in the bottom of the fourth with a two-out RBI double by Wilkening to bring in junior Luis Alvarado and Miller to increase the Husker lead to three.
Alvarado replaced Hohensee with two outs to go in the ninth inning and earned his fifth save of the year, but it wasn’t without a little drama. He gave up a RBI single to center field, but struck out the next batter and forced a flyout to end the game.
Saturday’s game will begin at 2:05 p.m central and will feature Nebraska RHP Derek Burkamper (2-2, 3.04 ERA, 26.2 IP, 22 K) vs. Maryland Taylor Bloom (3-2, 3.89 ERA, 34.2 IP, 23 K). The game will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.