Huskers take game two, split doubleheader vs UC-Riverside
There were two directions Nebraska’s double header could have gone after a 4-3 game one defeat against UC-Riverside on Friday afternoon.
The Huskers could have let the lack of hitting follow them into game two, or they could bounce back.
As it turned out the Huskers woke up and played with some confidence, and they had the poise to be clutch when it mattered to win game two 5-4 in Tempe, Ariz.
Nebraska (1-1) used a late rally to put away the Highlanders (1-1). The Huskers had five different players record hits, including senior catcher Brady Childs, who had three hits. Childs saw action in only five games last year and failed to get a hit during his junior campaign after transferring from Neosho Community College.
The Huskers had a hit in the first and third innings but couldn’t put together many runs. It began to look a little bit like game one, but in the fifth inning Jake Meyers doubled to right-center and Mojo Hagge and Childs scored. Then, Scott Schreiber followed that with a single to left field to drive in Meyers.
Freshman pitcher Paul Tillotson retired the first 10 batters he faced in his first career start, but then ran into trouble and gave up five straight singles.
Tillotson, who was Colorado’s Gatorade Player of the Year last season, ended his debut after 3.1 innings and Jake McSteen was brought in to replace him.
McSteen put a together a solid 2.2 inning performance, striking out three and not giving up a hit and was rewarded with his first win of the season. McSteen was replaced by Chad Luensmann in the top of the seventh.
Luensmann had all of his work cut out for him as the Highlanders began to crawl back into the game. Riverside freshman Connor Cannon hit a left field single that brought Colby Schultz home to make the score 5-3.
Quickly following that, Aaron Cisneros hit a single out to left field that brought Mark Contreras home.
Despite the late rally, Luensmann held on to earn his first save of the season when Childs made the biggest play of the day when he threw out Michael Farris at second.
The Huskers finished with nine hits in their first win of the season. They will face UC-Riverside again tomorrow at 1 p.m. You can hear the game on 1400 AM as well as Huskers.com