After Thursday’s game was postponed and Friday’s first game was moved back due to rain, Nebraska finally hit the field for a doubleheader with No. 7 Oregon State. Game 1 was strange game that resulted in a 12 pitch at bat, a Husker injury and a 44-minute rain delay in the sixth inning, Nebraska ultimately lost 8-2. The Huskers battled back in the second game of the day, but ultimately fell 5-3.
The starting pitchers dominated the first three innings of Game 1, with the game remaining scoreless until Oregon State scored a run in the bottom of the fourth. All-American Kevin Abel showed up big for the Beavers, pitching 5.1 innings and a record 10 strikeouts. Nebraska’s Chad Luensmann had a good outing of his own though, pitching 4.1 innings and notching four strikeouts.
Despite the loss, Luensmann looked like he had more control and confidence against Oregon State than he did last weekend against California-Riverside. Connor Curry came in as relief, but only pitched 0.2 innings as the rain delay interrupted his outing. Ben Klenke finished the game for Nebraska, notching two strikeouts.
Nebraska lost second basemen Alex Henwood in the fourth inning on a diving play. There was no update on the injury at the end of the game.
Oregon State came alive in the fifth inning, scoring four runs. The Beavers wouldn't look back from there. Nebraska responded — scoring two runs in the sixth —but that was it. The Huskers wouldn't score again.
Nebraska may have lost, but the Huskers were still competitive throughout. The challenge? Leaving eight runners on base and committing three errors. That is not a winning recipe. These two areas will need to improve if Nebraska wants to hang with the defending CWS champions throughout the weekend series.
Things shifted a bit for Nebraska in Game 2, which was a battle all the way to the end. The game was tied 3-3 for five innings. Nebraska had chances early with the bases loaded and no outs in the first inning, but came away with nothing. The Huskers out-hit Oregon State for the second game in a row but could not convert those hits into runs.
Freshman Kyle Perry got his first start in the second game, but it didn’t last long. Perry only pitched 1.1 innings, recording two strikeouts and three errors.
Mike Waldron entered the game in the third inning and had himself a career night. He retired 14 Beavers in a row and recorded a career high nine strikeouts. In his first two outings of 2019, Waldron has impressed.
Offensively, Spencer Schwellenbach is finding his groove. He went 3-of-4. Mojo Hagge continues to contribute in the designated hitter role, and he went 2-of-4.
The Huskers played a much cleaner game in the second of the day with only one error. They also left only six on base.
Game 3 between Nebraska and Oregon State is scheduled for Saturday, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. CT.