The Nebraska baseball team wrapped up a busy opening weekend against California-Riverside on Sunday, walking away with a 3-1 record with the only loss coming in Game 2 by one run.
The first three games of the series had a similar theme with the Huskers getting off to slow starts. That included a 21-6 Friday night win that started with Nebraska trailing until the seventh inning. The Huskers exploded to score 18 runs in the final three innings.
— Nebraska Baseball (@Husker_Baseball) February 16, 2019
Nebraska split Saturday’s matchups, barely falling 10-9 in the first game of the day and bouncing back to take the second, 10-6. On Sunday, the Huskers won their final game of the series convincingly by the score of 7-1. Freshman Colby Gomes made his pitching debut, getting the start on the mound for the Huskers. He pitched four innings, giving up six hits but no runs.
Senior Matt Waldron came in to seal the deal, pitching five innings. He gave up one run on two hits. Waldron showed good control, including seven strikeouts on 58 pitches.
Angelo Altavilla was also strong offensively for Nebraska, going 2-for-3 with one RBI. Luke Roskam and Aaron Palensky each added 2 RBIs on the day, leading Nebraska behind the plate.
Here are three quick takeaways from Nebraska’s series with UC Riverside.
This Nebraska team showed a good combination of experience and youth. Six seniors, six juniors, eight sophomores and seven freshmen saw action in the opening weekend. Four freshmen made starting appearances, including Spencer Schwellenbach. He was the leadoff batter in all four games.
The age diversity could prove to be beneficial for Nebraska as the season continues. Look for the talented freshmen class to continue gaining experience and complimenting the strong upperclassmen.
Jaxon Hallmark Hates Baseballs
Speaking of young talent, sophomore Jaxon Hallmark went out and had himself a weekend.
Through the first three games, Hallmark had a slugging percentage of .714 along with two doubles, 10 RBIs and a 1.000 fielding percentage. Game 4 wasn't quite as friendly at the plate, but it’s nothing to worry about. If Hallmark can continue at this pace, he is going to be in for a special year.
Coach Darin Erstad has to feel pretty satisfied with what he saw from his pitching staff against UC Riverside.
Chad Luensmann started Game 1 and showed flashes of his old self. Connor Curry and Waldron stepped in as relief and did exactly what they were asked to do. Nate Fisher pitched 5.0 innings (which included six strikeouts). Gomes took the mound with authority and did not look like a freshman. One would guess that Gomes has the potential to only get better as the season continues.
Nebraska next heads to Surprise, Arizona, to take on defending national champion Oregon State in a four game series. First pitch for Game 1 is set for 2 p.m. CT on Thursday, Feb. 21.